THERESA MAY is set to warn the worlds biggest internet companies to get their act together in the fight removing online extremism from the services they operate.
The likes of Alphabet (Google), Facebook and Twitter are to be dragged in front of world leaders and given a month to take down terrorist websites within two hours or face major fines.
May will urge internet companies to go ‘further and faster’ to stop the spread of extremist material – including the development of new technology to stop it from ever appearing on the web in the first place.
The UK Government is also talking to Amazon and eBay about the sale of items that could help terrorists launch attacks.
Official figures show that up to 54,000 different websites containing advice on bomb-making, and committing attacks using trucks and knives, were posted online by supporters of the so-called Islamic State group between August last year and May this year.
The first two hours after terrorist content has been posted is crucial as this is the time span when two-thirds of the propaganda is shared.
Mrs May, French Prez Emmanuel Macron and Italian PM, Paolo Gentiloni are to meet with the internet companies at UN general assembly in New York on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister is expected to say: “Terrorist groups are aware that links to their propaganda are being removed more quickly, and are placing a greater emphasis on disseminating content at speed in order to stay ahead.
“Industry needs to go further and faster in automating the detection and removal of terrorist content online, and developing technological solutions which prevent it being uploaded in the first place.”
Speaking ahead of the event, Mrs May said: “We need a fundamental shift in the scale and nature of our response – both from industry and governments – if we are to match the evolving nature of terrorists’ use of the internet.
“I call on others to join the UK, France, and Italy in pledging their support for this approach.
“This is a global problem that transcends national interests. Governments must work with and support the efforts of industry and civil society if we are to achieve real and continuing progress and prevent the spread of extremism and terrorist use of cyberspace.
“In order to succeed, we must be united in our determination to fight terrorist exploitation of the internet.”