Big Tech’s Counterterrorism Task Force Adds Far-Right Militias to List of Extremist Groups It Follows
The tech industry counterterrorism alliance said on Monday it would start tracking content from a far-right organization in a shared counterterrorism database used by big tech companies.
The Global Internet Counterterrorism Forum (GIFT), a nonprofit founded by Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, will add manifestos, posts and links to far-right militias reported by a UN counterterrorism group Technology against terrorism to a shared database, GIFCT said Reuters.
The organization will also share content reported by Five eyes, a global partnership between intelligence agencies in the United States and other countries, Reuters reported.
The database, created in 2017 and shared exclusively by tech giants, aggregates hashes or digital signatures of images, videos and URLs, allowing tech companies to easily delete recorded content, according to GIFCT. website. The database previously focused on content primarily from Islamic terrorist organizations, according to Reuters.
The database will include hashes of content from the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters, designated terrorist organizations by the member of Five Eyes Canada, but not by the UN, for their involvement in the Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill, Reuters reported.
“Anyone looking at the landscape of terrorism or extremism should understand that there are other parts … that demand attention right now,” GIFCT executive director Nicholas Rasmussen told Reuters.
GIFCT’s decision to expand the database was an important step in moving away from definitions of terrorism that were biased in favor of Islamic extremism, the organization’s chief programming officer Erin Saltman said on Monday. , in an interview with Protocol.
“In theory, government definitions of terrorism are independent of any religion or ideology. It is about violence. It’s about the target and the motive, ”Saltman said.
In addition to hashes of content related to organizations designated as terrorists by the UN and Five Eyes, the database contains manifestos written by perpetrators of individual terrorist attacks, a GIFCT spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The organization also expanded its membership, adding vacation rental company Airbnb and email service Mailchimp, according to Reuters.
GIFCT acknowledged concerns about censorship and centralized information retention, attempting to reassure critics.
“We really want to maintain that this is not a cartel,” Saltman told Protocol. “Everyone has their own policies and practices, some have more human resources than others. “
“Going beyond this area leads you to violate someone’s rights on the Internet to express themselves freely,” Rasmussen told Reuters.
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