Home office wants ISPs to do more against Cyber terrorism

The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, has vowed to step up the UK government's fight against websites which promoted terrorism by enrolling European ISPs into the fight.

Internet Service Providers will be asked to police radical websites and chat rooms and remove any dangerous or illegal material under plans announced by Ms Smith during a speech at the International Centre for Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, in central London.

“We are already working closely with the communications industry to take action against paedophiles. I believe we should also take action against those who groom vulnerable people for the purposes of violent extremism. Where there is illegal material on the net, I want it removed," Smith said.

However, unlike pedophilia, which is unilaterally condemned by all, what amounts to extremism or incitation to commit terrorism acts remain to be clearly defined.

As the director of the Cyber Rights organisation and Leeds University Law lecturer, Yaman Akdeniz puts it, “The difficulty is where you draw the line. When does speech become extreme or for that matter racist?”

It would also prove to be prohibitively expensive and technologically challenging to track and monitor supposedly extremist Internet websites.