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Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT)

Topics Covered:

Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT)

 

What to study?

For Prelims and mains: Composition, objectives and significance of GIFCT.

 

Context: Led by Presidents of New Zealand and France, the members of GIFCT recently met at the UN General Assembly to discuss the progress on the steps taken to implement Christchurch Call to Action.

 

About GIFCT:

  • Formally established in July 2017 as a group of companies, dedicated to disrupting terrorist abuse of members’ digital platforms.
  • The original Forum was led by a rotating chair drawn from the founding four companies—Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube—and managed a program of knowledge-sharing, technical collaboration and shared research.
  • GIFCT as an independent organization was formally established in 2017.

 

GIFCT goals:

  1. Improvethe capacity of a broad range of technology companies, independently and collectively, to prevent and respond to abuse of their digital platforms by terrorists and violent extremists.
  2. Enablemulti-stakeholder engagement around terrorist and violent extremist misuse of the internet and encourage stakeholders to meet key commitments consistent with the GIFCT mission.
  3. Encouragethose dedicated to online civil dialogue and empower efforts to direct positive alternatives to the messages of terrorists and violent extremists.
  4. Advancebroad understanding of terrorist and violent extremist operations and their evolution, including the intersection of online and offline activities.

 

Christchurch Call to Action:

  • Launched during the “Online Extremism Summit” in Paris.
  • Launched jointly by India, France, New Zealand, Canada and several other countries.
  • The initiative outlines collective and voluntary commitments from governments and online service providers to address the issue of terrorist and violent extremist content online.
  • It calls for a free, open and secure internet to promote connectivity, enhance social inclusiveness and foster economic growth.

 

Background:

The ‘Christchurch call to action’ initiative has been named after the New Zealand city Christchurch, where over 50 people were killed and over 20 got injured in shootings at two mosques.

 

Need:

As internet is not resistant towards the abuse by terrorists and violent extremists, there is an urgent need of collective efforts to secure the internet from such terror groups. Recent Christchurch terror attacks were broadcasted online by terrorists. The broadcasting of such content online has severe impact on victims of such incident, on collective security and on people across the world.

The Christchurch attack stressed on the urgent call of action by the governments, civil society, online service providers, and social media companies to eliminate terrorist and extremist content online.

 

Sources: the Hindu.