US and Britain push social media at G7 interior ministers meeting

Vastavam web: Technology firms have improved cooperation with the authorities in tackling online militant material but still must act quicker to remove propaganda fuelling a rise in homegrown extremism, acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said on Wednesday.Duke said there had already been a change in the attitude of tech companies since a rally organised by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August turned deadly when a counter-protester was killed by a car driven into a crowd.

”There has been a shift and for us somewhat with the Charlottesville incident,“ she said. ”There are a lot of social pressures and they want do business so they really have to balance between keeping their user agreements and giving law enforcement what they need.

After a series of Islamist militant attacks this year, British Prime Minister Theresa May and her ministers such as Rudd have been demanding action from tech leaders like Facebook (FB.O), Google (GOOGL.O) and Twitter (TWTR.N) to do more about extremist material on their sites.

Internet companies say they want to help governments remove extremist or criminal material but say they have to balance the demands of state security with civil liberties.Asked what action governments might take if social media firms failed to act on improving their removal of extremist material, she said: “We will continue to push as far as we can go. I think that we have the cooperation of those companies and we just need to work on that.”

“I would surmise being able to put terrorist propaganda on the internet might become more imperative,” said Duke, who described the terrorist threat to the United States as being as high as it had been since pre-9/11.She also warned that those who turned to violence by being radicalised by such material posed a bigger problem than the comparatively small number of fighters who had joined the militant group returning to United States.