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UK government confirms plans to block extremist websites

Extremist and terrorist websites could be blocked from view in the UK under new plans by the government.

The Home office has published a report from the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Tackling Radicalisation and Extremism. It proposes that ISPs should be compelled to identify and filter out websites that contain “extremist content”.

The proposal to block hate sites would run along similar lines to those used to tackle images of child abuse.

“Extremist propaganda is too widely available, particularly online, and has a direct impact on radicalising individuals,” the report said. “The poisonous messages of extremists must not be allowed to drown out the voices of the moderate majority“.

Among the report’s suggestions are to help build the capabilities of communities and civil society organisations so that they can campaign against the large volume of extremist material, including online. It is also looking to work with internet companies to restrict access to terrorist material online which is hosted overseas but illegal under UK law.

The task force also suggested improving the process for public reporting of extremist content online as well as working with the internet industry to help them in their continuing efforts to identify extremist content to include in family-friendly filters.

The task force will also look at using existing powers to exclude from the UK those who post extremist material online who are based overseas.

Image: Kevin Gordon/Geograph/CC

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