Following the recent terror attacks in London which has thus far killed seven and has left 48 injured, Prime Minister Theresa May has called on internet companies to tackle terrorist content. In her speech before the country, she presented a four-point plan to tackle terrorism. The first is persuading people about the superiority of pluralism and British values to the values espoused by “preachers and supporters of hate”. The third is to stop terrorists from having safe spaces in the real world through military intervention in ISIS-controlled territories. The fourth strategy is a review of Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy.
Her second strategy concerned internet companies, and she called on internet companies to not be a safe space for terrorists and hate preachers: “We need to work with allied, democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremism and terrorist planning. And we need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online.”
Her words signal a likely augmentation of the 2016 Investigatory Powers Act and they come also come after the Home Office called for fines on social media companies that do not do enough to remove content deemed as extremist from their website. May’s words also parallel calls from the European Commission to allow access to data stored in the cloud by encrypted apps.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks, Facebook have said they aim to be a “hostile environment” for terrorists.