Online Radicalisation

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th October 2017.

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Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Conservative, Aldridge-Brownhills 12:00 am, 16th October 2017

What steps she is taking to safeguard vulnerable people from online radicalisation.

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

The Government have been clear that there should be no safe space online for terrorists and their supporters to radicalise, recruit, incite or inspire. We are working closely with the industry, including through the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, to encourage it to develop innovative solutions to tackle online radicalisation.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Conservative, Aldridge-Brownhills

Does the Minister agree that some of the world’s leading internet companies could do more to ensure that the propaganda emanating from Daesh and others is taken down immediately and not allowed to poison not just vulnerable individuals, but young minds?

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

My hon. Friend is right. Internet companies could do more with their technology. They could do much more to recognise that they have a responsibility for much of the stuff that is hosted on their sites and they could do more to take it down. That is why the United Kingdom Government, through the Global Internet Forum, are taking the lead in dealing with the issue. The Home Secretary was only recently in Silicon Valley, talking to those companies and trying to put further pressure on them to use their profits and vast wealth actually to do something about it.

Photo of Nick Thomas-Symonds Nick Thomas-Symonds Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Security)

As part of the Government’s strategy for online safety, they are seeking to ensure that all those suppliers bidding for information-sensitive contracts are certificated under their Cyber Essentials scheme. Yet the Government have admitted to me in a written answer that they do not even bother to count the number of suppliers signed up to that scheme. In those circumstances, how can the Government ever look at and consider the success of their policy?

Photo of Ben Wallace Ben Wallace Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)

The hon. Gentleman misses the point. The authority placing the contract will, of course, verify the conditions of the contract before signing it. Whether we put it together and say, “We’ve got 1,000”, is slightly the second point. The main issue is whether it is properly done. On top of that, the UK Government as a whole invest £1.9 billion into the national cyber-security strategy to ensure that we deal with threats against our companies and individuals.