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Past event

High Level Panel: The Dilemmas Involved in Countering Terrorism through the Internet. What's at Stake?


Read the report of this event. 

Date: Friday 28 August 2015, 15:00 - 17:00

Venue: T.M.C. Asser Instituut, R.J. Schimmelpennincklaan 20-22, The Hague

Terrorist organisations are increasingly making use of the Internet for recruitment, incitement and radicalisation purposes, but also for financing, planning and preparing terrorist attacks. In the aftermath of the tragic attacks in Paris and the historic manifestation where world leaders and the French were united in defending the freedom of speech, dozens of people were arrested for supporting terrorism. While several countries are working on new legislation providing the intelligence community far-reaching powers to crack down all communications on the Internet between terrorists, EU ministers increase pressure on the social media industry – such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter – to prevent the spread of radicalisation through the internet. However, these measures can have a serious impact on a range of important human rights as well, such as the rights to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of association and privacy. What are the possibilities legally speaking? And what’s at stake? The panellists will take a closer look at all the dilemmas countering terrorism through the internet can entail.

After a welcome and introduction of the panellists by ICCT Senior Portfolio Manager Marco de Swart, Europol Director Rob Wainwright will discuss the new Europe-wide police unit that focuses on online recruiters and PR-materials. How does the unit work and what are the difficulties it faces? Verity Harding (Head Security and Counter Extremism, Google Europe) will explain more about the activities that a company as Google can undertake on this topic. Lastly, Dr. Quirine Eijkman (Campus The Hague, Leiden University) will discuss the impact these policies and activities (could) have on human rights, and what the underlying risks are that need to be taken into consideration. After these presentations there is room for questions and discussion.

This is a public event, participation is free of charge. However, due to the limited number of places available, registration is necessary and will be dealt with on a first-come-first-served basis. RSVP before 17 August to by mentioning full name and organisational affiliation.

This High Level Panel is part of ICCT's Summer Programme on Countering Terrorism: Legal Challenges and Dilemmas. Read more about the Summer Programme and this event.


14:45 – 15:00        Doors open, coffee and tea served

15:00 – 15:10        Welcome by Mark Singleton (ICCT)

15:10 – 15:25        Rob Wainwright (Europol)

15:25 – 15:40        Verity Harding (Google Europe)

15:40 – 15:55        Dr. Quirine Eijkman (Campus The Hague, Leiden University)

15:55 – 17:00        Discussion

17:00 – 19:00        Drinks reception