08 October 2014

Minister Fitzgerald attends EU Ministerial meeting with Internet service providers

·        EU Ministers meet internet service providers on new internet challenges

·        Minister says online radicalisation plays a key role in recruitment to terrorism

The Minister for Justice and Equality is today attending a meeting of EU Home Affairs Ministers and Internet Service Providers in Luxembourg.  The meeting, organised by the European Commission, is taking place in advance of the Justice and Home Affairs Council where terrorism features prominently on the agenda.

The Commission has established this forum with key players from the internet industry to discuss the challenges posed by online terrorist propaganda, exchange experiences, and to explore opportunities for further cooperation.

Speaking in advance of the meeting, Minister Fitzgerald said: "The internet and social media are profoundly changing the way we live our lives. So much of the change has been for the better but unfortunately there are negative aspects also. I am delighted to attend this meeting as everyone has a role to play in protecting our citizens. This includes the internet service providers and it is important that we explore with them what they can do to help".

The Minister continued:  "Only last week, I attended the Global Alliance against Child Sexual abuse online in Washington.  I was struck by the role of darknets and encryption in facilitating abuse online.  Today, we are looking at online radicalisation and the role that jihadist propaganda on the internet is playing in relation to recruitment to terrorism. It is clear to me that State authorities must work with the internet industry to make society a safer place".

Minister Fitzgerald thanked Commissioner Malmstrom for organising this event.  The Minister concluded: “There is no one solution to tackling online radicalisation. What is clearly needed is a more holistic approach, which, for instance, also considers why people are searching for this material in the first place".