Monday

21st Aug 2017

EU to strengthen surveillance of terrorist websites

  • Only five experts in each EU state are allowed to access the portal (Photo: EUobserver)

The European Union wants to strengthen its monitoring of militant Islamic websites, saying the internet plays a major role in the running and communication network of terrorist organisations.

EU ambassadors gathering for their weekly meeting in Brussels on Wednesday (30 May) decided that a newly established online police portal "needs to be further strengthened" to combat terrorism, according to press reports.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The high-security portal - named "Check the Web" - was launched earlier this month and allows the 27 EU states to pool data on Islamist propaganda and internet chatter at the European Police Office (Europol) in The Hague.

"We allow EU member states to share their responsibilities in checking the web," head of Europol Max-Peter Ratzel told Reuters on Wednesday, adding that "it's for Islamic terrorism."

"If you see that a web site is [already being] checked by another country, you can save energy," Mr Ratzel said. The site is only accessible to a maximum of five experts from each EU state.

The portal is to include a list of links to monitored web sites, statements by terrorist organisations and details on other experts checking the web in EU countries, including their language competence and technical expertise.

Some member states – led by Germany – are currently sharing the task of analysing al Qaeda's media department, as-Sahab, according to EU ambassadors.

"Terrorists use the internet not only as a means to communicate and spread propaganda, but also to radicalise, recruit and train terrorists, to spread instructions on how to carry out concrete offences and to transfer covert information," said the conclusions of their meeting, obtained by Reuters.

Germany, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, pushed to start the cooperation in web-surveillance, saying not all 27 member states had the expertise needed to translate and analyse websites used by extremists, reports Dagens Nyheter.

The idea first came to light in 2006 when interior ministers of the G6 states - France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK – met in March last year and decided to create the Check the Web portal.

EU Commission unmoved by Polish president's veto

Andrzej Duda decided to veto two of the controversial draft laws, which would put the judiciary under political control, but the EU executive is awaiting details before deciding on whether to launch legal probes on Wednesday.

News in Brief

  1. Austria has begun checks at Italian border
  2. Slovenian PM: Brexit talks will take longer than expected
  3. Merkel backs diesel while report warns of economic harm
  4. UK to publish new Brexit papers this week
  5. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  6. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  7. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  8. European Union returns to 2 percent growth

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressEuropean Governments Must Take Stronger Action Against Terrorism
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  3. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  4. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  6. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  9. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  11. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  12. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference