G-20 resolves to free Internet of extremism

Says that it must not be a terror safe haven

June 29, 2019 10:27 pm | Updated 10:27 pm IST - Osaka

Power point: World leaders at the 3rd Session of the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan on Saturday.

Power point: World leaders at the 3rd Session of the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan on Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other G-20 leaders on Saturday resolved to prevent the use of the Internet to fund and facilitate terrorism and extremism, saying that while the Internet must be “open, free and secure”, it could not serve as a safe haven for terrorists.

In a statement after the Osaka summit, the leaders said they were committed to protecting people from violent extremism conducive to terrorism, or VECT, through the exploitation of the Internet.

Citizens’ security

“As leaders, one of our greatest responsibilities is to ensure the security of our citizens. It is the state’s role, first and foremost, to prevent and combat terrorism. Here in Osaka, we reaffirm our commitment to act to protect our people from terrorist and VECT exploitation of the internet,” the statement said.

“We issue this statement to raise the bar of expectation for online platforms to do their part. We, the leaders of the G20, reaffirm our strongest condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”

The G-20 leaders said the live-streamed Christchurch terrorist attacks in New Zealand that killed 51 people, and other recent atrocities, demonstrated the urgency with “which we must fully implement relevant UN resolutions, the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy and other instruments, including the 2017 Hamburg G-20 Leaders’ Statement on Countering Terrorism.”

The leaders agreed that such efforts must respect human rights and the freedom of expression and access to information. The Internet must not be a safe haven for terrorists to recruit, incite or prepare terrorist acts.

“We urge online platforms to adhere to the core principle, as affirmed in Hamburg, that the rule of law applies online as it does offline. This must be achieved in a way that is consistent with national and international law, including human rights and fundamental freedoms such as freedom of expression and access to information — we hold these in high regard. We commit to collaborate with states, international organisations, industry, and civil society in this endeavour,” they said.

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