British prime minister calls for internet regulation after violent attack

British prime minister calls for internet regulation after violent attack
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British Prime Minister Theresa May is calling for tighter internet regulation in the wake of a deadly terror attack in and around London Bridge.

The British PM said in a statement on Sunday that technology serves as a breeding ground for terrorism and extremism.  

“We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed,” May said. “Yet that is precisely what the internet and big companies that provide internet-based services provide. We need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online.”

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May called on democratic governments to “reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremist and terrorism planning.” 

A U.K. parliamentary report from last month alleges that social media companies have prioritized profit margins at the expense of the public’s safety by giving home to illegal content.

“It is very clear to us from the evidence we have received that nowhere near enough is being done,” the report reads. “The biggest and richest social media companies are shamefully far from taking sufficient action to tackle illegal and dangerous content, to implement proper community standards or to keep their users safe. Given their immense size, resources and global reach, it is completely irresponsible of them to fail to abide by the law, and to keep their users and others safe.”

In recent months, tech firms have made pushes to get extremist content off their sites. Over the past year, Twitter has removed hundreds of thousands of profiles linked to terror groups or terror sympathizers.

May has previously called for increased internet regulation.

In 2016, the British Parliament passed the Investigatory Powers Act, championed by then-Home Secretary May. The controversial act expanded government surveillance powers on the internet.

During the G7 summit last month, May spearheaded a call for internet companies to further crack down on terror-related content on their websites.

“Against the backdrop of Monday’s cowardly attack in Manchester, we have discussed what more we can do together to address the threat from terror,” May told reporters at the time. “Make no mistake, the fight is moving from the battlefield to the internet.”