The Internet plays a central role in our day to day lives. It has enriched our world in terms of access to knowledge, interaction and mobilization. Unfortunately, these features also make the internet a crucial tool for terrorist and extremist networks. They use the internet for terrorist purposes such as propaganda, fundraising, recruitment, training and planning.
In 2010, the Clean IT project was initiated to tackle this problem, and to start a constructive dialogue between governments, businesses and civil society to explore how to reduce the terrorist use of the internet. This dialogue resulted in a set of general principles and an overview of possible best practices. The project was led by the Netherlands, partnered by Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Spain, and supported by Denmark, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Greece, Portugal and Italy. As working method draft documents were published on a website for open consultation, followed by expert discussions in working groups with a mix from public and private stakeholders, and academics.
The Clean IT project came to an end on Wednesday 30 January 2013 with a final symposium in Brussels, in the presence of several speakers, participants and interested parties involved. The final results were presented to Gilles de Kerchove, the EU Counterterrorism Coordinator, on behalf of all project partners.
Mr. De Kerchove:
“I would like to express my gratitude for all the work you have done and express my full support for your important work. CLEAN IT was an open and transparent consultation process, which not only included government officials and law enforcement officers but also academics and NGO and think-tank representatives. The project helped to provide a better understanding of what has to be done and what is being done in the EU and in cooperation with the private sector. Public-private initiatives, such as CLEAN IT, are essential to guarantee an open society and pluralism and freedom of expression.”
The Clean IT project was carried out with the financial support of the European Commission’s Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme (Directorate-General Justice, Freedom and Security).
Note: this text is a summary of the original project-website that was used during the Clean IT project (2010-2013).