I really welcome the news that the Home Secretary Amber Rudd is attending the inaugural meeting of the Global Internet Forum in San Francisco. Amber will meet with international internet giants to urge them to do more about terrorism online.
During the general election, the UK witnessed two despicable acts of terror - the Manchester bombing and the London Bridge attack. Unspeakable violence against children and young people, people going about their business in their communities. I cannot begin to imagine how devastated everyone directly affected by the attacks must feel. I have a 12 year old daughter and chances are that, if we lived in Manchester, the two of us would have been at the Ariana Grande concert as well. In Norwich we enjoyed Take That concerts just after the election and I cannot thank the police and security services enough for doing everything possible to keep us safe. I therefore welcome the government’s resolve that those who wish to do us harm should not be able to use the internet and social media to do so.
The responsibility for tackling this threat at every level lies with both governments and industry. We have a shared interest: we want to protect our citizens and keep them safe. The meeting of the Global Internet Forum is the next step towards achieving these goals. In a global society where freedom of expression is king, I feel it is necessary to draw a line in the sand which puts an end to the dissemination of hate speech and the threat of violence. It’s really quite ironic that the very institutions of free speech and expression which we enjoy in our democracy are being abused by those who wish to destroy us.
In summary, I wish the Home Secretary much success in California and I really hope this is the start of a better, safer internet and social media for everyone.