G20 OSAKA LEADERS’ STATEMENT ON PREVENTING EXPLOITATION OF THE INTERNET FOR TERRORISM AND VIOLENT EXTREMISM CONDUCIVE TO TERRORISM (VECT)
As leaders, one of our greatest responsibilties 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. 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 livestreamed Christchurch terrorist attacks, and other recent atrocities, demonstrate the urgency with which we must fully implement relevant UN resolutions, the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy and other instruments, including the 2017 Hamburg G20 Leaders’ Statement on Countering Terrorism.
For us all to reap the rewards of digitalisation, we are committed to realising an open, free and secure internet. The internet must not be a safe haven for terrorists to recruit, incite or prepare terrorist acts.To this end, 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.
We urge online platforms to meet our citizens’ expectations that they must not allow use of their platforms to facilitate terrorism and VECT. Platforms have an important responsibility to protect their users. The complexity of the challenge — and increasing sophistication of the criminals who would misuse the internet — does not lessen the importance of platforms mitigating the proliferation of terrorist and VECT content, which harms society, via their platforms.
We urge online platforms to step up the ambition and pace of their efforts to prevent terrorist and VECT content from being streamed, uploaded, or re-uploaded. We strongly encourage a concerted effort to set out, implement and enforce terms of service to detect and prevent terrorist and VECT content from appearing on their platforms. Amongst other measures, this may be achieved by developing technologies. Where terrorist content is uploaded or livestreamed, we underline the importance of online platforms addressing it, in a timely manner, to prevent proliferation, while ensuring that documentary evidence is preserved. We welcome online platforms’ commitment to provide regular and transparent public reporting, as set out in their policies and procedures.
We note the ongoing work of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) to drive this important cross-industry agenda, including to respond to crises. However, further urgent action is needed. We encourage collaboration with industry, media outlets, researchers and civil society to strengthen GIFCT and expand its membership to be more inclusive. A strengthened GIFCT would enhance crossindustry understanding, collaboration and the capability of big and small companies to prevent terrorist and VECT exploitation of their platforms.
We commit to continue working together to tackle this challenge — including by sharing our domestic experiences — in our countries and through international fora and initiatives. Positive narratives to counter terrorist propaganda will continue to be an important element of this effort. We will remain engaged with industry progress and urge civil society, consumers and investors to do the same.