Context and objective:
Ongoing conflict in Syria and Iraq, and terrorist attacks in several countries during 2014-2015 have
created fresh impetus for new security measures and for greater cooperation amongst state security
and intelligence agencies in Europe, the US and globally.
Among the new measures being proposed and debated are laws designed to combat the use of online
platforms by terrorist organisations. This includes the use of websites, Internet services and social media
platforms to radicalize, recruit members and supporters, spread propaganda and raise funding.
European governments have mandated Europol to establish a EU-wide system for flagging and referring
terrorist or other extremist content that is deemed to violate the terms of service of online platforms.
This meeting will bring together global civil society representatives, the technology industry, law
enforcement agencies, lawyers and technical experts to discuss both existing and proposed measures to
combat extremist content online.
The objective of the discussion will be to identify best practices and policies, and to propose
recommendations for shaping the global response to “extremist” content online while ensuring the
protection and promotion of all users’ fundamental rights.
The discussion will take as its starting point two fundamental observations. The first is that democratic
societies have a legitimate interest in protecting citizens against violence. When individuals or groups
incite violence and promote terrorist acts, either in Europe or elsewhere, society must deploy measures
to deal with this incitement. The second observation is that the measures adopted to combat terrorism
must be targeted, proportionate, effective, and not illegitimately limit the freedom of expression,
security or privacy of citizens. We will pay particular attention to policies related to the liability of
Internet intermediaries, recognizing the key role these intermediaries play in fostering freedom of