Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit
The Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) was set up in 2010 by ACPO (and run by the Metropolitan Police) to remove unlawful terrorist material content from the Internet with a focus on UK based material. Content that incites or glorifies terrorist acts can be removed under Section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006. CTIRU compiles a list of URLs for material hosted outside the UK which are blocked on networks of the public estate
From February 2010 to 2013 it had requested removal of "approximately 6500 pieces of online content" between 2010 and June 2013. "Figures for April 2012 to March 2013 stand at 3,538 pieces of online content removed." To date (as of December 2013) it "has removed more than 18,000 pieces of illegal material".
The December 2013 report of the Prime Minister's Extremism task force said that it would "work with internet companies to restrict access to terrorist material online which is hosted overseas but illegal under UK law" and "work with the internet industry to help them in their continuing efforts to identify extremist content to include in family-friendly filters" which would likely involve lobbying ISPs to add the CTIRU list to their filters without the need for additional legislation.
The CTIRU hold responsibility for the implementation of aspects of the UK Government's, Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and are the custodians of the CTIRU list, a continuously updated proscribed list of websites that is considered under the act to be illegal to access or attempt to access. As of May 2016, the CTIRU have had over 200,000 URL's removed from service providers to ensure they are not accessible by UK citizens or organisations. The CTIRU proscribed list details thousands of URL's that, for one reason or another, cannot or will not be removed from ISP's or search engines. The list is one of the weapons employed by the Government as part of its drive to implement the "Prevent" legislation and ensure other legislation such as KCSIE (Keeping Children Safe in Education Act, 2016) are enforceable. As of September 2016, all Schools, childcare facilities or organisations that provide care or facilities for children under the age of 18 in the UK, have a statutory duty to ensure their systems cannot be used to access any of these websites by utilising firewall technology or service providers that are members of the IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) and ensure the list of prohibited sites are utilised in their technology to prevent access to or from them. The CTIRU is currently (Nov 2016) adding approx 2,000 new URL's to the list per month and the frequency is increasing.
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- "Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2013 – Motion to Approve in the House of Lords". theyworkforyou.com. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
- "Tackling extremism in the UK: report by the Extremism Taskforce". GOV.UK. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2015.