The European Union’s (EU’s) Internet Referral Unit (IRU), a unit of Europol’s European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC), recently published its third transparency report. This unit was instated in 2015 to flag terrorist and extremist content on the internet and provide online support to member states to do the same. Its capabilities are also extended to flagging human trafficking-related content on the internet.
The recent EU IRU report summarizes the unit’s activities in 2019, including prevention activities and investigation support to member states. In 2019, the unit released many strategic and thematic reports to shed light on the patterns in terrorist or violent extremist propaganda online. Additionally, the EU IRU provided its investigation support to as many as 251 EU member state operations. The unit provided support in the form of delivered expertise, preliminary forensic reports, intelligence packages etc.
The EU IRU also collaborated with the private sector, particularly the tech industry, to aid its operations. Moreover, it organised a tabletop exercise with the member states to develop the EU Crisis Protocol. The exercise also intended to promote a collaborative effort against cross-border internet misuse for terrorism or violent extremism. Apart from these, several other activities were conducted by the unit to meet its objectives.
Source name: Europol