Amber Rudd issues rallying call to tech firms to tackle extremism

Amber Rudd clambers aboard anti-extremism bandwagon with another crackdown call

Home secretary Amber Rudd has echoed calls from the prime minister for internet giants to do more to crack down on extremism and is set to meet with tech firms in Silicon Valley to discuss a potential solution.

Rudd’s crusade got off to an inauspicious start however after her efforts were ridiculed by technology website The Register which dryly observed that Silicon Valley executives were tiring of posturing politicians.

Rudd is threatening to introduce new laws to tackle the spread of extremism on social media platforms in the wake of a series of terror attacks in the UK.

But The Register dismissed this as mere bluster, stating: “Executives... are said to be quaking in their boots as... Amber Rudd swoops... to read them the riot act.”

The Cabinet minister will be attending the inaugural Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism in San Francisco today (1 August).

The Home Office has also set up meetings with Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, WhatsApp and Apple.

It was previously reported by The Register that Rudd would only been meeting officials from YouTube and Google-owner Alphabet, but the Home Office has said this is not the case.

Speaking to Sky News a defiant Rudd said: “We believe the best way to get this material removed from the internet is to let them (social media firms) show us they are doing it. Of course we can do legislation, we may yet do legislation, but the most effective way of delivering this outcome that we all want is to have this forum which they can lead on.”

In its withering editorial however The Register dismissed Rudd as carrying "little weight", casting doubt on the home secretaries ability to forge "top-level connections".

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John Glenday

John Glenday is responsible for compiling The Drum's daily morning bulletin and ensuring that overnight breaking news is covered while you're still brushing your teeth. Can also make a mean cup of tea.

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