Clean IT project

Experienced by an earlier cooperation with Germany and United Kingdom in the preceding project “Exploring the Islamist extremist web of Europe”, the Netherlands submitted a project proposal called “Clean IT”.

The project was started in June 2011 with the financial support of the European Commission and five government partners: from Belgium (Coordination Unit for Threat Analysis), Germany (Federal Ministry of the Interior), the Netherlands (National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security), Spain (Centro Nacional de Coordinación Antiterrorista) and the United Kingdom (Office for Security and Counter Terrorism). During the course of the project six government partners were added: from Austria (Federal Ministry of the Interior), Denmark, Greece (Hellenic Police), Hungary (Counter-terrorism Centre), Romania (Romanian Intelligence Service) and Portugal (Polícia Judiciária). The Clean IT project organised an innovative process by which public and private sector organizations engaged in an open and constructive dialogue. In this dialogue, both terrorist use of the Internet and possible ways to further reduce it were explored. The project team facilitated this dialogue. Clean IT scheduled six two-day meetings (in Amsterdam, Madrid, Brussels, Berlin, Utrecht and Vienna) in which groups of 20-60 participants met. Meetings consisted of presentations and open discussions aimed at reaching consensus. The document This document is a product of the Clean IT project and was published in January 2013. It reflects the combined views of the participants as a whole on how to reduce terrorist use of the Internet. Individual participants or the organizations they represent do not necessarily agree with all parts of the text. Some parts of the document might still trigger the need for further, detailed discussions.

The Clean IT meetings were attended by 110 participants from governments (25%), the Internet/technology industry (37%), NGO’s and end-users (11%), academics (15%) and law enforcement agencies (12%) in the European Union. Many others from the Internet community and people or organizations related to the participants took the opportunity to comment online on the draft reports that were published after each meeting.

The dialogue resulted in a problem analysis of terrorist use of the Internet, a set of nine general principles that determine conditions for any action taken to reduce terrorist use of the Internet and a list of best practices. As Clean IT is not set up as a binding form of cooperation, any future implementation can only be voluntary and according to existing laws and regulations.

The final document can be downloaded here (pdf). The report will be presented to EU Counter Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove at Clean IT’s final symposium on January 30th in Brussels.