PSNI spearheading efforts to better detect online terrorist content

Police in the North are leading a bid to improve how terrorist content on the internet is detected.

Project TENSOR is aimed at tackling the threat posed by Islamic State and other extremists after Prime Minister Theresa May warned the fight was shifting from the "battlefield to the internet".

Researchers want to offer law enforcement agencies fast and reliable planning and prevention, enabling the early detection of terrorist activities, radicalisation and recruitment.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) deputy chief constable Drew Harris said: "Terrorists and criminals use the internet to connect with each other, source tools and techniques, and grow support for their ideology.

"In that way, we see technology utilised in a dangerous way, a way which has the potential to threaten the safety and security of communities across Europe.

"Indeed, we have seen the terrible impact of terrorism in Europe - in London, Manchester, Nice, Paris and Brussels.

"The research undertaken in the TENSOR project will play an important part in working to increase the capability of law enforcement agencies to prevent and detect the use of the internet by terrorists and increase community safety."

The work is part of Horizon 2020, which describes itself as the biggest European Union research and innovation programme ever.

The main focus of Project TENSOR is to keep people safe, police said.

It is supported by multiple organisations across Europe, with 16 partners from seven European countries involved in the research and innovation.

Professor Babak Akhgar, TENSOR technical and scientific lead, added: "The TENSOR project will provide law enforcement agencies with state-of-the-art capacities to combat violent radicalisation inspired by online content.

"The project can also enhance law enforcement agencies' ability to identify and analyse terrorist-generated content in order to protect citizens.

"The legal and ethical framework of the project will provide a safeguarding mechanism to ensure that the TENSOR solutions are shaped by the privacy and data protection laws that protect the freedom of citizens across Europe in their use of the internet."

- PA

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