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New app launched for reporting terrorist material

The iREPORTit app is being launched for the anonymous reporting of terrorist material found online.

Available from 24 February, the project comes amid increasing concerns that the coronavirus pandemic has created fertile conditions for isolated and vulnerable people, including children, to become radicalised. The app will allow users to flag online material to the national Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU).

The developers, Raven Science, say that the app was confidential and anonymous, and that no personally identifiable information would be collected. Reports will be seen only by the CTIRU.

Neil Basu, the head of UK counter terror policing, said: “Specialist officers are ready and waiting to look at each and every single referral sent via the app. Where material breaches UK terrorism legislation, they will seek its removal, even if the website host is based in another country, because every piece that is removed from the internet is no longer out in the ether, potentially radicalising vulnerable people and encouraging them to cause serious harm to others.”

The app was created with £40,000 of funding from the Mayor of London, but can be used by anyone in the UK. It will initially run as a three-month pilot and will be made permanent depending on the number of downloads and resulting referrals, following an evaluation by the CTIRU.

Sadiq Khan said: “We know terrorists and extremists are set on exploiting the uncertainty and anxiety caused by the pandemic for their own gain. With more people than ever online for longer periods, often at home alone or in isolated environments, I’m determined to do everything I can to counter that threat and help keep Londoners safe.”

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