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Amber Rudd only has Google meetings planned for web extremism trip

(c) Sky News 2017: <a href="http://news.sky.com/story/amber-rudd-only-has-google-meetings-planned-as-she-urges-web-extremism-crackdown-10969423">Amber Rudd only has Google meetings planned for web extremism trip</a>
 

The Home Secretary has been mocked by a technology website as she heads to California for talks in Silicon Valley over extremist content online .

Amber Rudd has said she wants to put internet giants on notice the Government could introduce new laws to clamp down on extremist content online.

But The Register joked that "Executives... are said to be quaking in their boots as... Amber Rudd swoops... to read them the riot act."

Ms Rudd began her visit by warning social media companies "this is just the start" as she prepared to tackle the social media firms over terrorists' use of their platforms.

The Cabinet minister will attend the inaugural Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism in San Francisco later, as the Government continues to step up pressure on internet companies in the wake of a series of terror attacks in the UK.

It had been reported that Ms Rudd would challenge the likes of Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB - news) , Twitter (Frankfurt: A1W6XZ - news) , Microsoft (Euronext: MSF.NX - news) and Google to do more to remove extremist content.

But The Register points out that her only scheduled meeting is with executives from YouTube and Alphabet (Swiss: GOOGL-USD.SW - news) - the first owned by Google and the second Google's parent company.

Both Ms Rudd and Prime Minister Theresa May have called for an end to internet "safe spaces" in which terrorists can spread their hate.

Ms Rudd told Sky News she will urge tech companies to "work with us" to remove extremist content from the internet.

"Of course it is just one thing to talk about it, but what we want to see is real action," she said.

"And this forum is going to be a platform for delivering just that.

"The tech companies are aligned on this, with us, in wanting to make sure their platforms are not used for terrorist activity."

The Home Secretary added governments need to see "real results" on removing extremist content as she raised the prospect of new laws if companies did not act.

"We believe the best way to get this material removed from the internet is to let them show us they are doing it," she said.

"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."

As well as removing extremist content, Ms Rudd said she wanted to see internet companies increase efforts to ensure they don't let terrorists use their platforms in the first place.

"We're asking them to take action, but we will make sure that they do it," she said.

"We are not sitting back from this, this is just the start."

The Cabinet minister says she is also wants to raise the issue of encrypted messaging services, such as WhatsApp, during her trip.

Ms Rudd met UK representatives from Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter in March and won a promise that the companies would look at options for "structuring a forum" to discuss the issue.

The Register said: "Rudd's Silicon Valley trip is clearly an effort to grow those top-level connections, although how successful it will be and whether Rudd will get through the doors of organisations other than Google remains to be seen.

"The reality is that a UK government minister - even the Home Secretary - carries little weight in California."

In May, an influential group of MPs (BSE: MPSLTD.BO - news) declared internet companies are "shamefully far" from taking sufficient action to tackle hate and dangerous content on their sites.