The public will be
able to report suspected terror-related and violent extremist
websites to the police in a new online scheme launched by the Home
A dedicated DirectGov webpage will be linked to a new national
police team within the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)
Prevent Delivery Unit who can investigate offensive and extremist sites.
The pilot scheme aims to make the internet a more hostile
environment for terrorists and violent extremists who seek to
exploit modern technology.
If a website meets the threshold for illegal content, officers
can exercise powers under section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006 to
take it down.
Security Minister Lord West said:
"We want to protect people who may be vulnerable to
violent extremist content and will seek to remove any unlawful material.
"This is also about empowering individuals to tell them
how they can make a civic challenge against material that they
find offensive, even if it is not illegal.
internet is not a lawless forum and should reflect the legal and
accepted boundaries of society."
Assistant Chief Constable John Wright, national coordinator for
"Used in the right way the internet is an extremely
positive communications tool. However it also means that
terrorists and violent extremists can, and do, use it to influence
and train would-be terrorists, and to plan their operations.
"Communities have a vital role to play in helping to
tackle terrorist and violent extremist use of the internet - and
we would encourage the public to refer material to the police
through this new online reporting webpage.
"This new unit will investigate referrals from the
public, proactively seek out illegal material on websites and work
closely with industry to make it harder for terrorists to exploit
The webpage will also advise people how they can protect
themselves from offensive material, for example by reporting it to
the website administrator or the hosting company, or using
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The police have powers under TACT 2006 to seek the
modification or removal of unlawful terrorism related material on
the internet (section 3 of TACT 2006). This allows them to issue a
notice to the individual(s) responsible for the material,
requesting that it be removed or modified within 2 working days.
Non-compliance with such a notice is not an offence in itself, but
failure to comply removes the defence of non-endorsement for
section 1 and 2 TACT 2006 offences (i.e. encouragement to commit,
prepare, instigate acts of terrorism and distribution of terrorist publications).
2. The Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006 made it illegal to:
* have or to share information that could be useful to
* share information that urges people to
commit or help with acts of terrorism, or to glorify (praise) terrorism.
Information that might be useful to terrorists can, include:
* bomb-making instructions;
* guides to making poisons;
* instructions on how to make weapons; and
* guides to targets.
Illegal violent extremist content
Some violent extremist content is also illegal. This might include:
* videos of beheadings with messages of
'glorification' or praise for the attackers;
* speeches or essays calling for racial or religious violence;
* messages intended to stir up hatred against any religious or
ethnic group; and
* chat forums with postings calling for people to commit acts of
Illegal hate content
The content of a website is illegal when it threatens or harasses
a person or a group of people because of their race, religion,
sexual orientation, disability or gender identity. That could be
in words, pictures, videos, and even music.
Illegal hate content might include:
* messages calling for racial or religious violence;
* web pages that show pictures, videos or descriptions of
violence against people due to their race, religion, disability,
sexual orientation or gender identity; and
* chat forums where people ask other people to commit hate crimes.
Home Office Press Office
Phone: 020 7035 3535