The new “super flagger” powers underline growing concern among governments that are scrambling to contain the proliferation of jihadist material prompted by the war in Syria but are likely to stir concern among civil liberties campaigners.
Western spymasters now cite the radicalisation of their own citizens who go to fight against Bashar al-Assad’s regime as their leading terrorism concern. An estimated 2,000 fighters, including 400 from Britain, have gone from European countries to Syria.
The YouTube permissions that Google has given the Home Office include the power to flag swaths of content “at scale”, instead of only picking out individual videos.
They are partly a response to a blitz from UK security authorities to persuade internet service providers, search engines and social media sites to censor more of their own content for extremist material, even if it does not always break laws.
The UK’s security and immigration minister, James Brokenshire, told the Financial Times the government has to do more to deal with material “that may not be illegal but certainly is unsavoury and may not be the sort of material that people would want to see or receive.”
Mr Brokenshire said issues being considered by the government included a “code of conduct” for internet service providers and companies.
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Casualty of mass immigration of Muslim: free speech.