A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

START Director participates in Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) Global Summit

Last month, START Director William Braniff participated in the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) Global Summit in the San Francisco Bay Area as a member of their Independent Advisory Committee.

The GIFCT is an independent industry body created initially as a joint enterprise by Facebook, Twitter, Google/YouTube and Microsoft to counter terrorism in the online space. Braniff has held an advisory role on the GIFCT Independent Advisory Committee (IAC) for two years.

The IAC is comprised of a cross section of individuals from academic institutions such as Stanford University and Swansea University, international government representatives and civil society members who focus on issues like freedom of speech and civil liberties. The goal of the IAC is to advise the Operating Board of the GIFCT, and by extension help inform the Executive Director of GIFCT, former National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) Director Nicholas J. Rasmussen, and his staff.

“Standing up an international NGO that solicits and delivers both intellectual and pragmatic contributions from a global, multi-stakeholder community involving governments, academia, civil society and tech companies during a pandemic is no small feat,” Braniff said. “Spending three days together thinking about the organizational, technological and policy-oriented challenges was both really gratifying and somewhat daunting, but everyone at the table was primarily interested in minimizing the harm of extremist exploitation of tech platforms while respecting human rights.”

Output from GIFCT includes the new Definitions and Principles Framework Project, topical output on technical approaches, transparency, crisis response, positive interventions, legal frameworks and algorithmic amplification produced by multisectoral  GIFCT working groups, and research from the GIFCT’s Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET).