Page last updated at 13:17 GMT, Monday, 1 February 2010

Home Office targets terror-related websites

Internet terror clampdown
The clampdown on terrorism on the web aims to empower the public

Details of terror-related websites can now be reported directly to the police under a move to fight extremism.

The Home Office pilot scheme will allow the public to report suspicious sites via a dedicated DirectGov webpage.

A police team will then investigate and if necessary remove any sites using powers under the Terrorism Act 2006.

The scheme is designed to make the web a more hostile place for terrorists who post material such as beheading videos or bomb- and weapon-making guides.

'Accepted boundaries'

The new police team has been set up within the Prevent Delivery Unit (PDU) of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

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.

Bomb- and weapon-making instructions
Guide to making poisons
Beheading videos with glorification messages
Material inciting racial or religious violence
Chat forums inciting terrorism or hate crimes

"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.

"The internet is not a lawless forum and should reflect the legal and accepted boundaries of society."

The webpage will also advise people how to safeguard themselves from offensive material by using filter software or by reporting it to a website administrator.

The PDU's co-ordinator, Assistant Chief Constable John Wright, said extremists can and do use the internet to train would-be terrorists and plan operations.

He said: "Communities have a vital role to play in helping to tackle terrorist and violent extremist use of the internet...

"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 internet."

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