A new, free and easy-to-use smartphone app has been launched to make it easier for people to report terrorist content which they find online.
The iREPORTit App has been funded by London’s City Hall and has been created in partnership with the National Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit.
The app enables the public to report terrorist content online quickly, easily and anonymously to the police using their smartphone.
iREPORTit uses five simple steps to get vital information about the material that the user is reporting.
The user simply needs to input the name of the app or website where the material has been spotted, along with the web address, what sort of content – such as webpages, images or videos – is being reported, how the material was found, and a ‘free text’ box for any other information that the user feels is relevant.
The anonymous reports will go directly to the national Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU), which has successfully sought the removal of hundreds of thousands of links to terrorist material and assisted more than 500 counter terrorism investigations nationally in the last two years.
The iREPORTit App has been created at a time when there has never been a greater risk of online radicalisation.
Lockdown restrictions mean people are spending more time than ever online at home, away from traditional protective role models such as teachers, friends and family, faith communities and other support networks.
The Coronavirus pandemic has seen a rise in online disinformation, which extremists of all persuasions have used to promote hate and violence.
The attacks last year in Reading and Streatham, alongside multiple plots foiled by the police and security services, have also proved that terrorism is still a real threat to our communities.
London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said:
“We know terrorists and extremists are set on exploiting the uncertainty of the pandemic for their own gain. With more people than ever at home online for longer periods, often in isolated environments, I’m determined to do everything I can to counter that threat and help keep Londoners safe.
“Working closely with the national Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit, I have funded the iREPORTit App to bridge the gap between someone seeing extremism online and being able to report it quickly and anonymously from their mobile phone.
“We know terrorism does not recognise borders so this App will be available to all Londoners and everyone across the UK. However, we urgently need the Government and tech firms to step up and do more now to prevent the rapid spread of terrorist and extremism material online. Insidious voices are growing louder online and we must all work together to counter hate, intolerance, extremism and terrorism.”
Head of Counter Terrorism Policing, Neil Basu, said:
“Every time a member of public sends the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit a link to material which is terrorist or extremist in nature, they are helping police in the international fight against terrorism.
“So I welcome this new App which offers the public another way to report material, in addition to the existing reporting tools.
“Specialist officers are ready and waiting to look at each and every single referral sent via the App.
“Where material breaches UK terrorism legislation, they will seek its removal, even if the website host is based in another country, because every piece that is removed from the Internet is no longer out in the ether, potentially radicalising vulnerable people and encouraging them to cause serious harm to others.”
To download the app, search for ‘iREPORTit’ in your devices app store.
Before you go...
We need your help. As former emergency services & armed forces personnel, we pride ourselves on bringing you important, fast-moving and breaking news stories which are free from the negative bias which is often directed at the emergency services by some sections of the mainstream media.
One of the reasons we started 'Emergency Services News' was because we became tired of reading badly informed stories about the emergency services which seemed only ever to highlight negative aspects of the job.
We want to be the unheard voice of the remarkable men and women who serve in the emergency services, NHS and armed forces. And with around 500k page views each month, we are getting there!
As income from ads, the mainstay source of income for most publishers, continues to decline; we need the help of our readers.
And remember, if you have a service, product or job vacancy that you would like to promote to our large readership, then you can buy advertising space in our articles.
You can support emergency services news from as little as £1. It only takes a minute. Every contribution, however big or small, is vital for our future.
Please help us to continue to highlight the life-saving work of the emergency services, NHS and armed forces by becoming a supporter.