Emily Thornberry – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Home Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Emily Thornberry on 2016-03-14.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many referrals were received by the Counter-Terrorism Internet Referral Unit in each of the last five years; how many of those referrals were investigated by that unit in full; how many of those investigations led to a recommendation being made for web content to be removed; and on how many occasions web content was removed following such a recommendation.

Mr John Hayes

The Counter-Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) receive referrals from a number of sources including the public and law enforcement partners. The unit also self-generates referrals.

All referrals are assessed by CTIRU against UK terrorism legislation (Terrorism Act 2000 and 2006). Those that breach this legislation are referred to industry for removal. If industry agrees that it breaches their terms and conditions, they remove it voluntarily.

Referrals made to industry by CTIRU have led to over 150,000 pieces of terrorist-related material being removed to date from various online platforms. Overall, removals at the request of CTIRU have increased from around 60 items a month in 2010, when CTIRU was first established, to over 4000 a month in 2015.

For reasons of national security we do not publically disclose the detailed allocation of funding for counter terrorism by capability.