G7 leaders met on the Italian island of Ischia to discuss possibilities of blocking access to the internet by terrorists. The world's largest web companies participated in the two-day meeting and agreed to remove all jihadist content from the web within two hours of being uploaded.

It is a well-known fact that those who engage in terror-related activities make extensive use of the internet to spread their messages, arrange finances, and maintain contact with others across the globe. The reach of the internet is vast and its accessibility knows no boundaries.

A terrorist in one country can recruit an accomplice in a far-off country and guide him to carry out an act of terrorism.

Therefore, Google, Facebook, and Twitter have agreed to cooperate with G7 countries to block the spread of extremist content online.

Nip them in the bud

According to Sky News, earlier this year, Prime Minister Theresa May had indicated that it was necessary to evolve a mechanism to crack down on extremist content posted online. Her call was backed by G7 leaders and the internet giants have agreed to offload any such content within two hours of being uploaded.

G7 countries consist of the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US. They want the tech giants to realize the importance of checking the spread of terrorism.

They must strengthen counter-terror work over the internet with the intention of nipping them in the bud.

Acting US Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said that terrorists move at lightning speed and an equally fast speed is needed to tackle them.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd added that the tech companies have to concentrate on two major tasks.

They must not only remove all extremist content but must also ensure that such content is not uploaded in the first place.

Reaction of the tech giants

YouTube's owner Google has agreed that unwanted material connected to terrorist and extremist content must not spread online. They have agreed to take action in this regard, provide regular feedback to governments, and collaborate with others to arrest the menace on the internet.

The meeting of G7 leaders also focused on the global situation vis-à-vis liberation of Raqqa from the grip of ISIS. There could be threats from the jihadists making a beeline to their homelands as asylum seekers. The number of EU citizens who joined ISIS since 2014 is estimated to be in thousands and their return could pose major threats.

Apart from terror-related work, the internet is used by human smugglers who fund their illegal activities via the internet. The EU is aware of this misuse. Council President Donald Tusk has indicated that funding would be increased to address this aspect. Migrant smuggling routes are believed to be spread across the Mediterranean extending from Libya to Italy, and these groups openly advertise their services on Facebook.