The Netherlands is leading an EU project to combat extremism on the internet. The ‘Clean IT’ project, funded by the EU and coordinated by the Dutch national counter terrorism department. The goal is to push for a voluntary cooperation in the EU between private industry and government (enforcement) agencies when combating terrorist activities online.
The leader of the project, who would like to remain anonymous, explains that the project is a follow up to the so called Notice And Take Down Code Of Conduct already existing in The Netherlands. It promotes self-regulation in relation to online illegality.
Leaseweb’s Security Officer Alex de Joode is not particularly in favor of this project. He argues that:
1. he feels that the outcome of this project should be a document explaining to hosting providers and access providers how to deal with illegal content
2. he feels that the definition of ‘illegal’ remains problematic as well as proper procedures as to how evidence demonstrating illegal activities should be collected
3. he argues that a series of activities can be declared as illegal, but segments of a process need not be illegal (i.e. an illegal website can also contain legitimate content)
4. he feels that it is up to the judge (quoting article 54a procedures in The Netherlands) whether or not an entire chain of events can be declared as illegal
5. he feels that the discussion should not be aimed at having providers be the ones (solely) dealing with illegality online
De Joode does indicate that the website of the project is running at Leaseweb and that he has attended ‘one or two meetings’ in relation to the topic.
The project leader responds by arguing that the initiative has been launched to find ‘bottom up’ solutions, provided and supported by the industry and not forced on the private sector by government organizations. Therefore it is not a legislative effort. The parties involved limit themselves to the definition of the problem and descriptions of the internet & terrorism phenomenon.
The Clean IT Project, with its slogan ‘Fighting the illegal use of internet‘ (apparently now changed into ‘Limiting terrorist use of internet’), is a joint effort with participation of government organizations in Belgium, the UK, Germany and Spain. Europol is also contributing.
Dutch language news article:
Alex de Joode aka Usura is well known and oftentimes associated with the vox.hacktic.nl anonymous remailer, the utopia.hacktic.nl bulletin board and the Cypherpunk community discussed previously and appears a couple of times in John Young’s (Cryptome.org*) Cypherpunk list* (Google Cache*) while e-mailing from the famous anonymous remailer domain replay.com, and the sabotage.org (Societé Anonyme BOTAGE) domain. He has traditionally been associated with crypto repository zedz.net and the dizum anonymous remailer.
In the past he has single-handedly shut down a complaint center for online child abuse images, arguing that the staff of the center didn’t adhere to proper procedures nor the bylaws of the organization.
His favorite tagline appears to be: “Sed quis custodiet ipsos Custodes?” – Juvenal, Satires, VI, 347, “Who Watches The Watchmen?”
The Flaws of the Slippery Slope Arguments
*=since this information has been removed from Cryptome and Google’s cache – and information wants to be free or something like that – the full list has been copied here for your convenience:
Original location: http://cryptome.quintessenz.org/mirror/cp-who.htm
Current location: http://web.archive.org/web/20100625024638/http://jya.com/cp-who.htm