Britain could impose new taxes on tech giants like Google and Facebook, unless they do more to fight online extremism by destroying documents to radicalise them or prepare for them. attacks.
Ben Wallace accused technology companies of being happy to sell people's data, but not to give them to the government, which was forced to spend considerable sums on deradicalization, monitoring and maintenance programs. Other anti-terrorist measures.
"If they continue to be less than cooperative, we should be looking at things like tax as a way to incite them or compensate for their inaction," Wallace told the Sunday Times newspaper in an interview.
His quotes did not give more details about tax plans. The newspaper said any request would take the form of an exceptional tax similar to that imposed on privatized utilities by the government of former Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1997.
Wallace accused tech giants of placing private profit before public safety.
"We should stop pretending that because they are sitting on beanbags in T-shirts, they are not ruthless profiteers," he said. "They will ruthlessly sell our details to loan and soft-porn companies but not give them to our democratically elected government."
Facebook leader Simon Milner rejected critics.
"Mr. Wallace is wrong to say that we put profit before security, especially in the fight against terrorism," he said in a statement sent by email. "We have invested millions of pounds in people and technology to identify and suppress terrorist content."
YouTube, which belongs to Google, said it was doing more every day to combat violent extremism.
"During the year 2017, we have made significant progress by investing in machine learning technology, recruiting more reviewers, building partnerships with experts and collaborating with other people. Other companies ".
Britain suffered a series of attacks by Islamic extremists between March and June this year that killed a total of 36 people, excluding the attackers.
Two involved vehicles rammed people on bridges in London, followed by assailants stabbing people. The most lethal, bombing at a concert in the city of Manchester in the north of the country, has killed 22 people.
Following the second bombing, Prime Minister Theresa May proposed to tighten cyberspace regulations and, a few weeks later, Interior Minister Amber Rudd went to California to ask Silicon Valley to intensify its efforts against extremism.
"We are more vulnerable than ever in the last 100 years," Wallace said, citing extremist articles on social media and encrypted email services like WhatsApp as tools that made life too easy for attackers .
"Because the content is not shot as quickly as possible, we have to de-radicalize people who have become radicalized, it costs millions, they can not get away with it and we should consider all options, including taxes. "
Facebook reported having removed 83% of the downloaded copies of terrorist content in the hour that followed its discovery on the social media network.
He also outlined plans to double the number of people working in his security and safety teams to 20,000 by the end of 2018.
YouTube said that advances in machine learning meant that 83 percent of violent extremist content was removed without users having to report it.