AFTER last weekend’s terrorist attack in London Theresa May, declared that “enough is enough.” She was not suggesting that some reasonable amount of terrorism had now been exceeded; rather, that extremism had been too readily tolerated in the past. She specifically criticised the big internet firms. “We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed,” she said, adding that Britain and its allies needed to “regulate cyberspace to prevent terrorist and extremist planning”.
The threats Mrs May and other political leaders identify online are twofold. The first is the extremist material that spews from jihadist websites and chat-rooms and spreads across social media. The second is terrorists’ ability to communicate via encrypted messaging apps. Together, they create an online echo chamber that amplifies anti-Western messages and helps propel a few individuals on their journey towards murder.