European Union responses to terrorist use of the Internet

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17 Citations (Scopus)


The Internet has had a transformative effect in modern societies, becoming an empowering tool for individuals and an increasingly indispensable part of citizens’ lives. Yet, like any technology, the Internet also has negative ramifications. For instance, violent groups and networks can exploit it in a variety of ways including the planning of operations, establishing communications, circulation of propaganda, training and recruiting new members, and raising funds. In light of the above, terrorists’ use of the Internet is an area that has started to attract attention from European institutions. So far, the EU response has concentrated on raising critical communication infrastructure resilience standards to prevent potential cyber-attacks. Yet, these efforts have, in reality, been motivated by security concerns regarding acts of cyber-espionage, cyber-crime, and cyber-sabotage rather than hitherto hypothetical attacks of terrorist origin. On the other hand, other malicious uses of the Internet by terrorist groups have received comparatively less attention. However, this does not make these policies unimportant. Far from it. Some initiatives at the European level of the EU designed to undermine online radicalisation, embryonic as they are, may have failed already to balance the need for effective action against the obligation to protect Internet users’ privacy rights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-268
JournalCooperation and Conflict
Issue number2
Early online date1 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Counter-terrorism
  • European Union
  • Internet
  • Terrorism


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