Belgium to spend 6.8 billion Euros on super software to counter extremist content online

Belgium specified that the technology was to be used by federal and state police and the Defence Ministry to uncover and track terrorists online.


Belgium is to spend 6.8 million euros ($7.6 billion) on a so-called supersoftware to identify terrorists who browse web pages with extremist content, a minister said.

On his official Twitter account on Monday, Interior Minister Jan Jambon posted a link to a news article by local daily De Standaard which specified that the technology was to be used by federal and state police and the Defence Ministry to uncover and track terrorists online, Efe news reported.

Last year, federal police created an Internal Referral Unit to patrol online, detect extremist propaganda, find the perpetrators online and prosecute them.

But Jambon's spokesman Olivier Van Raemdonck said that the unit, which currently has 20 agents but is to be expanded to around 30, is too small to combat the problem on its own.

"Therefore the council of ministers decided this year to purchase 'supersoftware' that automatically detects web pages linked to criminal acts," he said.

Ministers approved the budget for the software at the start of this year, months after a terror attack on a Brussels metro station and the airport left 32 people dead in March 2016.

The money is to be used to buy it as well as setting it up to detect extremist propaganda.


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