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How to keep extremist content offline, when it keeps popping up?

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – The so-called Islamic State may be on the run in Syria and Iraq, but “lone-wolf” extremists acting in its name continue to exploit Europe’s cyber-space to radicalise others and to facilitate attacks. The most recent major attack, on 17 August, involved extremists in Barcelona who used vehicles to kill 16 innocents and injure 150 others. According to news reports, the attackers – mostly young men – were inspired in part by online terrorist propaganda. Deleting that propaganda has become a singular focus for Western law enforcement agencies and counter-terrorist specialists, in particular images and videos showing beheadings or bomb-making instructions. But like the proverbial game of Whack-a-Mole, content suppressed on one platform simply pops up on another. However a Dartmouth professor thinks he has the answer. It’s called…

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Impact of EU’s forthcoming defence fund riddled with unknowns

By BROOKS TIGNER , BRUSSELS – The rhetoric of EU and national leaders kow-tows incessantly to the vitality and importance of SMEs – small and medium sized enterprises – for Europe’s economic innovation and job-creating potential. Yet successful innovative SMEs in the EU that soar to become giants on the world stage are few and far between. There are a couple of Skype-type exceptions, but too many of Europe’s “garage” inventors who have a good idea, particularly in the digital field, head for the greener pastures of the USA where bureaucratic obstacles are lower, returns higher and venture capitalists more willing to take risks than their European counterparts. This points directly to the EU’s forthcoming European Defence Fund (EDF) and how it will generate high-tech results within the framework of PESCO, the permanent structured cooperation in defence that 23 EU member states (and counting) will set in motion in 2018. Such projects will necessarily have to draw in dual-use innovations from the commercial realm. A critical acid test for the defence fund will be to what extent it enables SMEs with interesting dual-use products in one PESCO country to...