Google to create $5M counter-terrorism fund

Google paid Taiwanese hardware manufacturer HTC $1.1 billion to acquire smartphone staff and intellectual property. Photo: by Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Sept. 20 (UPI) — Google announced Wednesday it will launch a $5 million innovation fund to counter terrorism worldwide.

The search giant said in a statement it plans on giving an initial grant of $1.3 million to the Institute of Strategic Dialogue, a British counter-extremist organization.

Officials said the donation will help leaders from Britain’s technology, academic, and charity sectors develop projects to fight terrorism.

“Over the next two years, this funding will support technology-driven solutions, as well as grassroots efforts like community youth projects that help build communities and promote resistance to radicalization,” said Kent Walker, a Google senior vice president.

Wednesday’s announcement came as British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni prepared to raise awareness to the issue at meetings with Google — as well as Facebook and Microsoft — on the sidelines at the U.N. General Assembly.

“Industry needs to go further and faster in automating the detection and removal of terrorist content online, and developing technological solutions which prevent it being uploaded in the first place,” May will tell the companies, according to prepared remarks.

Walker, Facebook Head of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert and Microsoft Strategic Policy Advisor Dave Heiner will represent the companies at the United Nations.

“By funding experts like ISD, we hope to support sustainable solutions to extremism both online and offline,” Walker said.

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