EU Internet Referral Unit Transparency Report for 2019
On 13 October 2020, Europol’s EU Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) published its 2019 Transparency Report. The report gives an account of the unit’s preventive activities and the investigative support it provides.
The EU IRU, which started its operations in 2015, is part of Europol’s European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC). It eports terrorist and violent extremist content to online service providers (OSPs) and provides support to EU Member States and third parties in the context of Internet investigations. In addition, it provides support to Europol’s European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) by flagging Internet content used by traffickers to offer smuggling services to migrants and refugees. Key figures of the EU IRU’s activity in 2019 are as follows:
- Assessment of the content of 25,453 terrorist/violent extremist items and 831 items promoting illegal immigration services;
- Organisation of seven Referral Action Days (RADs);
- Operational support to 251 EU Member States’ operations with the EU IRU by delivering intelligence notifications, cross-match reports, intelligence packages, preliminary forensic reports, and expertise.
Furthermore, the EU IRU generated 13 strategic and thematic reports describing trends and patterns in terrorist or violent extremist propaganda. It also produces a weekly analysis of jihadist propaganda and new dissemination techniques. Lastly, the unit runs several projects, such as SIRIUS (àeucrim news dated 17 February 2020), and drafts the EU Crisis Protocol.