Clean IT final symposium took place in Brussels

The Clean IT project came to an end on Wednesday 30 January with a final symposium in Brussels, in the presence of several speakers, participants and interested parties involved. Theo Bot, the Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security presented the Clean IT final results to Gilles de Kerchove, the EU Counterterrorism Coordinator, on behalf of all project partners. De Kerchove expressed his support and gratitude for the work done in Clean IT: “The CLEAN IT project fits into wider EU activities very well. The fact that the project has resulted in a set of ‘general principles’ that can serve as a code of conduct both for public and private partners is entirely in line with our thinking. The list of voluntary ‘best practices’, which remains entirely the responsibility of each organisation, is also a very pragmatic approach with a view to any future new legislation.”

Governments are still searching for new responses to the use of the internet for terrorist purposes. The goal of Clean IT was to explore possibilities in this area that do not infringe upon fundamental rights and freedoms of individual internet users, by way of public-private dialogue. In the two years of the project’s existence, a total of 110 persons from more than 15 countries participated in this dialogue. They came from ministries, security services, Internet Service Providers, ICT companies, non-governmental organisations, political parties, end user groups and academic institutions. German and Swiss branches of the Pirate Party were also represented. The distinguishing quality of the final document is that it was co-created by private and public parties together. Project manager But Klaasen stressed that this working method is new to the field of counterterrorism and has proved promising as a way of achieving lasting and supported solutions to highly complex problems.

According to Arda Gerkens, former member of parliament and currently director of computer society HCC, public-private dialogue is the only way forward. She emphasized the complexity of the subject matter and the need for an innovative approach. Anna Tsitsina, counterterrorism advisor at the Council of Europe, supported the Clean IT participants’ wish to give the dialogue a more permanent character. There is yet a long way to go, but the standards we are familiar with in our daily lives must be applied in cyberspace as well. The Clean IT working method was commended by Jovan Kurbalija, founder and director of the DiploFoundation, as well. The project strengthens his view that the European Union is a leading player in the field of internet governance.

Ars Technica journalist and critical Clean IT commentator Cyrus Farivar took the floor as symposium moderator. His provocative statements immediately highlighted the complexity of the matter. Maura Conway of Dublin City University asserted that there is a lot of confusion caused by a lack of fitting vocabulary for the phenomenon of terrorist use of the internet. She called to attention therefore the VoxPol project, which follows up closely on one of the Clean IT recommendations.

The afternoon concluded with at least one communal point of view: namely that cooperation in this field must be carried forward. Clean IT has come to an end in a technical sense, but many parties would like to see a continuation of the dialogue. Both public and private parties must first, however, be allowed to further study the Clean IT results. In any case, one thing is clear to all participants: when it comes to terrorist use of the internet, doing nothing is no longer an option.

Italy joined Clean IT Consortium

The Italian minister of Homeland Affairs, Annamaria Canellieri, announced that Italy formally joined the Clean IT project. For more information (in Italian) click here.

Final document Clean IT published

In several international meetings over the last 20 months government and private sector representatives discussed the problem of terrorist use of the Internet and possible measures to reduce this. The result of this public-private dialogue has now been published.

The Clean IT meetings were attended by 110 participants from governments (25%), the Internet/technology industry (37%), NGO’s and end-users (11%), academics (15%) and law enforcement agencies (12%) in the European Union. Many others from the Internet community and people or organizations related to the participants took the opportunity to comment online on the draft reports that were published after each meeting.

The dialogue resulted in a problem analysis of terrorist use of the Internet, a set of nine general principles that determine conditions for any action taken to reduce terrorist use of the Internet and a list of best practices. As Clean IT is not set up as a binding form of cooperation, any future implementation can only be voluntary and according to existing laws and regulations.

The final document can be downloaded here (pdf). The report will be presented to EU Counter Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove at Clean IT’s final symposium on January 30th in Brussels.

Invitation to Clean IT final symposium

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to the Clean IT final symposium on Wednesday 30 January 2013 in Brussels. In this final symposium, we will be reflecting on the experiences we shared, the results we achieved and ways to take these forward in the future.

The symposium is open for attendance to all project participants and any other interested persons or organizations. Please note that we only have room for a limited number of participants and registration will close when we reach the maximum capacity.

For more information about the symposium, programme and registration, please look at:

Invitation and draft programme (pdf)

Clean IT in the European Parliament

At the end of September and early October 2012, several questions were asked in the European Parliament about Clean IT:

  • 25 September 2012 by Josef Weidenholzer (S&D) (link)
  • 27 September 2012 by Robert Goebbels (S&D) (link)
  • 4 October 2012 by Rui Tavares (Verts/ALE) (link)

The answers of Ms Malmström on behalf of the European Commsision are available here.

New draft document for Vienna workshop

A new version of the Clean IT draft document is now available.This document will be used as input for the Clean IT conference in Vienna. After the Vienna conference, the document will be finalised.

Download the document: CLEAN IT DRAFT DOCUMENT 077pub


Clean IT in Bundestag

The Ministry of Internal Affairs in Germany answered to parliamentary questions about Clean IT. You can download the complete document (in german) here: Bundestag_Clean_IT.


Inside Clean IT

For more information about the discussions during Clean IT events, see this article in the pirate times.

For the full text of the Clean IT presentation during the RIPE NCC conference in Amsterdam (Anti Abuse Working Group) on september 27, click here: speech Clean IT projectteam at RIPE NCC 65 on 270912.

Glyn Moody about Clean IT project

After EDRI publishing a “not for publication” document,  Clean IT was on social media compared with ACTA and accused of negociating behind closed doors. See for more clarification our FAQ page and the online discussion between projectmanager But Klaasen and technology writer Glyn Moody.

PDF:  tweetdiscussion moody_klaasen_20120923

Recent interviews with project manager

Between the workshops in Berlin (June) and Utrecht (September) some interviews are published with project manager But Klaasen. Here are the links:

  • First article in ITnews by Brett Winterford
  • Second article in ITnews by Brett Winterford
  • Article in Ars Technica by Cyrus Farivar
  • Article (in french) in OWNI by Pierre Alonso


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