G7 tells tech firms to boost efforts to combat extremism: Canada

By David Ljunggren
Security Ministers pose for a group photo on the second day of Foreign ministers meetings from G7 countries in Toronto, Ontario, Canada April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill

By David Ljunggren

TORONTO (Reuters) - The Group of Seven leading industrialized nations on Tuesday told leading tech and social media companies to ramp up efforts to combat the spread of extremism, a top Canadian official said.

G7 security ministers raised their concerns during a Toronto meeting with Facebook, Twitter Inc, Alphabet Inc's Google and Microsoft Corp, said Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

The four companies are part of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), set up last year under pressure from governments in Europe and the United States after a spate of deadly attacks.

"All through the conversation the message was ... some progress has been reported, we needed to see more," Goodale told a news conference.

Security officials say a spate of so-called lone wolf attacks around the world is in part caused by people becoming radicalized by what they see online.

"Removal of terrorist material needs to be faster ... We also want the companies to report in larger volume and in a regular way to the G7 governments," said Goodale, adding that the G7 was also keen for the companies to improve automated methods of deleting suspect material.

The GIFCT said last December that a database it had created to identify extremist content contained more than 40,000 videos or images.

The European Union last month said internet companies had three months to demonstrate they were removing extremist content more rapidly or they would face legislation forcing them to do so.

Goodale suggested the G7 reserved the right to "take other action" unless the firms moved more quickly to "get rid of this vile material off the internet".

But a source directly familiar with the meeting said the United States, which dislikes the idea of clamping down on what are predominantly American firms, made clear it had no interest in the prospect of regulation.

The four companies said they were willing to do more while adding that governments did not appreciate how technologically challenging this could be, said the source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Google and Facebook declined to comment, while the other two companies did not respond to requests for comment.

The G7 nations - the United States, Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Japan - also discussed cyber security and how to prevent attacks by militants returning to their home countries after fighting in places such as Syria and Afghanistan.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bill Trott and James Dalgleish)

  • Ontario pot consumption bill passes, cannabis available through online store
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Ontario pot consumption bill passes, cannabis available through online store

    Ontario passed its cannabis legislation Wednesday, firmly establishing the right to smoke marijuana in public in the province hours after recreational use of drug became legal across Canada. The Progressive Conservative government's bill changing previously established regulations on where recreational pot can be used was put to a final vote around 4:40 p.m. after closing statements from legislators, with 69 voting in favour and 41 against. "It's a historic day," Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said in a speech to the legislature.

  • Fall in healthcare shares pulls main index down
    News
    Reuters

    Fall in healthcare shares pulls main index down

    Canada's main stock index declined on Wednesday as the healthcare sector fell more than 6 percent, led by losses in Cannabis shares. * Canada became the first industrialized nation to legalize recreational cannabis on Wednesday, but a lawful buzz will be hard to come by in its biggest cities like Toronto and Vancouver, which will have no stores open. * Aurora Cannabis fell 11.6 percent, the most on the TSX.

  • Singer k.d. lang, 7 others to receive Alberta Order of Excellence
    News
    CBC

    Singer k.d. lang, 7 others to receive Alberta Order of Excellence

    Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell will invest the newest members of the Alberta Order of Excellence in a ceremony at Government House. Born in Edmonton and raised in the central Alberta village of Consort, the 56-year-old lang is one of Canada's most versatile and gifted singer-songwriters.

  • Banff affordable housing project chips away at projected shortfall of up to 700 units
    News
    CBC

    Banff affordable housing project chips away at projected shortfall of up to 700 units

    There are now 131 more affordable housing units in Banff to chip away at a shortfall estimated in the hundreds, but it will be about a year before it's known how much the project will actually help the problem. "The projected shortfall is between 400 and 700 units, roughly," Banff's housing sustainability manager Sharon Oakley said Wednesday.

  • Mega Millions jackpot soars to $900 million, second-highest
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Mega Millions jackpot soars to $900 million, second-highest

    The Mega Millions jackpot is now up to $900 million. Officials say no tickets matched all six numbers to claim the Mega Millions prize Tuesday night. The estimated jackpot for that drawing would be the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.

  • Nova Scotia town's sinkhole 'still considered unsafe,' officials say
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Nova Scotia town's sinkhole 'still considered unsafe,' officials say

    Emergency management officials say the area around a Nova Scotia town's sinkhole remains unsafe, three months after it first appeared in a local park. The sinkhole first appeared in mid-July as a hole the size of a dinner plate, and quickly grew to larger than 32.6 metres by 38.7 metres, swallowing up trees and picnic benches and drawing curious onlookers to Oxford, N.S. Its growth has slowed to a virtual halt in recent weeks, but new cracks keep appearing both near the sinkhole and in a nearby parking lot.

  • Uber enters trailer leasing business
    News
    Reuters

    Uber enters trailer leasing business

    Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] said on Wednesday it is entering the trailer leasing business. The business, called Powerloop, will be a part of Uber Freight, which connects truckers with shippers, the company said. Powerloop, which would rent trailers to carriers, is currently available in Texas, Uber said, adding that it expects to expand the new business to other U.S. regions.

  • All Nations Healin' Thru Artz program in Regina goes on hiatus due to lack of funding
    News
    CBC

    All Nations Healin' Thru Artz program in Regina goes on hiatus due to lack of funding

    Regina's All Nations Healin' Thru Artz (ANHTA) program has closed its doors due to a lack of funding. The after school art program for youth aged 13 to 22 was federally funded through the Department of Indigenous Services Canada. ANHTA) also received funding from organizations at the local and provincial level, but Executive Director and founder Monica Fogel said it wasn't enough to cover operational costs.

  • Chaka Khan named 2019 Rose Parade grand marshal
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Chaka Khan named 2019 Rose Parade grand marshal

    Tournament of Roses President Gerald Freeny announced the selection Wednesday. Khan will ride through Pasadena, California, in the 130th Rose Parade on New Year's Day and participate in the celebration before the 105th Rose Bowl game, which will be a college football playoff semifinal. After the announcement, Khan said she was honoured by her selection as grand marshal.

  • PHOTOS: Canada celebrates marijuana legalization with many, many puns
    Yahoo Canada News

    PHOTOS: Canada celebrates marijuana legalization with many, many puns

    Canadians from coast to coast are marking the legalization of cannabis across the country. From food companies to marijuana purchasers, pot supporters and museums, people are definitely capitalizing on hilarious weed-related marketing and social media content while celebrating their first legal puff.

  • Exclusive: Amazon zooms in on central Mexico for large new warehouse
    News
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Amazon zooms in on central Mexico for large new warehouse

    The retail titan's target is Queretaro state in the industrial center of Mexico, where it is looking to hire a developer to build a large hub, two real estate professionals familiar with Amazon's property hunt said. The expansion plan highlights Amazon's intent to plant roots beyond Mexico's bustling capital, banking on the nation's potential to grow into an e-commerce engine of Latin America. Online shopping in Mexico comprised just 3.0 percent of total sales last year, according to market research firm Euromonitor International, but it is projected to more than double by 2022, reaching $14 billion.

  • Ontario killer and rapist Paul Bernardo denied parole
    News
    CBC

    Ontario killer and rapist Paul Bernardo denied parole

    A National Parole Board panel has decided Paul Bernardo will remain behind bars. "I don't want to be here," Mahaffy said at the hearing in Millhaven Correctional Centre, east of Bath, Ont. "I do not want to be in the same room [with Bernardo]. Bernardo is serving a life sentence for the kidnapping, rapes and first-degree murders of two teenaged girls in the early 1990s, including Mahaffy's daughter, and two counts of aggravated sexual assault.

  • Get it straight: Toronto police don't want to hear about frozen meat, cell phone plans, or cannabis
    News
    Yahoo Canada News

    Get it straight: Toronto police don't want to hear about frozen meat, cell phone plans, or cannabis

    Weed is legal in Canada, in case you didn't hear. So the police don't want emergency calls about growing, smoking, or anything cannabis-related that is no longer criminal activity.

  • Yukoners line up for first legal pot sales
    News
    CBC

    Yukoners line up for first legal pot sales

    People were lined up outside of the new Cannabis Yukon retailer for roughly 30 minutes before it opened Wednesday morning, and the line kept growing through the first hour of legal sales. "Happy weed Wednesday!'" said Steve Cummings of the Yukon Liquor Corporation, as he opened the store at 11 a.m. Colin Ruttle was first in line.

  • Donna Skelly accuses Andrea Horwath of pushing her, says NDP leader needs 'anger management'
    News
    CBC

    Donna Skelly accuses Andrea Horwath of pushing her, says NDP leader needs 'anger management'

    Donna Skelly is accusing Andrea Horwath pushed her in the legislature and says the Ontario NDP leader should consider anger management classes. Horwath denies accosting the PC MPP for Flamborough-Glanbrook and claims it was Skelly who "went ballistic" when she tapped her on the shoulder. Skelly stood up during question period Wednesday and laid out her complaint before asking House Speaker Ted Arnott to determine whether Horwath breached privilege.

  • 'Brazen Botanist' sentenced to jail for plant thefts
    News
    The Canadian Press

    'Brazen Botanist' sentenced to jail for plant thefts

    A Massachusetts man who police dubbed the "Brazen Botanist" after he was captured on a surveillance camera stealing plants from a porch has pleaded guilty. The Salem News reports 43-year-old Joseph Gardner was sentenced Tuesday to one year in jail. Police say a man was seen on a doorbell camera taking hanging plants from a Salem home at around 1:30 a.m. on May 16.

  • Scheer says Canada will see 'consequences' of marijuana legalization
    Global News

    Scheer says Canada will see 'consequences' of marijuana legalization

    Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer said on Wednesday that Canada would see the "consequences" of the Liberals' marijuana legalization, saying it was pushed out too quick "without a mind to outcomes" and that they would evaluate where the problems are.

  • Canadians welcome legal pot sales, put up with supply issues on opening day
    News
    CBC

    Canadians welcome legal pot sales, put up with supply issues on opening day

    There were no major hiccups reported in the first few hours of legal recreational marijuana sales at retail locations across Canada on Wednesday, though there were signs that supply could become an issue at both shops and online points of sale. Canada is the largest country to legalize recreational use — under various conditions. Potential supply issues had been predicted.

  • 'Making a Murderer' creators respond to accusations of 'bias' ahead of part 2
    News
    The Canadian Press

    'Making a Murderer' creators respond to accusations of 'bias' ahead of part 2

    As "Making a Murderer" returns for a sequel this week, the creators insist they don't have a bias in documenting the case of Steven Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey. Part 2 of the docuseries launches Friday on Netflix as a continuation to the stories of Avery and Dassey, who are serving life sentences after being convicted in the 2005 killing of Wisconsin photographer Teresa Halbach. After the series launched in 2015 and became a global phenomenon, prosecutor Ken Kratz published a book accusing Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos of bias and fabricating information.

  • Oldest fossils on Earth? New look finds might just be rocks
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Oldest fossils on Earth? New look finds might just be rocks

    What were billed as the oldest fossils on Earth may just be some rocks, according to a new study. Two years ago, a team of Australian scientists found odd structures in Greenland that they said were partly leftovers from microbes that lived on an ancient seafloor. The Australian scientists, however, still maintain they are.

  • Puppeteer who played Big Bird on 'Sesame Street' retiring
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Puppeteer who played Big Bird on 'Sesame Street' retiring

    The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on "Sesame Street" is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show. Caroll Spinney announced in a statement Wednesday that he's handing over Big Bird and his other character, Oscar the Grouch, to younger performers. Spinney says he didn't feel like his work was important until Big Bird helped him find his purpose.

  • Calgary Stampede 2019 poster salutes women
    News
    CBC

    Calgary Stampede 2019 poster salutes women

    The Calgary Stampede poster for 2019 will be a salute to women in western culture. "The whole experience of being involved in the poster competition was surreal," said Shuttleworth in a prepared release. Shuttleworth is from Balzac, Alta. Her love for art started the moment she was able to hold a crayon.

  • Two charged over allegations they fed bears along B.C.'s Alaska Highway
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Two charged over allegations they fed bears along B.C.'s Alaska Highway

    Two people have been charged after British Columbia's Conservation Officer Service says they posted photos of themselves on social media hand feeding Timbits and hot dogs to bears. Conservation officer Sam Harris says it's alleged the man and woman were feeding bears from their vehicle as they drove along the Alaska Highway.

  • Manitoba NDP calls for inquest into Indigenous man's death on a bus
    News
    The Canadian Press

    Manitoba NDP calls for inquest into Indigenous man's death on a bus

    The leader of Manitoba's Opposition has called for an inquest into the death of an Indigenous man who died during a 10-hour bus trip for a medical appointment. Abraham Donkey of Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation was travelling from Thompson to Winnipeg for a followup appointment after a recent heart surgery. "In a circumstance like this where he was on a bus — alone — and he had just received medical treatment, and was on his way to get further treatment, it certainly raises a lot of questions," NDP Leader Wab Kinew said Wednesday.

  • 'It feels absolutely incredible to be here': 2 hikers complete epic trek to the Arctic Ocean
    News
    CBC

    'It feels absolutely incredible to be here': 2 hikers complete epic trek to the Arctic Ocean

    Two hikers on an epic adventure across the Yukon to the Arctic Ocean have finally made it. The two were greeted at the visitors centre in Tuktoyaktuk where they were joined by locals to take pictures by the Arctic Ocean. The hikers were robbed of crucial gear at Whitehorse's Robert Service campground in July and had to come up with a new cart to carry supplies up the Dempster Highway after a custom cart didn't arrive in Dawson City.