Tech companies must define terrorism rather than relying on UN and country designation lists, says a report from experts from across the globe launched by the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism.

The report set minimum legal standards to guide tech companies on the most coherent approach, prompting discussion about problems with some nation’s laws, including Australia’s definition.

The inclusion of religion as a cause or motive of terrorism was explicitly recommended against as being inconsistent with terrorism law and human rights.

Australia, NZ, Canada, UK and Facebook are the only countries and company in the world to formally endorse ISIS as ‘religious-motivated.’

Removing ‘religious cause’ would ‘reduce the likelihood of law or policy being used to further misconceptions and create counterproductive outcomes.’

Care is taken not to give ‘undue credence’ to ‘self-proclaimed values’ when it comes to white supremacy. The ‘same logic and approach should apply across the board.’

GIFCT could prompt change by making the development of terrorism definitions by tech companies a requirement of membership.

The Five Eye Governments (except for the US) must also update their terrorism definitions to focus on political and ideological motives alone.

The GIFCT report, ‘The interoperability of Terrorism Definitions,’ can be downloaded here.