G7 ministers probe threats of ‘dark’ internet in wake of daylight van attack

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TORONTO — Security ministers from the G7 countries are discussing how to fight the threats lurking in the internet’s dark spaces against the backdrop of a city reeling from Monday’s deadly van attack.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale was peppered with questions and offers of assistance from his G7 counterparts after Monday’s daylight tragedy that saw the driver of a rental van barrel through a crowd of people on a north Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 pedestrians and injuring 15.

Goodale maintains no motive for the attack has been found to link it to a national security threat, although he acknowledges that the police investigation is in its early stages.

A major focus of the final day of the G7 ministerial meeting in Toronto will be addressing violent extremism and looking at the role of the internet as a tool for training, propaganda and financing.

Goodale says he and his fellow G7 leaders will be calling on major internet service providers that are also at this meeting — Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft — to do more to prevent their platforms from being exploited.

He says it’s a conversation that started last fall during Italy’s G7 presidency, and that remains urgent.

The Canadian Press