In this paper, I review some of the discussions about the politics of the internet and relate them to our most recent understanding of rapidly evolving Violent Transnational Social Movements (VTSMs). I frame the analysis in terms of the key actors involved in shaping and governing the internet, organised as a triumvirate of citizen, state and internet service provider (ISP). I conclude that the internet may not be as powerful a force in shaping democracy as we may think, although further research and experience of a rapidly evolving situation will be critical. I also suggest that the state has more power to shape the situation to its interests than we might suppose, and this has a major bearing on the formulation of counter-extremism policy and strategy.
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