More reports on: Defence general

Silicon Valley to advise security officials on terrorists' use of social media

08 January 2016

Senior White House officials and US intelligence and law enforcement figures are to meet with Silicon Valley executives today to discuss how to counter the use of social media by militant groups, Reuters reported.

According to commentators, pressure had ben building up on technology firms to do more to combat online propaganda from groups such as the Islamic State. The meeting comes after attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, that pointed to the role played by social media companies such as Twitter Inc, Alphabet Inc's YouTube and Facebook Inc.

Among those invited to the meeting are White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, presidential counter-terrorism adviser Lisa Monaco, attorney general Loretta Lynch, FBI director James Comey, National Intelligence director James Clapper and National Security Agency director Mike Rogers, according to one of the sources. 

According to the report, it would focus on social media content, not encrypted communications, another topic of discussion between Silicon Valley and the White House.

Twitter, Apple Inc, Facebook and Google have confirmed attendance a number of internet firms, including Microsoft Corp and Dropbox, are expected to attend, according to those familiar with the meeting.

Reuters was the first to report on the upcoming summit.

"The White House sees Silicon Valley as an integral part of fighting the propaganda from ISIL and other groups," an unnamed White House official told BuzzFeed News. "There needs to be a concerted effort to fight the ISIL propaganda."

Cook has made his stand on consumer protection and government surveillance clear. According to Cook, removing Apple's existing strong encryption safeguards could do more harm than good.

"Terrorists will encrypt. They know what to do," Cook said in a February interview. "If we don't encrypt, the people we affect [by cracking down on privacy] are the good people. They are the 99.999 percent of people who are good."

He added, "You don't want to eliminate everyone's privacy. If you do, you not only don't solve the terrorist issue but you also take away something that is a human right. The consequences of doing that are very significant."

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