White House asks Silicon Valley for help against terrorism

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Silicon Valley Execs Visit White House
Top US government officials – White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, secretary of homeland security Jeh Johnson and Tony Blinken of the state department – about 20 minutes before the scheduled start of the meeting. Photograph: © Julia Carrie Wong for the Guardian

The White House has created a task force to combat extremism in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino. The task force will, formed under the Department of Homeland Security, will include representatives of the Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Counterterrorism Center.

“The horrific attacks in Paris and San Bernardino this winter underscored the need for the United States and our partners in the international community and the private sector to deny violent extremists like ISIL fertile recruitment ground”, said National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price.

Silicon Valley discusses terrorism at the White House

The development comes as government officials last week met with Silicon Valley execs in San Jose to discuss how the private and public sectors can work together to counter violent extremism online. Militant groups have been using social media like Facebook and Twitter to spread their propaganda.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, counter terrorism and Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco and Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith met with representatives from Apple, Facebook and Twitter. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook is said to have been one of those attending.

In a briefing document given to participants, the White House outlined the need for credible voices to speak out online against the Islamic State and terrorism more broadly online. It notes there’s a shortage of compelling content — and it’s often not as slickly produced or effectively distributed as the recruitment materials from ISIS.

“Many of the leading and credible voices that might counter ISIL lack the content-generation and social media prowess that would be required to counter ISIL online”, according to the document which was obtained by tech site Re/code.

SOURCE: Re/code.

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