GCHQ: Facebook, Twitter networks of choice for terrorists

2014-11-04 16:35
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London - Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are the "command-and-control networks of choice" for the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, the head of Britain's intelligence agency said on Tuesday.

GCHQ director Robert Hannigan alleged that the mostly US firms that run social media platforms are "in denial over the part they play in facilitating terrorism".

He demanded they cooperate more enthusiastically with intelligence services to enable better monitoring of online traffic.

"There's no need for today's would-be jihadis to seek out restricted websites with secret passwords: they can follow other young people posting their adventures in Syria as they would anywhere else," Hannigan wrote in the Financial Times.

"Techniques for encrypting messages or making them anonymous which were once the preserve of the most sophisticated criminals or nation states now come as standard."

He urged tech firms to ditch the notion they are neutral conduits of data that are above politics because "their services not only host the material of violent extremism or child exploitation but are the routes for the facilitation of crime and terrorism."

Calling for a "new deal" with web firms, the new GCHQ chief said they should be helping to protect law-abiding citizens.

"However much they may dislike it, they have become the command-and-control networks of choice for terrorists and criminals, who find their services as transformational as the rest of us."

Read more on:    gchq  |  syria  |  terrorism  |  social networks

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