ISIS and other militant groups use social media to disseminate propaganda, recruit, and organize. In the wake of deadly shootings in Paris last month and California last week, both of which have been treated as terrorist attacks, U.S. lawmakers have moved to enlist technology companies to assist law enforcement in fighting terrorism.
“I will urge high-tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice, ” President Obama promised while addressing the nation from the Oval Office on Sunday night.
On Monday, Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) proposed a special congressional committee to focus “on security and technology challenges in the digital age, ” which would include technology company executives as well as representatives from academia, law enforcement, and civil liberties groups. Senator Dianne Feinstein, meanwhile, promised to reintroduce legislation that would require social media platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook to report online terrorist activity to federal authorities. The measure had been introduced as part of another bill, but was not included in the final Senate version.