A senior Google director has unveiled a plan to thwart ISIS, using the power of the web.
Jared Cohen, director of Google Ideas, says that ISIS need to be locked out of the open web. Speaking at a talk on digital counterinsurgency, Cohen said ISIS’ main strength lies in its ability to use the web and social media to promote the organisation.
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“Terrorist groups like ISIS, they operate in the dark web whether we want them to or not,” the Google lead said. “What is new is that they’re operating without being pushed back in the same internet we all enjoyed. So success looks like ISIS being contained to the dark web.”
He continued: “What ISIS is doing is reflective of the times, as opposed to some sort of new sophistication that magically appeared,” adding that ISIS has “managed to create an exaggerated sense of their size online”
ISIS has been known to use a number of prominent media outlets to spread propaganda, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Cohen said that while ISIS is “not a tech savvy organisation”, there is opportunity to damage the outfit online.
“While the digital front is more complex, it could be where we can see greater short-term wins, so we should not neglect it,” he said.
According to the UK government, intelligence agencies are removing 1,000 pieces of content that breach terrorism legislation each week.
What’s more, around 800 of these are specifically related to Syria and Iraq, and are posted to multiple platforms.
Do you think the UK needs to take a tougher stance against ISIS online? Let us know in the comments.