Apple is in a heated battle with the FBI over whether the technology giant should create a backdoor to access Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone, which was used during the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. We all understand the dilemma from both sides, however there’s a bigger problem: 14 people are dead and 22 were injured in the attack.
It’s unfortunate to see yet another reactive approach to intelligence gathering after the fact as opposed to an aggressive, proactive campaign that focuses on identifying online propaganda or threats, assessing the validity of such chatter, and ultimately working to counter the ISIS narrative.
Something more has to be done to disrupt the radicalization process so court battles don’t revolve around privacy issues and accessing a dead terrorist’s phone, but instead holding them accountable before harm is done and innocent lives are lost.
Madison Valleywood Project: Too Little, Too Late
On one hand Apple is battling the U.S. government, but on the other they’re working with the Department of Justice to find creative ways to counter ISIS propaganda on social media. During the first meeting that took place, they were joined by around 50 technology companies and community groups as well as representatives from multiple government agencies.
The problem: Why are we now coming together to find solutions that have been a major issue for the past 3-4 years and have resulted in hundreds if not thousands of deaths? Social media isn’t going away and numerous studies, including all of Soteria Intelligence’s research, show social media threats ranging from terrorist activity to threats against schools will continue to spike year after year.
As we have said many times before, countering terrorist propaganda on social media is like running a cutthroat marketing campaign for a Fortune 100 company dead set on crushing competitors. And fortunately, we have done that.