In the past three weeks over 350 people have been killed and many more injured due to senseless attacks by ISIS in Paris and Sinai, Egypt. The world is becoming more dangerous by the day with social media playing an influential role in the chaos.
Today, countries around the world face a threat unlike anything they’ve seen before, and many are struggling with just how to deal with ISIS propaganda and prevent such rhetoric from touching their citizens, poisoning their psyche, and pushing them towards evil.
ISIS vs Gold Mining
When you really think about it, monitoring ISIS activity and extracting nuggets of valuable information is really no different than gold mining where tons of material are run through trommels and sleuce boxes to, in the end, churn out something of value. Intelligence agencies have a haystack of data and work tirelessly to strike gold.
According to FBI Director James Comey, “The challenge we face is finding those needles in a nationwide haystack, assessing where they are on a spectrum between consuming this poison and acting on it, and disrupting them before they act.”
The Whac-A-Mole Approach
Mainly up until this point, the intelligence community has taken a Whac-A-Mole approach very similar to the classic arcade game developed back in 1975 in which plastic moles (aka ISIS sympathizers) pop out of holes at random and the player’s goal is to hit them with a mallet. Once struck, another appears.
The big disconnect: Using intelligence capabilities to first identify moles then hammer them into oblivion works, but it doesn’t stop new ones from rearing their ugly heads. It also doesn’t ensure every mole will be seen in time. The game needs to be dissected and unplugged altogether.
Utilizing Digital Roadblocks
Instead of relying on mining to produce golden intelligence or operations to infiltrate arcades and destroy plastic moles, what if we could disrupt the entire manufacturing process – the roadmap to radicalization.
There’s a reason why roadblocks are used throughout the world on a regular basis ranging from being placed at military checkpoints to preventing drivers from falling into sinkholes. By erecting digital roadblocks we have the ability to counter/halt certain communications, including the spread of pro-ISIS propaganda, and also funnel select individuals to desired destinations: dark areas of the internet where they will meet their fate.