Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 12 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Pancras
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

UK Spy Chief Says Web is Command Center for Terror

AP

<div class="texteditor viewFieldValue" id="caption">&nbsp;</div> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Aleteia - published on 11/04/14

US tech groups must help fight, intelligence officer warns

LONDON (AP) — U.S.-based social media have become "command-and-control networks" for terrorists and criminals, and tech companies are in denial about their misuse, the new head of Britain’s electronic eavesdropping agency said.

Writing in Tuesday’s Financial Times, GCHQ chief Robert Hannigan said British intelligence agencies know that Islamic State extremists use messaging services like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to reach their peers with ease. He said spy agencies need to have greater support from the U.S. technology companies which dominate the Web in order to fight militants and those who host material about violent extremism and child exploitation.

"However much (tech companies) may dislike it, they have become the command-and-control networks of choice for terrorists and criminals." he wrote.

Twitter declined to comment on the story. Facebook — which owns WhatsApp — had no immediate comment.

Yet the problem is larger than the question of social media, said Thomas Rid, professor of security studies at King’s College London. Companies like Apple, cognizant of the privacy concerns of its customers, are installing powerful encryption programs on their devices. That leaves agencies like GCHQ facing the onset of encryption on a massive scale.

"You cannot make the Internet super safe and keep it unsafe for pedophiles and terrorists," Rid said of GCHQ’s dilemma.

Although Edward Snowden’s leaks have focused the world attention on the mass surveillance powers of the National Security Agency, Snowden has accused GCHQ of being far more aggressive.

Hannigan said intelligence agencies need to enter the public debate about privacy.

Eva Galperin of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an online privacy group that is partly funded by tech companies, told BBC radio that intelligence agencies’ "powers are already immense. I think that asking for more is really quite disingenuous."

Tags:
Social MediaTerrorism
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
2
SAINTS
Meg Hunter-Kilmer
Saints to help if Mother’s Day is hard
3
MOTHER OF ASIA - TOWER OF PEACE
J-P Mauro
Philippines finishes construction of largest Marian statue in the...
4
MOTHER SHORT FILM
Zoe Romanowsky
Moving 1-minute film about motherhood will touch your heart
5
FIRST LOOK
Sarah Robsdottir
Dad’s priceless reaction to newborn goes viral
6
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
3 Signs of a spiritual attack on your soul
7
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.