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US government worried as more Americans wooed by Islamic State online

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jul 29, 2015 1:40 pm

More US citizens are being stopped as they try to leave the country, in an effort to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

 

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FBI Director James Comey admits the group's recruitment efforts using social media is successful, as they recruit "troubled souls." IS has been able to radicalize potential recruits from across the world, and those responsible for running the accounts are quick to create new online profiles if one is taken down.

 

"What worries me most is that ISIL's investment in social media - which has been blossoming in the last six to eight weeks in particular - will cause a significant increase in the number of incidents that we will see," Comey said while speaking at a national security conference. "That's what I worry about all day long."

Continue reading 'US government worried as more Americans wooed by Islamic State online' (full post)

US official: Time to battle Islamic State's social media abilities

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jul 27, 2015 10:30 pm

Republican House representative Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, believes it's time for the United States to begin striking back against the Islamic State's cyber commanders.

 

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"What they are saying is 'attack military installations and attack police officers,'" said McCaul, while speaking on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos. "The chatter is so loud and the volume so high that it's a problem that's very hard to stop and disrupt in this country."

 

"We need to take the fight over there a little stronger. And we need to hit these guys, these cyber commanders, that are sending these Internet directives out to attack, attack, attack in the United States." However, trying to figure out how to "take the fight" to Islamic State in the online world will be rather challenging - there are at least 100,000 Tweets per day from 50,000 suspected Islamic State-influenced Twitter accounts.

Continue reading 'US official: Time to battle Islamic State's social media abilities' (full post)

The digital war against the Islamic State is a struggle for the US

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jul 20, 2015 11:40 am

The Islamic State is facing daily problems trying to keep ground in Iraq and Syria, but has had little trouble on the Internet. The group is able to use Twitter and other social networking services to recruit, spread propaganda, and terrorize opponents in a clever twist on public relations.

 

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Islamic State wasn't the first group to spread propaganda and expand extremism using the Internet, but its savvy social media abilities caught Western intelligence officials off-guard. There are thousands of Twitter users posting and retweeting extremist material - and resources simply outmatch that of the State Department's Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, for example.

 

"Online, we move too slowly and know too little to combat this generation of Web-native jihadists," said Jane Harman, former Democratic member of the House of Representatives, in a Washington Post op-ed. "We've failed to mobilize tech and messaging talent to counter the Islamic State on social media. This country built Silicon Valley, we shouldn't need computer lessons from 7th-century thugs. It's past time to bring our counter-narrative up to date."

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Police officer fired after Confederate flag boxers selfie found on FB

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jun 27, 2015 10:00 pm

An officer from the North Charleston Police Department has been fired after he foolishly posted a picture in which he was wearing nothing but Confederate flag boxer shorts. Not surprisingly, the post by former Sgt. Shannon Dildine - which was online for a few days - quickly spread on the Internet, and found its way to his commanding officers.

 

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"Your posting in this manner led you to being publicly identified as a North Charleston Police officer and associated both you and the Department with an image that symbolizes hate and oppression to a significant portion of the citizens we are sworn to serve," said Police Chief Eddie Driggers, in a termination letter to Sgt. Dildine.

 

Following a violent gun incident in which nine black worshippers were killed in a South Carolina church by a self-proclaimed white supremacist, the Confederate flag has become a topic of national debate. Even for those arguing the officer has the right to free speech, he clearly lacked a bit of common sense by posting the picture.

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Around 100,000 Tweets from Islamic State-linked accounts per day

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jun 26, 2015 6:04 pm

Europol has dedicated itself to the difficult task of fighting the Islamic State online, as there are around 100,000 daily tweets from up to 50,000 accounts with links to the terrorist group. Europol officially starts its operation on July 1, and wants to take down Islamic State-linked accounts within two hours following identification.

 

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"Who is it reaching out to young people, in particular, by social media, to get them to come, in the first place? It's very difficult because of the dynamic nature of social media," said Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, in a statement to the Guardian.

 

Trying to fight IS online has proven difficult, with more interest from the Western world - but the United States has struggled in its efforts. There are no easy answers, and it will take cooperation from regular Twitter users, and continued vigilance from intelligence experts.

Continue reading 'Around 100,000 Tweets from Islamic State-linked accounts per day' (full post)

Google wants to fight 'inhuman' Islamic State social media videos

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jun 24, 2015 8:21 am

Google wants to fight back against the Islamic State's "viral moment" that has been effective in posting rather disgusting and gruesome videos and images on social media.

 

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The Internet giant wants to allow users to be educated about the barbaric and violent actions of the Islamic State, but doesn't want to serve as a distribution method for beheading videos and other content.

 

"ISIS is having a viral moment on social media and the countervailing viewpoints are nowhere near strong enough to oppose them," said Victoria Grand, policy director at Google, while speaking during the Cannes Lions advertising festival. "ISIS, in particular, has been putting up footage that is inhuman and atrocious. We are still seeing about two or three of these beheadings each week. They are heeding advice from a decade before from Osama bin Laden and they are taking it to another level using social media."

Continue reading 'Google wants to fight 'inhuman' Islamic State social media videos' (full post)

Europol trying to combat Islamic State social media recruiting efforts

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jun 23, 2015 4:40 am

Europol wants to combat the Islamic State online, trying to keep track of almost 50,000 Twitter accounts with suspected ties to the terrorist organization. The United States seems to doubt its own ability to fight IS online, and the group continues to recruit new fighters and young women into its ranks in Iraq and Syria.

 

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If all goes according to plan, the new efforts would be able to shutdown Twitter accounts within two hours of creation - and is designed to be an "effective way of combating the problem," said Rob Wainright, director of Europol, in a statement to BBC.

 

However, trying to identify and track all social media accounts with suspected IS ties is not feasible. "We will have to combine what we see online, with our own intelligence and that is shared with us by European police services, so we can be a bit more targeted and identify who the key user accounts are... and concentrate on closing them down."

Continue reading 'Europol trying to combat Islamic State social media recruiting efforts' (full post)

North Korea blacklists Instagram, denying access to residents

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jun 22, 2015 10:47 pm

The small number of Instagram users in North Korea reportedly can no longer access the website, after the service has been blacklisted. The government blamed the site for sharing harmful content - and mobile users connected to Koryolink cannot upload, share or view images.

 

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"Warning! You can't connect to this website because it's in blacklist site," reads an English prompt when a Koryolink subscriber tries to access the social networking site. Company officials reported they haven't been updated by new policy changes - and no official government statements have been released.

 

Users trying to access Instagram via traditional Internet connection also are blocked from accessing Instagram. North Korea heavily restricts Internet and mobile access inside of the country for its citizens, though foreign visitors can use mobile 3G connections.

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Red Sox player Pablo Sandoval benched for... using Instagram

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jun 19, 2015 9:53 pm

Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval was recently punished by the team after he was caught browsing social media network Instagram during a game. During the seventh inning of a game against the Atlanta Braves, Sandoval claims he was in the locker room using the restroom - when he "liked" two images on Instagram.

 

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Both the MLB and Red Sox have a rule requiring all mobile devices be turned off at least 30 minutes prior to first pitch. Instead of fining him, the Red Sox decided to bench "Panda" for one game.

 

Here is what Sandoval said regarding the incident, per the Boston Globe: "I know I [messed] up. I made a mistake yesterday so I learned from that. I'm a human being; I make mistakes. I apologized to my teammates and the organization."

Continue reading 'Red Sox player Pablo Sandoval benched for... using Instagram' (full post)

Memo: Concern US cannot counter Islamic State's social media efforts

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Jun 16, 2015 3:40 am

The US State Department recently issued an internal memo that shows growing frustration in the effort to combat the Islamic State on social media. The US has tried launching "countermessaging" campaigns that have only been "trumped" by recent IS efforts, according to officials.

 

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"The memo is an assessment not of the larger counter-ISIL messaging effort, but how the small group of coalition members communicates internally and externally, said John Kirby, State Department spokesman, while speaking to the New York Times.

 

There is concern that the Obama Administration is leading a failed effort to combat IS in Iraq, with the extremist group trying to solidify its so-called caliphate.

Continue reading 'Memo: Concern US cannot counter Islamic State's social media efforts' (full post)

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