Washington | Stating that militant outfits like al Qaeda and ISIS are using internet and social media to radicalise people, the White House has urged technology companies to come out with ways to end what it described as terrorist safe havens in cyber space. We don’t want terrorists to have a safe haven in cyberspace, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference a day after US President Barack Obama made a similar appeal.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter recognise that their tools were created in the context of an open society, and the kind of atmosphere that allowed them to innovate and to create new technologies that have allowed people to establish relationships even if they’re divided by time and space, is powerful and is successful only in the context of an open society, he said in response to a querry.
They have a responsibility that they obviously believe strongly in, which is protecting free speech, but, you know, these are the kinds of discussions that the Obama administration and technology companies, particularly social media companies, have been engaged in for some time now, the White House spokesman said without going into details of the nature of the talks. Earnest said there are some terrorists or potential terrorists, would-be terrorists, who are exploiting encrypted technology to prevent government from being able to have access to their information.
The point that we’ve made here is that the president believes strongly in good encryption and strong encryption, that that is important to protecting our civil liberties. At the same time, the people who have designed these communications tools, certainly didn’t design them to aid and abet a terrorist, he said. So, there should be common ground that the government and technology companies can find to address this concern and to make sure the American people are safe, he added.