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US When extremists are forced off social media platforms, law enforcement may have difficulty following them to their next mode of communication

23:40  17 january  2021
23:40  17 january  2021 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Parler, the “free speech” social network, explained

  Parler, the “free speech” social network, explained The largely unmoderated, conservative-friendly website is back in the news following the insurrection at the US Capitol.Attention is turning toward Parler and other fringe platforms in the aftermath of the events on Capitol Hill at a time when social networks are under increasing scrutiny for the role they play in encouraging off-platform violence. Some are urging companies like Facebook and Twitter to moderate content more aggressively. Others claim that stricter moderation amounts to censorship and pushes users to darker corners of the internet. This process could inevitably bolster the spread of misinformation, hate speech, and violence.

Social media platforms will now have 24 hours to remove hate speech, and just one Platforms could face fines of up to €1.25 million (.36 million) in the event they fail to follow the regulations. Germany has had a similar law , called the Network Enforcement Act, on the books since 2018.

This provides the mechanism for each state to recall their slate of electors immediately or face lawsuits and Nations In Action and the Institute for Good Governance are making the following demands on It includes this video: This may be part of the information warfare contingent of those trying to

The dramatic move by big technology firms to evict tens of thousands of users from their social media accounts because of concerns over violence is posing a challenge for law enforcement, which has lost a valuable resource to monitor the growing threat.

In the days following the storming of the U.S. Capitol by an insurrectionist mob, Twitter suspended more than 70,000 accounts, Facebook purged an undisclosed number, and Amazon Web Services booted Parler — one of the more popular platforms among far-right domestic extremists — entirely offline.

The FBI has warned about the potential for violence through Wednesday’s inauguration in capitals across the country, saying that domestic violent extremists “pose the most likely threat . . . particularly those who believe the incoming administration is illegitimate.”

‘This is going to come back and bite ‘em’: Capitol breach inflames Democrats’ ire at Silicon Valley

  ‘This is going to come back and bite ‘em’: Capitol breach inflames Democrats’ ire at Silicon Valley Congress will "come back with a vengeance" at social media companies for helping foment the riots, top Senate Intelligence Committee Democrat Mark Warner said.Democratic lawmakers channeled much of their fury at tech companies' role in the assault on Congress, an attack organized across a plethora of online platforms and livestreamed by rioters who echoed Trump's baseless charges of a rigged election. And they’re vowing action against dangerous extremism on the internet as they prepare to take full control of Congress and the White House.

Social media , once sold as a tool for promoting democracy and giving ordinary people a voice they previously lacked, revealed its true The average person might go through life unaware this invisible thought-barrier is even there – but anyone who steps out of line is quickly zapped back into obedience.

Law enforcement is the activity of some members of government who act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterring, rehabilitating, or punishing people who violate the rules and norms governing that society.

The targeted accounts and platforms have increasingly seethed with rage over perceived but unfounded grievances and conspiracy theories: criminal immigrants invading the country; an election stolen from President Trump; and Satan-worshipping Democrats trafficking in child sex. Communications on these platforms provided law enforcement with insights into disparate groups or movements — some paramilitary, some avowedly white supremacist — and which might be planning violent attacks.

But when the toxic online discourse coincided with an unprecedented assault on the Capitol that left five dead, U.S. tech firms shut accounts and kicked Parler off the Web, forcing thousands of users to migrate to encrypted apps and less-moderated platforms such as Telegram, which is based overseas.

Months ahead of Capitol riot, DHS threat assessment group was gutted: Officials

  Months ahead of Capitol riot, DHS threat assessment group was gutted: Officials Just months before Wednesday's riot at the U.S. Capitol, the Trump administration gutted a key federal agency responsible for funneling threat assessments to police. As a result, officials said, the information vacuum left behind may have deprived law enforcement in Washington, D.C., of a key avenue for actionable warnings that could have helped officers prepare for the inbound threat posed by right-wing extremists who gathered on the National Mall on Wednesday.

Most law enforcement personnel believe that when encountering a profoundly deaf individual, an officer may issue a written warning as a substitute for verbal commands. Which of the following statements would be important for the officer to know in this situation?

That domestic extremist groups may have targeted for recruitment members of law enforcement agencies and the military as well as veterans is unsurprising to Elizabeth Neumann, who was the assistant secretary for threat prevention and security policy at the Department of Homeland Security

[41 Minutes of Fear: A video timeline from inside the Capitol siege]

“It’s good news and bad news,” said John Miller, deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism for the New York Police Department, the largest metropolitan police force in the nation. “The good news is for a moment it interrupts the conversation to a mass audience that seems to be growing. The bad news is they’re going to have to find another platform. And you’re going to have to find that platform to follow them.”

The shift to fringe platforms also concentrates the users into smaller forums, where “they will be met by others just as angry and disaffected as they are without any moderating influence from a broader public” said Rita Katz, founder of the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks online extremism.

[Far-right groups move online conversations to chat apps like Telegram]

The violent discourse is not entirely muzzled. One site, TheDonald, which was instrumental in mobilizing Trump supporters to participate in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, is still up and running and still trafficking in violent ideas, said Katz.

Big Tech's Crackdown on Donald Trump and Parler Won't Fix the Real Problem With Social Media

  Big Tech's Crackdown on Donald Trump and Parler Won't Fix the Real Problem With Social Media Social media platforms banning Trump and deplatforming Parler are crucial first steps, experts say, but it won't address the longterm challenge of cleaning up misinformationThat’s the analogy used by Whitney Phillips, one of the world’s leading experts on the rise of the far right online.

Start studying Law Enforcement . Learn vocabulary, terms and more with flashcards, games and other study was modeled on the forces in a number of other nations. may be a necessity, but is at odds with What might white officers accuse their superiors of if they were systematically bypassed for

Social media companies that fail to remove such content “expeditiously” could face fines of up to 10 percent of “The platforms would likely move their offices out of countries that pass such laws , to protect them from prosecution.” If Labor wins national elections expected in May , he said, the new

On Jan. 10, for instance, a thread posted on TheDonald discussed arresting and executing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other political leaders for “sedition and treason,” according to SITE.

At the end of day, said Katz, the advantage to the public safety outweighs the disadvantage to law enforcement of losing a surveillance window. “When these extremists are on mainstream media, they spread blatant disinformation,” she said. “Pushing them off is one of the most crucial steps in curbing far-right radicalization and conspiracy theories online.”

[Misinformation dropped dramatically the week after Twitter banned Trump]

State and local law enforcement have used social media to anticipate the size of protests and whether they might turn violent. It “helps us track the flow of protest interest and track the interest of those who had, in the past, been known to be unlawful at a protest,” said Nick Street, a spokesman for the Utah Highway Patrol, which is charged with protecting the state capitol. “It just means we can better do our job by knowing who is coming and the amount of people who are coming.”

Fueled by the US Capitol siege, violent extremists with 'political grievances' will likely pose the 'greatest domestic terrorism threats in 2021,' intelligence report says

  Fueled by the US Capitol siege, violent extremists with 'political grievances' will likely pose the 'greatest domestic terrorism threats in 2021,' intelligence report says The report said unsubstantiated beliefs about the election contribute to the likely increase in violence, particularly threats to elected officials. It also echoed earlier reports that calls for violence related to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden have increased since the Capitol riots.The Capitol riots are likely to be part of a trend where extremists "exploit lawful protests, rallies, demonstrations, and other gatherings to carry our ideologically-motivated violence and criminal activity," the report says.

The smartest and most ardent violent extremists have always used more secure, encrypted channels. And, Street noted, many protesters were aware that law enforcement agents might be watching public forums. “You’d see comments . . . like ‘Hey, stop talking about it here, the cops are watching,’ ” Street said. “Well, like, yeah we’re watching. No kidding. Why wouldn’t we be?”

Even if law enforcement is not monitoring all comment, said one former federal agent, there is no harm with extremists thinking so, if it subdues their activity. “Let ’em think everybody’s a fed,” said the former agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity to be candid.

Some agencies rely on the public and researchers to alert them to potential violent acts being discussed online rather than devote scarce resources to monitoring social media. And the recent crackdown has eliminated a tip channel.

Mass attackers, for instance, often have expressed desires to carry out violence in online postings or to acquaintances, a phenomenon that researchers call “leakage.”

[A small group of sleuths had been identifying right-wing extremists long before the attack on the Capitol]

“There are many things that are reported to us by the community that they see on Twitter and Facebook,” said Andrew Walsh, deputy chief of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. “The tradeoff is these platforms are used by people to discuss the plotting and planning of violence, so [their] loss is problematic. But it’s also problematic that people have a forum to promote and advertise violence.”

Far-right groups make plans for protests and assaults before and after Inauguration Day

  Far-right groups make plans for protests and assaults before and after Inauguration Day Some of the groups have complained of a lack of clear direction from President Trump, who has been kicked off social media platforms. U.S. officials have warned authorities nationwide to be on alert for potential acts of violence at state capitols, as well as a possible second attack on the Capitol or on the White House. Law enforcement authorities have said extremists may use firearms and explosives and are monitoring online calls to rally in cities nationwide beginning Sunday. Security at the inaugural ceremony in Washington on Jan. 20 probably will be the most intense ever.

Open-source social media is not an infallible tool for law enforcement. Even when content is accessible, it’s often not detailed enough to enable authorities to act swiftly. Robert Bowers, who is charged with killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018, made a series of anti-Semitic statements on a far-right site. “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in,” he posted on Gab, officials said, less than two hours before entering the synagogue and opening fire. He didn’t say which synagogue he was attacking.

[Suspected synagogue shooter appears to have railed against Jews, refugees online]

Most planning of violent criminal activity is done in closed chats and on encrypted platforms, officials said. Last fall the FBI said it thwarted an anti-government group’s plan to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) by infiltrating discussions over several months that the plotters thought were shielded in a private Facebook group and encrypted chats.

But the bureau said a member worried about the group’s plans to kill police officers had agreed to become an informant. In October, state and federal officials announced charges against more than a dozen people it said were involved in plots, among them members of the Wolverine Watchmen, a self-described militia group, and their associates.

“The FBI with a warrant can spy on closed, non-encrypted chats, but having informants or undercover sources inside these closed virtual networks is important to understanding the nature of the threat,” said Javed Ali, a former senior FBI counterterrorism analyst who now teaches at the University of Michigan.

Kicking people off social media isn’t about free speech

  Kicking people off social media isn’t about free speech The debate over deplatforming Trump has overshadowed how effective social media bans are at fighting extremism.The same was true for many of Trump’s more extremist followers. Twitter suspended more than 70,000 accounts primarily dedicated to spreading the false right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon. Apple, Google, and Amazon Web Services banned the right-wing Twitter alternative Parler, effectively shutting down the site indefinitely (though it’s attempting to return) and relegating many right-wingers to the hinterlands of the internet.

The crackdown on domestic violent extremists recalls in some ways Silicon Valley’s gradual push several years ago to remove foreign terrorism content — particularly related to the Islamic State — under pressure, at times, from the federal government though some officials urged that content be retained for intelligence purposes. But it differs in one important respect: domestic voices enjoy far more protection under federal law. And the tech firms, though they are not bound by the First and Fourth amendments, have been loath until recently to take down even clearly misleading and dangerous statements.

For social media companies, the decision to remove foreign terrorist content was easier, said Clint Watts, distinguished research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a former FBI special agent. He noted that “it’s international. Everybody hates [the Islamic State]. They are not voters, and they are not donors,” he said.

But domestic far-right voices range the gamut from gun-toting, camouflage-clad paramilitaries to suburban moms. “They are voters and donors. They are American citizens,” Watts said. Also, foreign terrorist groups are illegal. The conspiracy theory QAnon and far-right groups like the Proud Boys and the “boogaloo boys” are not.

Deciding when a violent extremist’s posts cross the line from aspirational to operational and merits taking action is also difficult, said Tom O’Connor, a former FBI special agent who worked domestic terrorism cases for 23 years.

“When a horrendous event takes place like this at the Capitol, people want the FBI to start monitoring everything,’’ he said, “whereas just weeks ago, the same people would have criticized the FBI for reviewing the postings of U.S. citizens.”

Monitoring encrypted venues may be beyond the reach of most state and local law enforcement agencies. But for organizations like the FBI, the NYPD and expert groups like SITE, that is less of a concern.

“Wherever they end up,” said Miller, “we’ll find them.”

a cake sitting on top of a building: Trump supporters fly a U.S. flag with a QAnon symbol outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. © Win Mcnamee/Getty Images Trump supporters fly a U.S. flag with a QAnon symbol outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The Technology 202: Tech experts overwhelmingly approve of Trump suspensions from social media .
We asked more than 100 experts, policymakers and corporate executives in The Technology 202 Network. An overwhelming majority of tech experts surveyed by The Technology 202 said social media companies made the right decision to suspend former president Donald Trump’s accounts following the Capitol violence.

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