Hillary Clinton To Silicon Valley: To Silence Terrorists, Nerd Harder, Nerds!

from the that's-not-how-this-works dept

With the explosive devices in NY and NJ from this past weekend, Hillary Clinton has decided, once again, that it's time to blame Silicon Valley for not doing more to magically stop terrorists from terroristing.
“The recruitment and radicalization that goes on online has to be much more vigorously intercepted and prevented. I have been saying this for quite some time,” the Democratic presidential candidate said at a news conference Monday during which she responded to the bombings in New York and New Jersey over the weekend.

“The government cannot do this without the close participation of tech companies and experts online who can give us the tools and lead us to those who are attempting to promote attacks like we’ve seen.”
Let's leave aside, first of all, the fact that (as of this writing) there hasn't been any evidence that the individual arrested and charged with this was recruited and radicalized online. Instead, let's focus on what's being asked here: to "intercept and prevent" certain forms of speech online. Not only does this seem... to go completely against American values around freedom of expression, it's also impossible. Sure, you can kick people off of services, but anyone with an ounce of understanding of how the internet works will recognize how ineffective that is.

Not only would such a system fail to stop people who wish to plan attacks from communicating, such a plan would, inevitably, also block perfectly normal and protected speech. Even worse, it would likely block important counterspeech in which people are able to respond to calls for violence and terrorism with arguments as to why that approach is a bad idea.

It remains amazingly troubling that both of the major party candidates for President seem to think that a good response to attacks in this country is to silence people online. Putting the onus on Silicon Valley to magically "fix" this by "preventing" bad people from talking to one another online is not a credible, reasonable or workable strategy for dealing with those who wish to attack the US.

Filed Under: censorship, free speech, hillary clinton, nerd harder, terrorism

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The First Word

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  1. icon
    DannyB (profile), 21 Sep 2016 @ 10:08am


    Then the nerds develop alternate ways to communicate -- which incidentally -- the terrorists can also use.

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