White House officials on Friday met with leading members of the tech industry to focus on curbing Internet use of violent extremists worldwide.
Silicon Valley representatives at the meeting with top national security officials included Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple, as well as senior members of Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, Microsoft and LinkedIn.
Talks focused on curtailing how militant groups like Daesh use social media for communication and recruitment, said White House spokesperson Josh Earnest. The discussion comes in the wake of Daesh-linked attacks in Paris and San Bernadino, California.
While Earnest told reporters that the Obama administration did not expect any major breakthroughs at the closed-door talks, during the meeting the White House announced the formation of a new task force aimed at stopping the spread of violent extremism online.
The Countering Violent Extremism Task Force will combine the efforts of the Homeland Security and Justice departments, alongside assistance from the private sector.
"Today's developments reflect President Obama's commitment to take every possible action to confront and interdict terrorist activities wherever they occur, including online," said Ned Price, spokesperson for the National Security Council.
A White House briefing to participating tech companies leaked by whistleblowing website The Intercept revealed that device encryption was a subject at the meeting.
Daesh's successful use of social media platforms like Twitter is significantly different from how other groups like al-Qaeda recruited new members.
A Brookings Institution report last year found that Daesh activated at least 46,000 Twitter accounts during the last four months of 2014. A small proportion of those were found to be extremely active, sending out an average of nearly 2,000 tweets per day.
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