Tags: Emerging Threats | ISIS/Islamic State | mike mccaul | isis | dark web | encryption | ip

Rep. McCaul: Encrypted Dark Web Aids ISIS' 'Call to Arms' in US

Image: Rep. McCaul: Encrypted Dark Web Aids ISIS' 'Call to Arms' in US
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Tex. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 13 May 2015 12:10 PM

The Islamic State (ISIS) is sending out a "call to arms" online to direct people in the United States to commit acts of terror, Rep. Michael McCaul said Wednesday morning, and many terrorists are using the Internet's "Dark Web" to hide their movements.

"This is a different phenomenon from [Osama] bin Laden, who operated with couriers," the Texas Republican told CNN's "New Day" program. "We're dealing with an enemy now, ISIS, that has a very sophisticated social media program."

McCaul, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said he's been studying foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq who go through Turkey to come into Europe and the United States. But the Internet allows ISIS to activate followers "through a tweet, which is what we saw in the Texas case of two ISIS followers who were activated to conduct a terrorist attack there."

But ISIS isn't just using Twitter, which anyone can read, said McCaul, but also the Dark Web, which wired.com describes as a collection of thousands of websites using anonymity tools to hide the IP addresses of the servers that run them to "protect users from surveillance and censorship."

"That place is where they hide, because of encryption," said McCaul. "We're trying to find needles in the haystack and the needles are going dark, and it's because of this phenomenon we can't track their movements."

The messages in Garland, Texas, were able to be tracked and relayed to the police department, said McCaul.

"But when their encrypt goes dark, we can't track them here in the United States," McCaul said. "This is sort of a new phenomenon where they're using the Internet as a weapon."

And accessing such "dark spaces" is a "touchy subject between, you know, law enforcement and companies, software companies, companies like Apple that have the iPhones," said McCaul. "Do we want a back door in an iPhone where the government can go in to track movements if they have probable cause?

"I know the director of the FBI and local law enforcement want that capability."

McCaul said he errs on the side of safety and security when it comes to weighing the measures against privacy issues, but many in Congress are more concerned with privacy rights.

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The Islamic State is sending out a "call to arms" online to direct people in the United States to commit acts of terror, Rep. Michael McCaul said Wednesday morning, and many terrorists are using the Internet's "Dark Web" to hide their movements.
mike mccaul, isis, dark web, encryption, ip, terror
373
2015-10-13
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 12:10 PM
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