Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | MidPoint | War on Terrorism | hacker | anonymous | fights ISIS | Twitter

Hacker to NM: Twitter, Gov't Won't Shut Down ISIS Feeds

By    |   Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 09:02 PM

A self-described computer hacker appearing anonymously on Newsmax TV  Wednesday said he outed 9,200 Twitter accounts that "blatantly" promote the Islamic State because somebody had to take action.

The U.S. government and social media companies are doing nothing to block terrorist propaganda that is online and easy to find, said the hoodie-wearing hacker who called himself "XRSone" and spoke from behind a gauzy screen in a Skype interview with "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.

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XRSone said he is using the pseudonym and concealing his face on television for fear of terrorist reprisals. He said he has received death threats since he identified, compiled and on Sunday published the names of 9,200 pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Twitter accounts.
"I'm not sure how credible the death threats are — most of these ISIS guys are in Iraq and Syria, over there," he said. "But the whole idea behind their propaganda is to try to recruit westerners and radicalize people here in America … so that's why my face is obscured."

Describing himself as connected to the hacker collective known as Anonymous, but "kind of on the fringe, the outside, the independent actor," XRSone said that he is using an Internet crowdfunding campaign to underwrite his ongoing research.

He said his goal is to use publicity to shame Twitter into shutting down jihadist accounts.
"It's kind of an uphill battle," he said.

A random survey of Twitter addresses on XRSone's master list found that some had been suspended but that many remain up and running.

Most appear to be in Arabic — but even so, said XRSone, "They're not too hard to locate."

"The accounts use the ISIS flag as the profile picture, and then they'll just blatantly say, 'We're part of ISIS; we believe in this jihadist movement,' " he said. "And a lot of them have threats towards Americans and various texts, videos and links to external sites where they … recruit people."

According to XRSone, the government's rationale for not pushing Twitter to delete ISIS sympathizers is that they're good for gathering intelligence.

He countered that it would be "really hard" to find real terrorist inside information "where they're talking about tactical military movements or anything useful" on a Twitter feed.

"They're mostly just propaganda trying to recruit people," he said. "The government's excuse of, they don't want to delete them because they want to keep them around for intelligence capabilities, is just malarkey."

The material left up is often graphic and disturbing, said XRSone.

"A lot of the propaganda images are pictures of decapitated bodies from the [ISIS] videos and various horrible things on the Internet," he said, adding, "They get reused across a lot of these accounts, so it's really easy to look up one of them and say, 'Wow, this is 100 percent certain.' "

XRSone said that as an American it is hurtful to see such images allowed by "an American company like Twitter that's hosted on American servers."

"To post these graphic pictures of blown-up American soldiers … I can't imagine how these companies can stomach allowing this content to be on their networks," he said. "It just doesn't seem right."

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A self-described computer hacker appearing anonymously on Newsmax TV Wednesday said he outed 9,200 Twitter accounts that blatantly promote the Islamic State because somebody had to take action. The U.S. government and social media companies are doing nothing to block...
hacker, anonymous, fights ISIS, Twitter, posts, expose
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2015-02-18
Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 09:02 PM
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