Robert Hannigan, director of the UK spy agency GCHQ, has said that US technology companies need to work more closely with authorities on ways in which to prevent the promotion of terror and other illegal activities online.
Writing in the Financial Times, Hannigan said that groups like Isis had quickly adopted the Web as an effective tool for recruitment and dissemination of information about its cause.
“They are exploiting the power of the web to create a jihadi threat with near-global reach,” Hannigan wrote. “The challenge to governments and their intelligence agencies is huge – and it can only be met with greater co-operation from technology companies.”
In addition to discussing public-facing networks, Hannigan also said that technology companies need to have discussions with authorities about how to provide more access to users’ data.
“GCHQ is happy to be part of a mature debate on privacy in the digital age. But privacy has never been an absolute right and the debate about this should not become a reason for postponing urgent and difficult decisions”, Hannigan said.
➤ The web is a terrorist’s command-and-control network of choice [Financial Times]