In the ongoing battle to purge Twitter of content promoting terrorism, the social media company has closed hundreds of thousands of accounts in recent months.

In its latest transparency report covering the period from July 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016, Twitter said it shuttered a total of 376,890 accounts “for violations related to promotion of terrorism,” bringing the total number of closures for terror-related content to a colossal 636,248 accounts from August 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016.

Faced with such a massive task, Twitter has had to develop proprietary tools designed to automatically identify accounts to take down. The software, which is supported by a team of human investigators, accounted for 74 percent of the most recent batch of reported account closures, the company said.


Twitter, like Facebook and other online giants, has been accused in the past of not doing enough to combat extremist activity on its service. Criticism over the last few years prompted the company to implement more robust procedures such as increasing the size of the teams that respond to reports, and taking any necessary action more quickly.

In addition, the company made efforts to start checking more accounts similar to those reported, while it continues to develop algorithms to automatically surface potentially violating accounts for review.

Twitter said it’s also worked harder to prevent those whose accounts are shuttered from quickly returning to the service, though it hasn’t revealed how exactly it does this.

A turning point in the way online companies deal with terror-related activity online came at the start of last year when leading executives from Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and others met officials for talks in not only the U.S., but France, too, a country that has suffered multiple terror attacks in recent years.

In December, 2016, the same companies announced they would begin contributing to a shared database holding information on “violent terrorist” material found on the different platforms to help each other remove extremist content more quickly.


Removing such material from online services quickly and efficiently — and keeping it offline — is an ongoing challenge, though Twitter, for one, feels it is making progress, saying last year, “We have already seen results, including an increase in account suspensions and this type of activity shifting off of Twitter.”

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Source : https://www.yahoo.com/tech/twitter-says-shuttered-377-000-082547370.html


Categorized in Internet Privacy

It has recently been found that an officer working for the Europol agency has leaked sensitive material about the agency’s online investigations.

A televised documentary stated that it had found over 700 pages of confidential data which included terrorism investigations. The data was found on a hard drive that had been linked to the internet. The program also stated that the hard drive containing the information was not password protected. Before the documentary aired, Europol released a statement acknowledging the leak and that an investigation has been launched to find out how, and why the data became public:

Although this case relates to Europol sensitive information dating from around 10 years ago, Europol immediately informed the concerned member states. As of today, there is no indication that an investigation has been jeopardized, due to the compromise of this historical data. Europol will continue to assess the impact of the data in question, together with the concerned member states.


A reporter for the program that was aired stated that he found the information via a search engine called Shodan; a search engine that searches the Internet of Things. He also stated that there was no password needed to access the hard drive; which he did remotely through the internet.

It was also reported that the documents contained names and telephone numbers of terrorism suspects, and associates. Most of the data was from 2006 to 2008. It included the Madrid train bombing investigations, a Netherlands based Islamist terror cell called The Hofstad Network, as well as information about attacks that have been successfully stopped aboard several flights. The reporter also said that the hard drive contained information on investigations that were never made public.

Europol claims that the officer responsible for the leak had copied the files to a separate, personal hard drive against Europol’s rules; but that the officer no longer worked for the agency.

The hard drive in question was a Lenovo Lomega and the Chinese based company had released a statement saying that it is up to the owner of the drive to make it secure. Older models such as this one require the user to input a password before they can be used securely.


Dr. Bibi van Ginkel, a senior researcher with the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, thinks a leak containing data such as this one could have negative consequences:

Police organizations never want to reveal how much they know to prevent bad guys from understanding how the police operate and infiltrate them. In times that better international-cooperation and data exchange is needed, this leak might jeopardize the trust between states.

Europol Director Rob Wainwright announced that in light of this investigation he will be attending a seminar in London this January to learn more about data protection and online privacy practices.


Source:  https://www.deepdotweb.com

Categorized in Deep Web

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