Despite the FBI's ongoing battle with Apple over a court order relating to the opening an iPhone owned by terrorist in the San Bernardino California attack, the two are working together to fight ISIS. Seeking to bolster its effort to counter ISIS messaging on social media, the Obama administration assembled a high-tech dream team to battle the terrorist group online.
CNN confirms that the first meeting was conducted at the Justice Department on Wednesday, with executives from Apple, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, MTV and BuzzFeed in attendance offering input to top counter intelligence officials, according to an industry source familiar with the meeting.
The CNN report further noted that Nick Rasmussen, Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told the group the administration is making strides in combating ISIS on social media, where the terrorist army has inspired potential lone wolf assailants to carry out attack. "We've seen more aggressive takedowns across social media platforms, which is a really good thing," Rasmussen was quoted as saying by the source at the gathering.
Apple's participation in the meeting was notable, given the high-tech firm's clash with the administration over the company's use of encryption to shield customers' data on its popular smart phones.
An agenda of the session obtained by CNN showed nearly fifty technology firms and community groups participated, along with a cross-section of U.S. government agencies, including the Justice Department, the National Security Council and the State Department. The British Embassy was also included in the manifest.
The agenda showed sessions dedicated to briefing the technology companies on ISIS's messaging strategy, and developing plans to counteract the terrorist propaganda with "counter-narratives and optimistic messaging."