Silicon Valley appears open to helping US spy agencies after terrorism summit

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Technology giants appeared to be open to helping the US government combat Islamic State during an extraordinary closed-door summit on Friday that brought together America’s most senior counter-terrorism officials with some of Silicon Valley’s most powerful executives.

The remarkable rendezvous between Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and others and a delegation from the White House revealed a willingness on the part of tech firms to work with the government, and indicated that the Obama administration appears to have concluded it can’t combat terrorists online on its own.

Top officials – including National Security Agency director Michael Rogers, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and FBI director James Comey – appeared to want to know how they could launch a social media campaign to discredit Isis, a person familiar with the conversation said.

“We are interested in exploring all options with you for how to deal with the growing threat of terrorists and other malicious actors using technology, including encrypted technology,” the briefing document said. “Are there technologies that could make it harder for terrorists to use the internet to mobilize, facilitate, and operationalize?”

Despite recent fights over civil liberties, encryption, and surveillance, tech executives appeared receptive to this message, according to sources familiar with conversations at the meeting..

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