The National Counterterrorism Center is incentivizing technology companies by sharing intelligence with them to battle terrorist-recruiting strategies on the web, NCTC Director Nicholas Rasmussen said Wednesday.
The director highlighted that the companies “become burdened with the knowledge” of how certain platforms are being used and exploited by foreign terrorist organizations.
He made his comments at an event discussing new terrorist threats and counterterrorism strategies hosted by the Center for a New American Security.
Short of sharing classified information, the NCTC is looking at ways to make information accessible to people outside of this community, Mr. Rasmussen added.
“We’re leaning forward pretty dramatically in this area to try and share that information,” he said.
“Again to incentivize these partners, these companies to take steps that are in their capacity to take and not to do so solely based on a request by the federal government.”
Mr. Rasmussen declined to name any specific company the organization is sharing its intelligence with, but added the challenges of such a relationship are balancing the needs of the government to protect national security and the responsibility of the companies to their customers and shareholders.
“They have to decide on their own that this is unacceptable behavior, this is not something, not how they wish their technology, their product to be used. We’ve seen some pretty striking examples of companies stepping forward,” he said.
Mr. Rasmussen alluded to the tension between private technology firms and the federal government in a post-Snowden era, when it was revealed that U.S., U.K. and European intelligence communities were conducting mass surveillance on citizens by ordering telecommunications companies to hand over customer information.
“I’d argue we’re having a much more forthright, honest conversation with each other than we were perhaps a few years ago,” he said.