tv George Washington University Discussion on Encryption Technology and... CSPAN June 7, 2019 4:32pm-5:33pm EDT
goldberg. george: superior in the sense that it embodies, as margaret thatcher said, is made by a philosophy that is right and not suitable for all people at all times, but everyone ought to aspire to it. i do not want to export it at they in net point. i want to make it available to people. i want to help them where we can. we have a lot of experience as a civil society and democratic society. i am a mild nationalist. >> sunday at 9 p.m. eastern on book tv on c-span2. a recent study found that isis supporters are using encouragement programs to communicate with supporters around the world and to recruit people by using programs like telegram. we will hear from the authors of the report put out by george
panel onn university's extremism. >> good morning. thank you all for coming. on behalf of our program director, myself, i would like to welcome you to george washington university. we will launch a report that is two years into -- in the making, "encrypted extremism." this is the culmination of two years of research, in cooperation with the goma in library and the scholar in technology group. -- the gilman library. left havers to my
been on encoding isis channels for a year and a half. we will dive into the report's findings, which are now available on a website. to our twitter followers, welcome. thanks for watching. we have three panelists. been at clifford, thesearch fellow with program. he will be followed with a presidential fellow with the program who has been with us two years to talk about the remaining parts of the report, and we will end with nick rest mucin, the former counterterrorism director -- my old boss, actually -- and the senior director at the mccain institute. we will do about 30 minutes of presentation and the move into question and answer. sore will be roaming mics, if you have questions, please feel free to reach out. >> thank you, shamus. any big report
some things are in order. to start with, we will go through the entirety of the program on extremism, staff from the top down with the director and the dead -- deputy director, who were supportive of this project from the first day of its inception and helped us through a lot of the various components. the rest of the program on , staff could not be with us today, but were instrumental in helping us design the report, collect the data and helping us with the finished product, along with our other colleagues who gave expertise. we had a number of experts who commented on and provided insightful edits on other parts of the report and we are thankful to the scholarly andnology group here at gw,
a colleague who helped us with the data analysis tool for this final design. i will be presenting the background behind the report and the project behind it as well as some of the major findings and then i will turn over the floor to my wonderful co-author helen powell, who will present some of the key studies we did as well as our recommendations and conclusions. , for folks who are less familiar with telegram, it message or, instant if you've used whatsapp or signal, it's very like that. there are three reasons why terrorist groups, specifically the islamic state, make use of it. there's a variety of communications options. there's everything from one-to-one voice chat between two double or a handful of accounts as well as groups and super groups that include as many as 200 thousand members. additionally, there are channels
that will have one poster that will broadcast to theoretically unlimited followers. there are also additionally internal file sharing. you composed videos, documents, files, voice recordings up to 1.5 gigabytes of memory, which oftwice as much as that order by other messaging applications. and the third thing that is most commonly brought up when it comes to telegram is the privacy options. each of those very levels of communication have different levels of encryption, but potentially more importantly moe importantly each channel or group can have a private auction being it can only be accessed and public auction that means it is searchable in telegram but not on the public web. also it offers a pledge to not share any information related to the data including government. the current assessment is for
the supporters and a lot of this came in the wake of the policies employed by social media companies and twitter, facebook, google and the like to sort of push islamic state supporters and their accounts and content off of platforms it's a question of the degree to the efforts which are concentrated on telegram. most famously it's been used in the guidance but most famously in brussels in 2016. it's a kilogram responded to
these efforts come as i said before, they have a pledge to not share any user information with third parties including governments. additionally, the decisions regarding content regulation are a little different than the providers. they will regulate any public content that they will not regulate in a private content including private channel groups or voice chats and secret calls. in august decision in response to the regulations we may disclose your address although they also note they've not taken that enforcement action.
between june of 2017 in october of 2018 date of a team of program research assistance we classify content using a number of quantitative and qualitative variables working with the tool developed by the scholarly technology group they are used to access channels and groups and external links to the telegram. how do they view telegrams features to build online
networks to the propaganda and guide authorization second, in which way do they balance the need for the broadest messaging and recruitment in the online and off-line space spaces as a following section of the presentation to present the findings. at the firsthe first question wt is the basic essentially how and why our analysis finds generally speaking they can be classified into five major categories and throughout the sample a major tactics are used. the most important by far for distribution channels and
groups. these represent a majority of the sample and these are used to distribute there is the distinctioadistinction made bete official and unofficial media directed by the central leadership in the distribution channels there's usually those type of sources it distributed only islamic state media propaganda and excluded any propaganda that wasn't produced by the media division. as while there is well there ie category that is instructional material across agrees with the
three major tactics in here illustrated days internal filesharing features. in addition to internal filesharing on the bottom left we have a joint link. the ones in blue are in between channels and groups and the ones leading to the sample demonstrates and maintains the degree of connection to which the groups and channels are all connected.
on the bottom right and i know it is difficult to read this is the third major tactic that we see which is distributing a lot of information pertaining to operational cybersecurity and the links used to access them. moving onto the next finding and this is sort of what we have termed the online extremist using digital communication technology. islamic state supporters must vote and make sure they are reaching out to the public at bt at the same time they are trying to protect their network so everybody is using encryption and maximizing services in order to protect their network from infiltration and takedown.
the problem we saw in the sample is they are a conflict with one another. on the one hand, the state supporters had a strong emphasis on privacy which the majority of the sample was comprised of climate channels as well as if you have the group features to that that is an additional 10% that comprises about 70% that isn't going to be regulated under its current policy. state supporters are deliberately choosing the groups to ensure the content and networks protect the viewers and using these groups hamstring is the ability to recruit. our mls is over on the right is over 40,000 badly fixed destinations out of the telegram and these are sort of the efforts of islamic state
supporters are using to ensure that the message is broadcast to the mainstream social media but also a range of the filesharing platforms that are included as well. when supporters do that they release information the telegram accounts and online such as an ip address. using some of this information is to be investigation to the state supporters this is how they are reacting to degree that was incurred in the time for code of the sample it covers the time.
so in which they lost the major stronghold. we found that they are focusing on the islamic states military activities and assure the resilience of the networks, supplementing the islamic states official propaganda with the media that follows the branding guidelines and makeup without being directly produced by the apparatus. then last developing new measures for the guidance of operations. we as a couple metrics to determine this first is the qualitative analysis content we found the topics within the same over the islamic states military activities and battles as well
as the affiliates on some occasions ended in the second one was the hash tag that you can see on the right. it's shared within the sample and we found as you can see that most of them with the geographic marker are centered and all of these are registering as top 25 as well as others that are outside from the islamic state affiliates. from the sample however any discussion of terrorist attacks on the west mirrors other studies have english-speaking supporters that are fundamentally engaged i do have
a couple of things to say for taking me on as a presidential followed in the fellowship program for the past few years i've been able to work as a program research for mobile doing my mastera whileduring myd it's been a great opportunity. one of the things i think is most interesting about the project is wh while we do have n and observations while we are collecting data.
they help us make a better picture of what's going on behind the screen looking at the criminal complaints to see how they did use telegrams first is the rising grassroots actors and second is a proliferation of unofficial or grade media and there is a distribution of operational structural material. first is the study representing the rise of grassroots actors arrested in the philippines the media kind of knows her as recruiting primarily books from india to come to battle to fight with the islamic state but it's talked about in a very different
light. a lot of people with and i will get back into that. karen was able to build a large international network but i'm going to highlight a few. on the top left he successfully traveled and if you read the criminal complaint is connected to 17 individuals so these criminal complaints are quite interesting and so she built this network and was pretty aggressive in her tactics for the central node in the ecosystem and has a public authority and got careless. she wasn't following the typical norms that you would see in the
space and people didn't always like that. they started a feud with her because she was within cybersecurity measures people began calling her a spy or trying to push her out of the space. it goes to show the second case study he embodied a proliferation of the media and was arrested in october and is known for are going to be on trial and the program would be best connected to the part of the anonymous media foundation
which is a great media group. we observed quite a few of these but we could only make our best assessment of what's going on behind the scenes. it's one of the ones we did observe but fortunately the complaints were detailed in how the media foundation worked providing a vital window into how one specific example of the media group updated. the criminal complaint details how the intentionally replicated and duplicated content takes videos to make new videos and this is something we often see kind of replicating the previous content. having had a whole structure of the hierarchy was different with test products through the different divisions before being published and translated into other more public spaces. it also shows how they use them to their advantage. where they would plan on twitter
to inject into the public discourse with decisions would be made without letting others groups know about things. the complaint shows that the media had a medium of connection this is demonstrated when the media tried to start a merger with another group and then they rescinded it when the we know hs
so another interesting thing about this case was the fact that the moniker continued to post after his arrest. so, this may have >> this may indicate there were other co-conspirators with that moniker. that's one of the main challenges we faced working with telegram in trying to do research here. the anonymity it provides is very strong. it can be very difficult to know if multiple people are acting behind one username or if many more people may be taking up the flag underneath it. . so it can be a bit of a challenge when it comes to combating exploitation of programs with moving towards pat, what do we do about this? we have the critical considerations coming from the report in the past two years of research. first is a large-scale shift
away from the program at the moment we assessed it is unlikely. it's a great combined with unique elements of social media where they can have a public broadcasting element as well as encrypted messenger so this unique feature is useful for the states. they also tried to jump to other platforms but maybe more secure, but until there is a viable replacement that has a lot of these combinations of encryption with a lot of user friendliness, it is unlikely. second is that the paradigm should shape our approach when dealing with extremist exploitation as telegram and online. so, the people that we have been observing our fast and adapting. so, instead of trying to take them from platform to platform, we think we should think a little smarter about how to limit and confine extremism. they should follow the
marginalization paradigm which is set up in a paper by two other researchers in the field which comes to confine extremism where number one they can't inject into the public discourse and law enforcement can still monitor them which brings us to the third consideration, which supporters are currently marginalized so this is the current assessment. it is publicly accessible that it is still separated from the mainstream social media so you can't get to the program by google or facebook. there will always be a window in because it is continuously trying to conduct outreach so because of that window as well come on enforcement are able to monitor and if we can get them there pushing them off the platform may not be the best plan of action so instead of the
consideration is that the government should encourage the programs to participate in the industry forms. they do monitor and take down content on the public channel and then they do this they see a lot of stuff going on so it would be great to have them share their insight to help other companies to their own moderation. for example if it identifies a new media group, they could alert other companies like facebook and twitter so they could identify on their own site. another area of cooperation is alerting smaller companies when they try to exploit or jump through their platforms so if we are able to see where they are linking to they could give a heads-up to other companies and say we are seeing a lot of supporters linked to your website and i would be another area of cooperation.
these wouldn't force them to change their stance on privacy or even get the governments involved in the profit moderation that enhance the processes that are already in place by industry leaders. the last line is the they would not have to change their stance on privacy or get governments involved but enhance current practices in place by industry leaders. the last one is the heavy-handed approaches that a disproportionate and consequential. while it may be tempting to say why do we just shut down telegram orban encryption -- or ban the encryption? iran and russia. russia tried to do it and almost shut down the entire russian internet because they blocked a lot of google and amazon ip servers. in iran, they have struck a major blow to their economy. we see that telegram is here to stay. we can focus on these cooperative measures building off of existing practices to better confine extremism on the platform. that concludes our brief overview of the report. it's available online, and we look forward to your questions. >> great.
i will jump in last. before i jump into the takeaways from my perspective. with respect to what they just outline, let me say something about the program on extremism more broadway. there is a sweet spot in this area. when you hit that sweet spot where you are both academically rigorous, but importantly, policy relevant, you have really found the right spot. sorry about that. there are a select few institutions where that is happening, and poe is one of those. and the work of gw in this area as a go to destination for scholars and practitioners in the extremism and terrorism field. kudos for creating that architecture over the last several years. and of course, kudos to bennett and helen for producing this study.
studies like this, as i noted, have genuine policy relevance. in that vein, they help shape government policy. some of the conclusions helen highlighted at the end can in fact shape and reform government policy. i don't say this lately and the -- this is not always the case with work in the national security realm done in the academic world. it just simply isn't. there are plenty of areas, including in my own area of expertise, terrorism, where the comparative advantage that government has over what is available information-wise is simply too great. and that the work done on the outside is interesting and informative, but not necessarily in a position to shape government policy and the thinking of senior government , i think,in the way academics hope when they produce studies of this sort. this study actually hits that mark, and it does so because it is in some ways a comparative advantage that shifts in the
direction of a place like poe and the direction of scholars like bennett and helen. because they have the time and the wherewithal and the resources to step back and study a phenomenon very deeply and in a way that government analysts would not. and the delta between government and the outside world in terms of data here is pretty much nonexistent. they are looking at the same data more or less that my colleagues in government would be looking at. that underscores the degree to which there is policy relevance to the study because poe can in fact do just as good a job of analyzing the data as i would argue anybody in government. so, key takeaways selected from it briefedand then to you over the last 20 minutes to me are first of all, the eye-opening bit was the continued operational significance of telegram as a platform. this is not a platform simply
used to recruit or spread messages or spread the word or perpetuate the narrative. all those things, i would've taken as a given. what struck me was the continued operational relevance. the idea that individuals could actually be engaged in activity that would lead to operational outcomes. and of course, the three case studies that helen highlighted underscore that in stark detail. if you can imagine, if there were these case studies, there are certainly a number more buried in unavailable information. so you can assume the scope and scale goes beyond just those three case studies. those three case studies are important because they cover significant theaters where isis continues to try to do work. united states, united kingdom, and southeast asia. not just southeast asia, but the
first case study of the individual involved ahead to well beyond southeast asia. the point is, isis continues to carry out a global -- to represent a global enterprise. i think most scholars in the field would understand the physical defeat of the caliphate in iraq and syria does not change that reality. i think most scholars recognize that. it's important to bring that home to the public and to the broader policy community so that that is not lost, even amidst the successes we have enjoyed against isis. the last takeaway i would point to, and then i will stop, is the roadmap this provides for government and private sector engagement with telegram. as helen noted, there have been obviously attempts to work with the technology sector to address these challenges of terrorist use or extremist use of online platforms. but those have come with mixed success. some success with some companies has not translated across the
-- translated into complete success across the industry. studies like this one will arm government officials with useful data and information they can literally drop on the table and share with senior leaders at companies like telegram. and we don't have to deal with the questions of what can be released from the government, what is classified and not classified. this is simply publicly available data that makes the case that this platform continues to be used in operational ways by terrorist -- by a terrorist organization. that's a tremendous contribution from poe and the study authors. i will stop there. >> thank you, nick. thank you for the kind words. they can be shared with the work you do at the buchanan institute. i will take the prerogative and open it up to the floor for larger question. helen, i was struck by the
section on the gray media. i remember the front page of the new york post with a picture on christmas of a beheading. that was created by a gray media organization. how important is this mix between the official and the unofficial as isis continues to lose territory as the -- their propaganda output has been lower and lower? is gray media the new normal for a little bit? helen: when we first started looking at telegram, that was one of the first things i was surprised by. the vast amount of gray media. where you can see a pretty big spectrum coming from individuals and individual means where people have taken images and put new text or altered it in some small way, to larger mash-up videos where they can combine elements from other media pieces to make new propaganda outlets
and creations. i had tried to conduct a study and fill out that spectrum. it proved to be very difficult. particularly on telegram, where anonymization built into the application. that is one of the big challenges we faced when confronted with a lot of this gray media in figuring out who is producing it, where it's coming from, and the impact it has. it is difficult to tell if there is an isis supporter on the other side of the screen differentiating between gray media sources and official media. it translates the whole spectrum of the gray media outlets. the case provided an interesting window into the backend of what can be an example of what goes on within a gray media organization. it is definitely something to
look forward to, and i hope other researchers will continue to study gray media and the impact it has. it will be here to stay. >> i would jump in and add something. inside government, a tremendous amount of effort is devoted to the task of mapping formal isis structures that produce media. who, what, when, where, why. for the purpose of understanding, but also to enable effective disruption operations where those were possible. that was always incredibly hard and incredibly important work. what helen just said reveals it is also the tip of an iceberg. what we don't know and have much less insight into is what goes on below the waterline with gray media. i think the academic world can probably help the government understand exactly how much is below the waterline and how much operational significance is happening below the waterline. >> nick may want to jump in on this.
for the last two years, there has been this concept of going dark. can we talk a little bit about why they decided to go with telegram? what level of encryption are they dealing with? is it the right level? and how has law enforcement work -- worked around that? >> the important thing here is that telegram offers a variety of different communication options. and different communication options have different levels of encryption. some of them, especially secret chats and voice calls, are protected by end-to-end encryption. the others are protected by client/server encryption. i'm not a cryptographer myself, but the protocol that telegram uses to engage has been lambasted by a lot of experts in cryptography. they call it homebrew encryption.
everything else like that -- i don't know about this and can't do it independently, but what i will say is there are certain portions of telegram that definitely do enable the going dark phenomenon. i remember this being a major concern after the paris and brussels attacks. police in the eu could not access the messages the various attackers were using to communicate amongst each other. as with regards to telegram, there are also other parts of telegram that would not facilitate the going dark problem. in some cases, this desire to want to reach out to platforms by the islamic state outside of their internal investigation can also be a benefit for those looking to infiltrate and disrupt their operations as well. at some point in time, you will have to outreach to somebody else and you are taking the risk your parents tell you to never
do on the internet. don't trust someone you don't know on the internet. that person could be a recruit or a detractor. there are some advantages or waste to get a window into that. the other downside for telegram for islamic state supporters is when somebody has one foot inside the general ecosystem through accessing other links or -- twin links or building rapport with other individuals within the ecosystem, they can ensure they get access to think -- do things -- they get access to things that would not necessarily be in the public eye otherwise. >> i will open it up to questions. please raise your hand and someone will come around with the mic. don't be shy. yes. >> hi. helen bennett, thank you so much for your research and how long it must've taken to get this information. my name is shannon walsh. i'm a specialist at ar international consulting. my main question is there are a lot of other intelligence you can gather from these messages. was there any common demographic information you found?
whether it be what you showed earlier with the international reach, or age, education, training? and how much of it can be trusted versus not be trusted? >> i will take that one. one of the interesting things, and i believe we have a section on this in the report, is whereas on twitter in 2015 you would see a lot of pro isis supporters posting pictures of themselves. their bios would have where they were from, they would have their hometown in it. on telegram, we are seeing a much more culture of operational security where the information is protected. that is what got karen in trouble. she was passing around his -- this kind of personally identifiable information. and so, on telegram, we don't see quite as much of that being passed around because they are so concerned with operational security. i am sure if you were able to talk to them, you could get some
of that, but with our study, we did not communicate with anyone. on the face level, we are just not seeing that information shared. >> we will wait for the mic. sorry. >> thank you so much for this talk. my name is natalie hicks. i am a recent graduate from michigan state. i was wondering regarding how karen was outcast because of her misuse of the operational norms. some more of those norms, and could sewing the distrust and accusing people of not following those potentially weaken the network? >> yes. so with karen, on your point of other examples, the main example that we have is the sharing of phone numbers. this comes from the indian criminal complaint for mohammed. that is the one kind of
verifiable fact that we have on the back end from that case. on telegram, people were accusing her of many other things. of being connected to the arrests of a lot of other i.s. supporters. as far as having fact-based analysis and not coming from a primary source on telegram, the main example is the sharing of phone numbers. >> other questions? yes, ma'am. >> hi, thank you all. my question is about the recent legislation proposed in the u.k. and passed in australia having a more heavy-handed approach to terrorist content on the internet. do you think policies like that will further the marginalization paradigm and restrict terrorist content sharing and recruitment to applications like telegram?
or do you think it will lead to telegram being ostracized in these countries and making, i don't know, them not use telegram and find other apps? how do you think that will influence terrorist use of telegram? >> you may want to jump in. >> i think one of the difficulties, there is a very careful balance that needs to be played. one of the reasons we sort of caution against the use -- these approaches like fines against social media providers and heavy-handed approaches is it is difficult to target to a -- target them to a specific platform. one thing that is hard to do is it has to be applied throughout an entire sector. essentially any online website that does not follow guidelines put forward in the u.k. or australia is subject to the regulation. -- those regulations. it's a good strategy if you're
trying to implement the goal of getting terrorists of the internet all together. but that is not necessarily a tenable goal. one of the reasons i think that we are dealing with this entire idea of isis on telegram as much as they are is because when the regulations were put into place against twitter and facebook, it is very difficult to contain their impact in just those platforms. and what ends up happening is these large-scale migrations to platforms we have less of an indication about. it is sort of following cold air and hot air in a room. if there is a lot of pressure, the migration will float to a platform, wherever regulations are not put in place. >> governments in australia and the u.k. are feeling genuine public pressure to transfer that pressure in the direction of
the technology sector. they don't have the ability as our government does in the u.s. to say the first amendment and use that as a shield. i take the point that bennett makes. this, in some ways, pushes users to places where we have more difficulty learning and gaining value from what they're doing online. but that actually has its own salutary value. if you are directing them to a smaller number of platforms, that makes governments' job to exploit those platforms a little bit easier. there is obviously a cap on how much time, effort, and energy engineers who work in places where the government worry about the problem can spend. if they're spending it on 15 platforms instead of five, that makes their job harder. that is probably not quantifiable, but i would argue it's a benefit. >> the radicalization pool may
shrink. another question here. >> thanks. i know this was a report on english-speaking telegram. i'm wondering if there are any insights you gathered in your research, or if you could pontificate on the bigger arabic picture, or also french, german, russian, other language, gray and official media. thank you. >> i think the degree of interconnectedness between languages is important. this is also part of the gray media picture as well. a lot of what these media outlets are doing is taking original content and producing their own content. it's an unofficial translation of officially released content. that is important for a couple of reasons --, first, it obviously takes out the gap when previously you would have the media center or another official outlet doing the bulk of the work and translating materials
into these different languages. now, it can be outsourced to supporters. the downside of it is, i feel it is less good of a translation. it may follow a less strict hierarchical rule. it can reach into languages or areas where the islamic state may not have had capacity before. the other thing we see, even though it is english language, within our sample we see a lot of intersection with the other types of languages shared. there is a decent amount of arabic language stuff. english is important as well in this context. because in the digital arena, it is a global lingua franca, and a jihadist lingua franca as well. isis supporter in the philippines, in nigeria, south america and washington, d.c. may not eight be able to speak to each other in arabic, fluently, but more likely in english, as well.
that is something our sample gets to a little bit. the english language does not mean it is geographically restrained as well. >> can i add a question? beyond the islamic state or i.s. problems here, did you pick up anything anecdotally or about theistically focus of the study, obviously. >> we saw some cross action where we saw some of the insight. it was in disputes. someone in an isis telegram group would forward something else from an al qaeda or other telegram groups, forward it into their own general and issue their critique of it. we were able to get some window of insight into that. also, other detractors as well. the number of the shia militia groups in iraq and elsewhere are also active on telegram. there have been recent reports
beyond the scope of the report as well that certain far right extremism groups are also migrating to telegram. very similarly in the wake of increased pressure by major social media groups like facebook and instagram to push them off their platforms. that is something to consider even though it is not within the scope of our study. >> i'm from the australian embassy. i would like to echo nick's comments a moment ago and commend you for the work you have undertaken here. it is a sweet spot not just in terms of relevance, but in the timeliness of the work. we heard about australia's experience when he came to -- when it comes to legislating against airport terrorist-related material on the internet. timely, because were undertaking this work with g7 partners. a lot of the push from our government relates to the events
in christchurch some months ago. i saw on your slides, there were references to live streaming. i wonder if you had any reflections on the one in which -- the way in which life -- live streaming is used on telegram. thank you. >> i can't remember. it was not something we look specifically at, if there was livestream video in a similar manner. but you saw an instantaneous reaction when there is a significant attack. something else i didn't get to in the presentation, about the hashtag count i showed you before. and just generally about content. i think one of the reasons why attacks in the west or australia or anywhere outside of i.s. held territory did not register either as a content category or top 25 hashtag is because that type of topic tends to be -- and
in telegram groups, you have supporters that are engaged with it for 24, 48, 96 hour time window after the event has taken place. and then news media is released on it. that is what our general finding was in terms of instantaneous reaction to these sorts of events. >> time for one more question, sir. >> ctc at west point recently released a study of one of its findings showing that essential media was very concerned with the centralization of the content that was produced, so i am wondering if in your research on gray media, do you have any insights on the relationship between official isis essential media and these unessential media accounts?
thank you. >> to the rabbit hole, i love that. >> yes. so, in my study, the criminal complaint shows some interesting kinds of rules that were actually posted within the writers group, i believe, for the media foundation. and so, i am paraphrasing these rules or something like that, you always follow an official announcement for is claim only -- claims of attack, only published content that is pro-i.s. there were four of them. these rules kind of allowed a few guidelines to help the media foundation produce the propaganda and kind of stay within a couple of guidelines. think it demonstrated a need and an attempt to try to
centralize and keep them somewhat in line, but direct oversight and approval for before publication was not there. within these guidelines, they were able to produce whatever mash-up that fit the bill. -- videos that fit the bill. we did see a connection for the larger issues, so for example, the merger, but i think it was interesting that they had already begun the merger when they checked in with i.s. central headquarters and were d.ld to resend -- rescin there are those kinds of the times within the media foundation case. unfortunately, without any other case studies, it is difficult to say what is going on behind the scenes with the other gray media groups, but the criminal complaint does show and demonstrate how they are attempting to do this in one example. >> can i add one more comment? this is based off of inference as well, but when i central central media generally releases a statement that says do not do x, it is usually it is safe to assume
that at the grassroots level, somebody is doing x. i think that is especially true in terms of the centralization question. gray media, in response to the de-centralization was posting content that was at times, divergent from what i.s. central media lines were. i can see in general, like a lot of these generalizations after reading the ctc study, a lot of these regulations came around the same time when there was significant disputes at the grassroots level on whether to follow the gray media outlets or follow i.s. central media in their line as well. >> one last question. >> hello, i am with chicago projects on security contracts. -- security and threats. i want to thank helen and the team for their fascinating research.
i think my question is regarding how isis maintains the operational security online. on telegram, i recall a video being released in 2018 where the group very publicly acknowledges the fact that it's channels are -- its channels are being infiltrated online by western and u.s. security agencies, but the group's reaction to that is with every channel taken down on telegram, we will create 30 more. the video also features supporters literally sending the pledge of allegiance online via text, so with this sort of reaction to online expansion and decreasing the barriers to entry, i was curious as to what exactly are they talking about in terms of instructions on how to maintain operation security -- operational security given that expansion. thank you. >> my mic is already turned on. two things, the two categories which are posed under the same
header of operational security our operational security are operational security generally, that is just taken care of. most of that is an online. do not directly message other people, do not talk to other people that you met on telegram about trying to conduct an attack. be careful of other people in groups, and one of our offers is distributing a manual for basic operational security of how to -- about how to avoid a tail, like someone driving behind you in a car, or to not drive through major roads that have cctc cameras on them. but the more important category i would say is cybersecurity, and that is to use privacy maximizing services. we are not safe on telegram. agents are in here, we have been infiltrated, and what you need to do is not just used telegram -- use telegram and its
encryption, it's anonymity, but -- its anonymity, but here's instructions on how to download a vpn, here is how to use a secure email service. here's to make sure you are not sharing other information on your telegram account, measures like that. i would say those two categories are the largest of what we are seeing with isa supporters. >> thank you very much. i am aware of our time, and i want to remind you that the report is available on our website. i want to congratulate ben and helen for a job well done on a two-year project and it was a pleasure as a member of the team to watch you go through the process, and i am happy that it was not me. doing all of that coding, and thank you, nick, very much for your insights on the report. these guys will stick around afterwards and if anybody has any questions, and the livestream for c-span, thank you for watching. [applause]
lots of campaign coverage ahead this weekend, beginning tonight with bernie sanders and the life podcast in iowa-- live podcast in with other presidential candidates. coverage starts at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. tomorrow, senator cory booker interviewed on the podcast from iowa city. you can see that my vet 8:45 and eastern on c-span. 8:45u can see that at eastern p.m. on c-span.
announcer: suspends washington journal, live every day -- c-span's washington journal, live every day with issues that impacted. in our spotlight on magazine segments, we will feature the special investigation piece "gag order" looking at the treatment of prisoners in colorado. we will talk about the group that opposes the commercialization and normalization of marijuana. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal live at 7:00 eastern saturday morning. join the discussion. announcer: earlier today, the senate announced the death of lloyd john ogletree who served as senate chaplain from 1990 52 2003. he was a native of wisconsin who