Petraeus Says Efforts to Beat Extremists Online are Lacking

Posted at 3:36 PM, Feb 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-01 15:36:00-05

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former CIA Director David Petraeus says the U.S. isn't doing enough to stop the Islamic State from using the internet to spread its propaganda and recruit new members.

During congressional testimony Wednesday, Petraeus said the so-called counter-messaging efforts are not adequate. He didn't mention any specific programs.

His remarks come a day after The Associated Press published an investigation that found a counter-propaganda program aimed at thwarting the Islamic State's use of social media for recruiting is plagued by incompetence, cronyism and skewed data.

The program, known as WebOps, is run by defense contractors at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida.

Petraeus says the U.S. must work more closely with internet service providers and social media platforms. He says a prior collaboration succeeded in blocking large amounts of child pornography.