The U.S. government’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent a letter to chief executives of five large tech companies — Apple, Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and Twitter — asking them to ensure social media platforms are not used to incite violence.
“I am writing to ask you to do your part to put an end to violence and illegal activity spreading across our country by ensuring that your platforms are not used as a tool to organize, facilitate, or incite dangerous or deadly riots, in violation of state and local laws,” Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said in the letter.
Wolf said the department supports First Amendment rights that allow citizens to freely express themselves but cautioned against social media being weaponized to perpetuate criminal activity.
“The misuse of social media platforms to coordinate criminal acts threatens the safety and security of our nation,” Wolf wrote, adding: “the department supports the powerful voice that social media provides to its users.”
He asked Facebook, Twitter, Alphabet’s Google, Snapchat and Apple to help end information sharing on how to break city curfews, which stores or neighborhoods to target for looting or destruction, and for the coordination of attacks against particular people or groups of people.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple is likely lumped in there with social networks due to the App Store, we guess, since they have no access to encrypted Messages in their iMessage service. (Unless this intended to be be used as another pretext to try to get Apple to install “backdoors” into iOS/iPadOS.)