Nov 19, 2017 | Updated: 07:21 PM EDT

ISIS Shut Down On Standard Chat Networks, Builds Its Own Chat App

Jan 15, 2016 12:54 AM EST

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It looks like ISIS isn’t about to give up on its quest to find ways to be able to communicate with its networks and key players via the Internet, just yet. Short of suggesting that the malevolent religious terrorist group of networks would just go and revive the pigeon courier networks, it’s almost good news to know that they’ve been run off the apps they use: Telegram has been actively shutting down ISIS messaging groups, and ISIS now tells its members to avoid WhatsApp and Facebook. However, these developments do not mean that the world is out of the woods, just yet. In reports released by the Ghost Security Group and Defense One, ISIS now has its very own messaging app.

According to The Next Web, though, the encryption on the ISIS-built app isn’t as secure as the standard messaging apps, so it would be relatively easier for government-commissioned coders and hackers to break into it. However, since the app is owned and maintained by the terrorist groups themselves, it would be harder for government policing bodies to siphon data from these, since they cannot subpoena the data transmitted through the ISIS-owned app.

Given that the ISIS now has its very own chat app, governments shouldn’t have a reason to create legislation that would give them the right to access private citizens’ data. While it’s certainly prudent for the NSA and CIA to keep monitoring the public social media, chat, and even game communication networks for possible terrorist activities, the right to seize private individuals’ data no longer makes sense, given that ISIS can just use their own apps and networks in order to communicate, anyway.

This chilling new development certainly doesn’t bode well for either the government or the private citizenry. With ISIS being able to chat and connect with their colleagues privately, what’s stopping them from planning large-scale attacks all over the world? The only thing left to do would be for the governments to keep ferreting out servers that host ISIS’ websites and apps. But what if ISIS has its own servers? Either the governments have to keep working on finding and shutting down all of these, or this would be their biggest rationale for building an all-seeing monitoring machine of Orwellian proportions. A scary thought that may soon come true. Just stop bombing countries, ISIS. We want our freedoms back.

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Explore In-Depth:

A previous Droid Report on how the ISIS uses online tools to connect with other members and recruit newbies: http://www.droidreport.com/isis-propaganda-app-disseminated-online-11841

More on the news report [ISIS has its own chat app]:

http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2016/01/isis-now-has-new-secure-messaging-app/125062/

http://thenextweb.com/insider/2016/01/14/isis-builds-its-own-encrypted-android-messaging-app/#gref

http://fortune.com/2016/01/13/isis-has-its-own-secure-messaging-app/

How the ISIS used social media and chat apps to recruit more members online:

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/627577/Islamic-State-Terrorist-Attack-Paris-WhatsApp-Encrypted

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3364625/Pizza-shop-owner-admits-trying-recruit-Islamic-State.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3119167/Fanatics-using-secret-message-apps-says-anti-terror-tsar-Government-set-battle-web-giants-including-WhatsApp-Facebook-warning-landmark-report.html

http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/isis-operational-security-guide-says-avoid-facebook-whatsapp-report-288589.html

A new proposed bill in New York seeks to ban encrypted phones in the state, so that the government can monitor and seize data anytime: http://www.zdnet.com/article/apple-iphone-ban-new-york-looks-to-outlaw-sale-of-encrypted-smartphones/

How Telegram cooperated in the fight against terrorism with moves of its own: http://thenextweb.com/apps/2015/11/19/telegram-says-it-shut-down-78-isis-related-channels-this-week/#gref

A lawsuit accusing Twitter of providing material to "spread extremist propaganda" that led to a private contractor's death in Jordan in 2015: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/01/twitter-provides-material-support-to-isis-lawsuit-alleges/

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