#CtrlSec is the hashtag to be used if anyone want to flag an ISIS account on twitter. This initiative by the hactivist group Anonymous has led to the flagging of around 9200 ISIS sympathetic accounts in the past couple of months.
While this initiative has received a lot of positive vibes from the public, several officials in the Intelligence Bureau who keep a constant watch on such accounts say that there is a flip side to it too.
Twitter handles provide a lot of information and if they are regularly flagged then it could deter information gathering an officer informed.
#CtrlSec and the anonymous message
Even as the hashtag @CtrlSec got a tremendous response, the hactivist group anonymous put out the following message. The message states:
"Releasing [the list of accounts] to hold Twitter accountable. I encourage you all to do your duty not only as a citizen of the world but also as a member of the Internet community and re-post this on social media.
The more attention it gets the more likely it becomes Twitter takes action in removing these accounts and making a serious impact on the ability of ISIS to spread propaganda and recruit new members.
You don't have to be tech savvy to contribute, simply clicking retweet or like could mean the difference between almost 10 thousand active accounts or 10 thousand suspended ones. Help us fight!
What the intelligence agencies feel
Intelligence Bureau officials who have launched various means to track down accounts sympathetic to terror groups are of the view that there needs to be a better pattern to take down such accounts.
Twitter has begun taking down the accounts the moment someone flags them. However this at times has become a bane for investigating agencies. It is necessary to keep a tab over such accounts for over a period of time. We in India have managed to track down several persons giving out information relating to the activities of these terrorist groups.
However when it is taken down immediately, the trail gets lost. Twitter needs to have a different approach to the issue and should at times seek a confirmation from the security agencies or the various intelligence officials before taking down the accounts.
Several instances in which Twitter helped officers
There have been numerous instances where such accounts sympathetic to the ISIS have helped security officials track down the culprits. In India there have been nine known instances where information regarding their movement was picked up from Twitter and these persons nabbed at the right time.
A lot of information about recruits slipping out their respective countries and trying to join the ISIS was also picked up by the British Intelligence Agencies.
In addition to this various bits and pieces of information regarding the recruitment areas, pick up points have also been picked up by intelligence agencies based on the twitter accounts of these persons.