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The Tech-Nuclear Option, Part II: Starve ISIS of Its Oxygen

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

My original article, outlining how to defeat ISIS through an online assault, was met with a chorus of laughter. ( ) I suggested that in order to defeat ISIS we must first shut them down online. In essence, this would starve them of their oxygen. Donald Trump has also suggested that we need to “shut down the Internet.” That too has been met with a great deal of ridicule and laughter. But what does that mean?

Just this week, we've learned that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a rule that restricts its agents from reviewing social media profiles and accounts of persons applying for visas to enter the United States. DHS says searching the social media accounts of visa applicants (which could be potential terrorists), violates their privacy and their rights. It seems the government is more concerned about the rights of non-American citizens than they are its own citizens. Ironically, last week Congress passed a bill that allows the IRS to revoke your passport because of unpaid taxes. The contrast of these two rules is shocking. It further appears that our government is more concerned about revoking passports and denying applications for delinquent taxpayers (a virtual debtors’ prison for citizens) than it is protecting all of us from potential terrorists. In fact, it’s harder for some conservative political groups or committees to get legal IRS status than it is for a terrorist to manipulate our visa system and gain entry to kill innocent Americans.

Terrorist groups like ISIS are using social media profiles, originally set up in Arabic (based in Middle Eastern countries), to infiltrate our dialogue and to recruit for radical organizations.

So, what does Donald trump mean by “shutting down the Internet?” Many would have you think he wants to enact a ban similar to what China does to limit its citizens from viewing political propaganda. He doesn't mean blocking or stopping American citizens from accessing anything they want online. He is loosely referring to a plan, similar to what I suggested in my first “Tech-nuclear” ISIS article ( ), to engage our American-based social media companies and technological brain-trust to hack, shutdown, block the IP addresses and/or hijack the accounts of terrorists stationed around the world. Simply put, if they cannot communicate with their sympathizers in the West by spewing hateful or terror-inspiring messages, their recruitment and communication capacity will be eliminated. Oxygen starved.

Above is an example tweet by an ISIS operative in the Middle-East celebrating the Tuesday, December 15, Los Angeles school system closing due to a Muslim student’s bomb hoax.

Messages such as this spread the image that America is being defeated, ISIS is winning and it empowers radicals to legitimize their cause.

In addition to this U.S. government sponsored disruption, the Federal Government needs to set up a complicated set of algorithms to vet and find these terrorist operatives using social media and blogs against us. American businesses already use such technology in being able to determine what people are saying about them online at any given moment.

There are multiple companies that have analytical resources that can search keywords associated with their business or industry and highlight (for review) all of the mentions about a particular company. As an example: A cable company might search for instances where someone uses their name in a sentence, followed by a derogatory phrase, in order to be able to take action against the negative comments.

On many occasions, I have posted comments about my pathetic experiences with a particular cable provider, who responds almost immediately. These cable companies have an entire army of individuals dedicated to social media. Their job is to respond to complaints about their company and try to neutralize the damage to their reputation.

Many American businesses are already deploying the very tools that our government needs in order to shut down ISIS online. In my last article, I suggested that “we don’t understand their true source of power.” Many of my readers and radio listeners commented that the true source of their power is Islam. I disagree. They are empowered by using our technology to spread a distorted and evil version of Islam to weak-minded losers that society has rejected. The heart of their recruiting is digital.

The problems that face our country are very dire. Solutions are not that complicated. The complications are our weak and inconsequential President, Barack Obama, and a federal government operating on equipment and philosophy better suited for 1965.

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