The Islamic State group has developed a smartphone app that will carry the organization’s propaganda and bolster an already robust digital presence for the terror group. The app is available for Android but not in the Google Play Store.
Security experts told the Christian Science Monitor the app is an effort by the group to get around other social media platforms that are less secure and easy for governments and outside groups to attack. ISIS has used Facebook, Twitter and other messaging apps frequently to disseminate its messages.
“They want to create a broadcast capability that is more secure than just leveraging Twitter and Facebook,” said Michael Smith II, the chief operating officer at defense consulting firm Kronos. ISIS “has always been looking for a way to provide easy access to all of the material.”
ISIS sympathizers can download the software on encrypted smartphone chat channels. The methods the Islamic State group uses to communicate and plan attacks have been scrutinized in the weeks following the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris. Soon after those coordinated attacks, reports showed the attackers used encryption technologies to relay messages to one another. Governments began to worry about the role encryption technology companies play, and the FBI said encryption was slowing down counterterrorism efforts. Encryption is generally used by ISIS only when a recruit indicates a willingness to die.
Encryption companies have said they are working to make it harder for terrorists to use their services.
ISIS sympathizers in the United States prefer Twitter as a means of communicating and broadcasting a message, a study by George Washington University in Washington indicated. But, for the Islamic State group as a whole that platform -- like Facebook -- is inefficient. Accounts connected to the terrorists are regularly shut down when messages are published.