16:14 GMT21 January 2021
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    The US Department of Defense refrained from cutting off Internet access in the Islamic State’s command and control center in Raqqa, Syria out of concern for citizens’ rights to access the Internet, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland and Global Security Thomas Atkin said on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In April, the Defense Department officially announced it had begun the use of offensive cyber tactics in the fight against Daesh. The US military acknowledged that it had to carefully weigh decisions over when to use cyber tactics to shut down communications networks versus using the networks to gather intelligence.

    "Certainly going after specific nodes to hamper and stop the use of the Internet by ISIS [Daesh] is important, but we also have to respect the privileges and rights of citizens to have access to the Internet as a whole and as a country," Atkin told members of the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee.

    "When you start talking about ‘taking out the Internet,’ there are all these challenges," Atkin explained when pressed on why Daesh is still able to use the Internet for command and control, recruitment and similar activities.

    "Internet services to a region are much broader generally than just the… single command control node," Atkin said, noting he would discuss the matter further in a classified session with lawmakers taking place on Wednesday afternoon.

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    Tags:
    Internet, Daesh, Pentagon, US, Syria, Raqqa
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