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George Terwilliger Discusses Need for Internet Companies, Government Cooperation on Terror Threats

December 9, 2015

George Terwilliger on FoxBusiness

George Terwilliger during his live appearance Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, on “Cavuto Coast-to-Coast” on the Fox Business Channel discussing the need for greater cooperation between online companies and law enforcement in battling terror.

Washington partner George Terwilliger, a former deputy U.S. attorney general, was featured Wednesday on “Cavuto Coast-To-Coast” on the Fox Business Channel in a discussion about new federal efforts to force Internet companies to share information with authorities investigating terrorism threats.

Terwilliger, one of Washington’s best-known white-collar and government investigations lawyers, said there is a legal basis for newly introduced bills in Congress that would compel social media and other internet services providers to share information with investigators.

“One would hope that the technology companies would cooperate,” he said in response to a question from host Neil Cavuto. “This is an unprecedented challenge and it is going to take an unprecedented effort at cooperation from the private sector and from the government to do what needs to be done.”

A bill Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., introduced Tuesday would force social media companies such as Facebook to alert law enforcement to terrorist activities they detect on their networks. The legislation comes in response to last week’s shooting deaths of 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., that is under investigation as a terrorist act.

According to news reports, the couple who carried out the attack had posted a pledge of allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State on Facebook under fake names around the time of the deadly rampage. President Barack Obama, in his Sunday night address to the nation, urged technology companies and law enforcement to cooperate in making it more difficult for terrorists to use encryption and other technology to conceal their activities.

Terwilliger said investigators need more help in tracking and shutting down terror plots.

“We need to empower the government and people in government who can connect the dots with the dots,” he said.