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