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R44626 – The Advocacy of Terrorism on the Internet: Freedom of Speech Issues and the Material Support Statutes – 9/8/2016

R44626 – The Advocacy of Terrorism on the Internet: Freedom of Speech Issues and the Material Support Statutes – 9/8/2016 published on

Author: Kathleen Ann Ruane, Legislative Attorney
Pages: 27

The development of the Internet has revolutionized communications. It has never been easier to speak to wide audiences or to communicate with people that may be located more than half a world away from the speaker. However, like any neutral platform, the Internet can be used to many different ends, including illegal, offensive, or dangerous purposes. Terrorist groups, such as the Islamic State (IS, also referred to as ISIS or ISIL), Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Al Shabaab, use the Internet to disseminate their ideology, to recruit new members, and to take credit for attacks around the world. In addition, some people who are not members of these groups may view this content and could begin to sympathize with or to adhere to the violent philosophies these groups advocate. They might even act on these beliefs.

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