by Allum Bakhari
Over the past three weeks, some of the most powerful tech companies in the world have taken a number of steps — unprecedented even by their standards — to monitor their users. On July 26, a consortium of tech companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Reddit, Verizon, Airbnb, and Mailchimp announced it would shift the focus of their joint counter-terrorism program, the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). Previously dedicated to tracking Islamic extremists, the coalition would now focus its attention on material shared online by “white supremacists” and “far-right militias.”
The next day, PayPal, the leading online payments processor, announced a partnership with the far-left Anti-Defamation League to uncover and disrupt payment flows to those who are allegedly profiting from, according to Reuters, “antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism, anti-immigrant, anti-Black, anti-Hispanic and anti-Asian bigotry.” In addition to sharing its data with the far-left ADL, PayPal said it would share data with law enforcement.