Silicon Valley, Hollywood to help White House in ISIS propaganda fight

Executives from tech companies and Hollywood studios will meet with officials from the White House, the Justice Department and other parts of the U.S. government on Wednesday to develop strategies to beat back ISIS messaging online and in the media.

According to a draft agenda for the meeting obtained by CNBC, the executives will hear from Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith.

Labeled as the "Madison Valleywood Project," the event will include a panel discussion led by a brand marketing expert on "ISIL's media strategy, including examples of ISIL recruiting materials," as well as "meeting the challenge of bringing to scale counter-narratives and optimistic messaging." The project name is meant to include Madison Avenue, Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

The high-level meeting comes at a time when tech companies and U.S. law enforcement are deeply at odds over the FBI's demand for access to the iPhone used by San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. That issue has split public opinion between those who favor broad protections for digital privacy and those who want more aggressive cooperation with government against terrorism.


But one person from a participating company said Wednesday's meeting is exactly the way the private sector should work with the government.

"Counter-messaging is what we wanted to the government to work on," the person said. "Better than yelling at companies to play whack-a-mole with accounts." The person said there is not expected to be any discussion of encryption at the meeting.

Wednesday's meeting follows a Feb. 16 session with the heads of Hollywood studios convened by Secretary of State John Kerry in California. That event included the heads of Universal, DreamWorks and Warner Bros., among others.

Twitter has suspended an additional 235,000 accounts since February for violating a policy related to the promotion of terrorism.
Dado Ruvic | Reuters
Twitter has suspended an additional 235,000 accounts since February for violating a policy related to the promotion of terrorism.

And it follows Twitter's announcement in early February that the social media company had deleted more than 100,000 accounts deemed related to the so-called Islamic State, which is known as ISIS and ISIL.

On the schedule for Wednesday's three-hour gathering were a number of sessions, including "Storyboarding the Opportunity," in which attendees will be broken into teams of eight in an interdisciplinary mix to "determine where they think they can have greatest impact" and "publish their 'Statement of Intent.'"

Additionally, the teams will develop a "road map" for the next 100 days. The session will be held from 1-4 p.m. ET at the Justice Department.

DISCLOSURE: Universal Studios is owned by Comcast, the parent of CNBC.