London attack aftermath: Social media crackdown on terror propaganda isn't enough, says ex-DOJ official

  • Tech companies have taken "significant steps," former DOJ official John Carlin tells CNBC.
  • British PM Theresa May says tech companies are providing a "safe space" for extremism.

    Social media will be a key topic of discussion among security experts after the deadly London Bridge terror attack, a former DOJ official in the national security division told CNBC on Monday.

    John Carlin's comment came a day British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a speech that technology companies are providing a "safe space" for extremism and must do more to remove harmful content from the internet.

    "We've seen (tech companies) take significant steps in that direction," Carlin, cybersecurity and technology program chair at Aspen Institute, said on "Squawk Box." "They're going to be under continued pressure from even our closest Western partners, like the United Kingdom, until we all figure out together a way to keep terrorists from exploiting that space."

    In response to the prime minister's criticism, tech giants said they are doing all they can. Facebook pledged to make itself a "hostile environment" for terrorists. Google said it is investing in fighting abuse on its platforms, while Twitter said it is expanding its technology to remove that kind of content.

    It is not clear whether the three attackers, who killed seven people in London late Saturday before being shot dead by police, were users of social media.

    Still, one analyst told CNBC there is little tech companies can do to disrupt online terror planning.

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