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SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER TEAMS UP WITH FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND FLORIDA FUSION CENTER TO PRESENT 2012 “DIGITAL TERRORISM AND HATE REPORT”

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Posted on 04/05/2012 @ 12:31 PM

Leader in Online Hate Monitoring Unveils Free 24/7 “App” for Law Enforcement

DORAL, FL – The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), a leading Jewish human rights organization, recently presented its 2012 "Digital Terrorism and Hate Report" at the Miami-Dade County Emergency Operations Center. More than 40 South Florida homeland security and law enforcement officials participated in this special briefing, including members of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Southeast Florida Fusion Center, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, the Miami-Dade and Aventura Police Departments, the Florida Department of Health, and other agencies.

The presentation was led by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the SWC, and Rick Eaton, the Center’s senior researcher for this project, who have been compiling and sharing the "Digital Terrorism and Hate Report” with law enforcement since 1995. The 2012 report documents more than 15,000 websites, forums, newsgroups, social network pages, YouTube videos, and games promoting hate against minorities, gays, and religions. For the first time ever, the findings of the “Digital Terrorism and Hate Report” are available in the form of a password-protected “app”, providing law enforcement, government agencies, and policy makers with real-time information on specific groups and online trends, providing a powerful new tool in the tracking and combating of online hate.

Highlights of the presentation included online reactions to (and celebration of) the March 2012 murders at a Jewish school in France; promotion of the "Lone Wolf" approach for terrorists and hate-mongers; terrorism tutorials, including bomb-making videos; the uneven efforts of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to deter the use of their services by terrorists and bigots; the warping of the so-called “Arab Spring” by extremist forces in the Middle East; and Iran’s efforts to promote Holocaust denial and hatred against Israel. They also discussed the online activity of South Florida-based hate groups such as Stormfront, as well as efforts to denigrate Hispanics and African-Americans.

“A recent survey by the International Association of Chiefs of Police revealed that fewer than half (48.6%) of all law enforcement agencies have a social media policy,” said Rabbi Cooper. “We hope this free report helps provide law enforcement with much-needed support in this area, and thank our friends at the FDLE and Fusion Center for their partnership in this endeavor.”

For more information about the SWC, please contact Tamar Kohn Marks, SWC Southern Region Director, at tmarks@wiesenthal.com or 305-935-2280.

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