The dominant terrorist organization ISIS starts using a new blockchain-based messaging app to communicate, after its ban from the major messaging app Telegram. The blockchain technology will be used by the app to anonymously spread videos and propaganda to thousands of people worldwide.
As a Vice report from December 13 in the blockchain news shows, experts who track ISIS and their activities have found that supporters of the terror group are now experimenting with blockchain-based messaging app named BCM. On the subject, one BCM spokesperson told media that:
“Our goal is to provide the most secure channel of communication and to safeguard the freedom of digital communication of our users, as we firmly believe that it is the cornerstone of any modern democratic society.”
As ISIS starts using blockchain messaging, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is no stranger to social media and secure messaging apps. According to an article in MIT Technology Review, the terrorist group and its rise to power in 2014 was partially facilitated by social media, Twitter in particular.
At the time, the terrorist group was using Twitter to spread political, religious and military ideas online. However, as the social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube banned ISIS form promoting their content, the terrorist organization turned to secure messaging apps to share their horrific messages.
Earlier this year, ISIS was using Telegram (an app with over 300 million users globally) as its primary application for media releases. As a study conducted by George Washintgon University Program on Extremism showed, the English-speaking ISIS supporters were using Telegram to “communicate with like-minded supporters across the world, disseminate official and unofficial (ISIS) media, and provide instructional material for operations.”
While ISIS has also been testing apps like Hoop, TamTam, RocketChat and Riot, the terrorist group has turned its attention to BCM Messenger due to its unique features. BCM stands for “Because Communication Matters” boasts user anonymity and end-to-end encrypted messages, as well as consistent privacy protection.
As ISIS starts using BCM, every message sent in the private and group charts will be encrypted end-to-end, meaning that no one else on the server can access that content. BCM noted that the messaging app will gradually become open source.
When asked about the goal behind such features, one spokesperson from BCM explained:
“First and foremost, we would like to emphasize that our team does not support nor participate in any form of terrorism and extremism. We believe that freedom of communication is a basic human right. The very fundamental intention of our team when developing this product is to protect the freedom and security of communication.”
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