Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged governments to fight online campaigns aimed at recruiting for extremist movements spreading in the Muslim world.
“We still have to do a better job protecting online space, including websites and chat rooms where extremists inspire and recruit followers,” Clinton, a possible 2016 Democratic candidate for U.S. president, said in a speech Wednesday in Winnipeg, Manitoba. “We started work in this area but there is so much more to be done.”
Clinton spoke a day after President Barack Obama, in his sixth State of the Union address, asked Congress to authorize military action against Islamic State extremist groups. Public opinion polls show mounting support for stronger U.S. global leadership, especially in light of threats from Islamic State.
Clinton, who lost the 2008 Democratic race to Obama, said terror attacks in Europe are a stark reminder that threats exist as an “ideology of hate” spreads. Clinton said nations need to do more to stop online recruiting, and democracies need to stand against values that conflict with their beliefs.
Gunmen this month killed 17 people in three days of attacks in and around Paris, including nine journalists at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Belgian police arrested suspects who they said intended to kill several policemen.
Clinton spoke to about 2,000 people at a Winnipeg Convention Centre event sponsored by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
“We need to target extremist propaganda,” Clinton said. “We have to show the world that free people and free markets, human rights and human dignity and respect for our fellow men and women is our core strength.”
Law enforcement officials in Europe have pressed companies such as Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. to do more to help support the fight against terrorism. The officials are concerned about the Internet’s role in luring Europeans to join Islamist militants in Syria and Iraq.
European Union interior ministers met informally with executives from Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft Corp. in Luxembourg on Oct. 8 to discuss ways to combat Islamic State’s use of websites for glossy recruitment publications and for posting videos of executions.
During her comments, Clinton said she was “not going to express an opinion” of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project proposed by Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. and reviewed by the State Department while she was secretary. The review is continuing.
Since leaving the State Department in February 2013, Clinton has given paid speeches and worked on philanthropic projects through the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. Her speaking fees are as high as $300,000, according to a report by the Washington Post.