Aug 4, 2019

What you can and must do to help stop mass shootings

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (C) hugs El Paso resident Antonio DeAnda (L), 70, after a vigil ceremony at Saint Pius X Church. Photo: Joel Angel Juarez/AFP/Getty Images

"See something, say something" is going online.

The big picture: Katherine Schweit, a former FBI agent who was in charge of the active-shooter program, told Axios in a phone interview that mass shooters frequently were surrounded by people who saw danger signs in person or online.

Why it matters: FBI behavioral research has found that 80-90% of mass shooters "leaked" warning signs: "Watch out on Tuesday."

"Law enforcement is likely to be the last to hear," said Schweit, now a workplace-violence consultant.

  • "It's not uncommon when we interview people for them to say: 'He's always been like that, but he's never done anything like this before.'"

"The biggest ace in the hole we have for prevention is people listening to the people around them," she added.

  • "Employees and friends need to report concerns not because they want to get them in trouble, but because they want to help them out."

Retiring Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), a former CIA undercover officer, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN that threats are often "shared on social media in a way that can help tip and cue federal law enforcement":

Screenshot it.  If you're looking at it on your phone, screenshot it, and then do a search for [your] police department. There's guaranteed to be an e-mail where you can send these kinds of things and then attach that screenshot to an email and send it to local police.
You can actually find the FBI's phone number in the phonebook. I don't know if people still use phonebooks, but that is something you can go on the internet and find that as well.

Go deeper

Government wants access to personal data while it pushes privacy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Over the past two years, the U.S. government has tried to rein in how major tech companies use the personal data they've gathered on their customers. At the same time, government agencies are themselves seeking to harness those troves of data.

Why it matters: Tech platforms use personal information to target ads, whereas the government can use it to prevent and solve crimes, deliver benefits to citizens — or (illegally) target political dissent.

Go deeperArrowAug 26, 2019

Tech companies say they're ready to fight white-nationalist terror

Photo: MSNBC

Tech companies are willing to work more closely with law enforcement to fight white nationalist terrorism, but the industry is skeptical of the White House's seriousness on the issue.

Why it matters: President Trump called on social media to do better monitoring in the wake of recent mass shootings, but the companies point out the White House still has yet to sign on to recommendations made in the wake of the Christchurch shooting.

Go deeperArrowAug 5, 2019

GOP Rep. Steve Scalise calls for domestic terrorism to be a federal crime

House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday that he supports making domestic terrorism a federal crime after mass shooters in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, killed 31 people last weekend.

Go deeperArrowAug 11, 2019