Information technologies and constructions of perpetrator identities

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The capacity of information technologies to identify and respond to perpetrators of mass violence creates an expectation that states should use these technologies to provide security to their citizens. One of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Report was that US intelligence agencies needed to make better use of the information they had on potential terrorists (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States 2004, 417). In the intervening years, the power of information technologies has increased, and so too have the claims about what these information technologies can do to identify the perpetrators of mass violence before such events occur. Some propose that security agencies could analyze their existing intelligence to predict terrorist attacks (Woollacot 2015). Others are doing “research on support tools and methods that help law enforcement officers in ongoing investigations of web extremism … [to develop] techniques that can be used to detect indicators supporting that someone has intent to commit a terror attack” (Brynielsson et al. 2013, 2). Following the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in February 2018, US President Trump criticized the Federal Bureau of Investigation for not monitoring and responding to social media posts by the shooter to prevent the tragedy (Graham 2018). In short, there are continued pushes to use these and other informational tools to protect civil society against perpetrators of mass violence
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of Perpetrator Studies
    Editors Susanne C. Knittel and Zachary J. Goldberg
    Place of PublicationNew York
    ISBN (Print)9781315102887
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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