Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he wants to talk to Bill Gates about “closing that Internet up in some way” in order to prevent Islamic terrorist group ISIS from recruiting kids.
Speaking at a Pearl Harbor Day rally in South Carolina yesterday, Trump said, “We have kids that are watching the Internet and they want to be masterminds… they’re young, they’re impressionable, they go over there, and they want to join ISIS.”
Clearly, the Internet is to blame. Trump continued (see video here, Internet-related comments beginning at 22:53):
We’re losing a lot of people because of the Internet and we have to do something. We have to go see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening. We have to talk to them, maybe in certain areas closing that Internet up in some way.
Somebody will say, ‘oh, freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people… we’ve got to maybe do something with the Internet because they are recruiting by the thousands, they are leaving our country and then when they come back, we take them back.
Naturally, Trump didn’t offer any explanation of how the US could close the Internet to terrorists but not to law-abiding people. After his brief Internet comments he moved on to discuss the couple who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, speculating that the wife was able to radicalize her husband because he “couldn’t get women.”
Technology executives don’t seem eager to help Trump figure out how to “close that Internet,” but Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos yesterday suggested sending Trump into outer space.
Trump was busy yesterday, also saying that Muslims should be banned from entering the US, drawing condemnation from Democrats and Republicans alike.
Trump isn’t the only US politician who wants to close parts of the Internet. US Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) argued last month that we should shut down websites and social media networks used by ISIS and other terrorist groups. Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton wants tech companies to help prevent terrorist use of encrypted communications, while President Obama on Sunday said he wants “high-tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice.”