Belgium urges EU to help gather sensitive social media data

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium has urged the European Union to help anti-terror investigators gather electronic data from social media to prevent attacks like those in Brussels last month.

Justice Minister Koen Geens said Monday that “terrorists are using Viber, WhatsApp, Twitter, Skype or Facebook to communicate with each other.”

He told EU lawmakers that in the past governments could rely on telecommunications operators to cooperate with investigators, but that social media firms haven’t been as forthcoming.

Geens said “communication with these providers is far from optimal, and that has been a major obstacle for the investigations.”

He said “the EU needs to step in urgently to coordinate national responses and a discussion with providers.”

The March 22 suicide attacks on the Brussels airport and subway killed 32 people.

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