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Terrorism's Next Move on the Internet?
Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, an American counter-terrorism expert and attorney, penned an interesting piece last month titled “Al Qaeda, the Internet, and the Arab Spring.” In it he explores the directions the world’s #1 non-state terrorist group might take their Internet operations for recruiting, for communication, and for recon.
Interestingly, he sees the Arab Spring as being a possible advantage for al Qaeda–something very different then the typical Western media sound bite of how Twitter and Facebook helped bury jihadism. The advantage being that post-revolution the expectations will be high, and when they aren’t met, when frustrations begins to rise, then extremism might hold. But in terms of the Internet:
A key lesson that al Qaeda will draw from the Arab Spring is how technology has made it far easier to cause instability within the systems that al Qaeda opposes. One can add the impact of technological advances to other structural features driving instability, such as the severely damaged world economy. When we try to project al Qaeda’s future Internet strategy, much of it will relate to this singular point that was so dramatically illustrated by the Arab Spring. A few principles can likely be attached to the direction that al Qaeda’s use of the Internet is taking.
Either way, time will tell. And maybe this is why a bill was recently approved that requires ISPs to track their customers?