(Maura wrote a nice paper. WEN) '... Terrorist 'use' of the Internet has been largely ignored, however, in favour of the more headline-grabbing 'cyberterrorism.' The purpose of this paper is to help remedy that deficiency. ...'
Reality Bytes: Cyberterrorism and Terrorist 'Use' of the Internet by Maura Conway This paper examines the concept of cyberterrorism. Fringe activity on the Internet ranges from non-violent 'Use' at one end to 'Cyberterrorism' at the other. Rejecting the idea that cyberterrorism is widespread, the focus here is on terrorist groups' 'use' of the Internet, in particular the content of their Web sites, and their 'misuse' of the medium, as in hacking wars, for example. Terrorist groups' use of the Internet for the purpose of inter-group communication is also surveyed, partly because of its importance for the inter-networked forms of organisation apparently being adopted by these groups, but also due to the part played by the Internet in the events of September 11 and their aftermath. Contents Introduction What is Cyberterrorism? 'Use' and 'Misuse': Some Empirical Observations (Inter)Networking and 9-11 The Internet and 9-11: The Aftermath Conclusion http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_11/conway/ '... The Internet is neither simply a potential vehicle for carrying out attacks nor a potential target, however. The Internet is also the instrument of a political power shift. It is the first many-to-many communication system. The ability to communicate words, images, and sounds, which underlies the power to persuade, inform, witness, debate, and discuss (not to mention the power to slander, propagandise, disseminate bad or misleading information, engage in misinformation and/or disinformation, etc.) is no longer the sole province of those who own or control printing presses, radio stations, or television networks. Every machine connected to the Internet is potentially a printing press, a broadcasting station, or a place of assembly. And in the twenty-first century, terrorists are availing of the opportunity to connect. The Internet is an ideal propaganda tool for terrorists: in the past they had to communicate through acts of violence and hope that those acts garnered sufficient attention to publicise the perpetrators cause or explain their ideological justification. ...' '... When it comes to discussion of cyberterrorism, there are two basic areas in which clarification is needed. One has to do with the confusion between cyberterrorism and cybercrime. Such confusion is partly caused by the lack of clear definitions of the two phenomena. A U.N. manual on IT-related crime recognises that, even after several years of debate among experts on just what constitutes cybercrime and what cyberterrorism, "there is no internationally recognised definition of those terms" (Mates, 2001). The second has to do with making clear distinctions between two different facets of terrorist usage of information technology: terrorist use of computers as a facilitator of their activities, and terrorism involving computer technology as a weapon or target. ...' Conclusion '... In conclusion, the bulk of the evidence to date shows that terrorist groups are making widespread use if the Internet, but so far they have not resorted to cyberterrorism, or shown the inclination to move heavily in this direction. In keeping with this reality, Richard Clarke, White House special adviser for Cyberspace Security, has said that he prefers not to use the term 'cyberterrorism,' instead, he favours the term 'information security' or 'cyberspace security,' since at this stage terrorists have only used the Internet for propaganda, communications, and fundraising (Wynne, 2002). ...' IWS INFOCON Mailing List @ IWS - The Information Warfare Site http://www.iwar.org.uk