New law aims to clamp down on jihadist activity on the Internet. I’m all for that. But I wonder if politically correct myopia will lead to its being used to clamp down on anti-jihadists as well. From AFP, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
PARIS – A new proposed anti-terror law in the US, presented on Wednesday, aims to clamp down on terrorist activity carried out via the Internet as the Al Qaeda network develops increasingly dangerous online activities.
The proposed law would introduce measures such as extending the period for which cybercafes have to keep records of Internet connection data, but faces a tough battle against “cyber-jihadists” who avoid being tracked through cunning and the fluid nature of the Internet, according to experts.
Terrorists use the Internet for “communication, recruitment, planning” and, importantly, for military instruction, said Rita Katz, head of the Washington-based institute Search for International Terrorist Entities (SITE), which monitors Islamist websites.
“Everything is there, it replaces the training camps,” she said.
One method attributed to the suspected head of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, is the “dead letter box” system: someone creates an email account, gives the password to several members of a group and communicates by saving messages in a draft messages folder without sending them.
Communication by this method cannot be monitored because government systems for tracking emails work only if someone sends an email, said Rohan Gunaratna, head of terrorism research at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies in Singapore.
“It was used by Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, who was the mastermind of 9/11, to communicate with the global network,” Gunaratna said.
The people behind some sites promoting terrorism “are more savvy than a lot of us normal typical internet users,”, said Rebecca Givner-Forbes, an intelligence analyst who monitors the Internet for the Terrorism Research Centre, a company employed by the US government.
“They often use Japanese and Chinese upload web pages because they don’t ask for an email address or any information from the person uploading a file,” she said. “They”ve become very savvy about how they evade detection on the Web.”