Here’s a special report that analyzes how the Internet can facilitate terrorist operations – http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr116.html . It reveals the ways in which terrorists exploit Internet resources for various activities. It’s shocking to read how they have been so Internet savvy and have been utilizing it for psychological warfare to recruitment, networking to fundraising and data-mining and networking to planning and coordination.
Here is an excerpt from the report – “al-Qaeda cells now operate with the assistance of large databases containing details of potential targets in the U.S. They use the Internet to collect intelligence on those targets, especially critical economic nodes, and modern software enables them to study structural weaknesses in facilities as well as predict the cascading failure effect of attacking certain systems”. Terrorists and criminal groups are much advanced in conducting the so called ‘cyber-warfare’. Given such a situation, they are sure to be capable of circumventing any intelligence add-ons that the government establish in the network.
As the lecture states, the world of hacking has been now in the hands of black hats and crackers. As governments apply wiretapping to detect criminal activity, these groups might also have similar techniques to sniff out intelligence, especially military, government, economy and business. Adding intelligence to the Internet without sound security will be truly a disaster. Enemy is equally powerful. We need to devise technology to detect and thwart any terrorist networking activities or web-sites on the Internet. Impose ban and offer no support for groups/websites/nations that support terrorist activities. I think CALEA and the changes that it made to make wiretapping possible without a search warrant, lawful, easier is actually a thoughtful decision even though there is mixed feelings.