Skip to comments.From a Virtual Shadow, Messages of Terror [Islamic use of internet]
Posted on 10/02/2004 1:12:18 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko
SAN FRANCISCO -- He calls himself Abu Maysara al Iraqi, or father of Maysara the Iraqi, and he's a master at being everywhere and nowhere in the virtual world, constantly switching his online accounts and taking advantage of new technologies to issue his communiqués to the world.
American Internet sleuths know next to nothing about him, whether Abu Maysara is his real name, whether he's an Iraqi or even whether he's in Iraq. What is clear is that he is one of the most important sources of information from the country's insurgency, getting his message out through the Internet, and U.S. authorities are trying to silence him.
The Internet, which was created in the 1960s as a communications network that could survive a Soviet nuclear attack, has emerged as a prime tool of Islamic radicals. They use its anonymity to coordinate operations secretly and to get their message to the public sphere with little fear of detection.
Half a dozen federal agencies have assigned teams to monitor sites that carry postings from Abu Maysara and other radicals. The Justice Department has tried, with limited success, to use the authority of the Patriot Act, passed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, to shut down Internet sites that carry such postings, on grounds that they incite violence.
The government's aggressive pursuit of Web hosting services, as well as the people who post the material on them, has led civil liberties groups to protest that security initiatives are impinging on free speech.
Another problem is that U.S. legal authority stops at the borders. Many of the sites with the target postings are located in other countries, so U.S. officials must depend on the good will of foreign governments to shut down the sites.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Half a dozen federal agencies have assigned teams to monitor sites that carry postings from Abu Maysara and other radicals. The Justice Department has tried, with limited success, to use the authority of the Patriot Act, passed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, to shut down Internet sites that carry such postings, on grounds that they incite violence.I don't think that's true at all. It doesn't jibe with my personal experience, or the experience of dozens of admins at ISPs that I've talked to. If anything, the govt. could be accused of just sitting on it's hands. There are no recorded instances in which the govt. actually shut down a terror site.
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