The Internet, Everyone's Favorite Whipping Boy

from the who's-to-blame? dept

The internet's been blamed for any number of things from familial neglect to sexual assault, so it was only a matter of time, we suppose, before someone noted that it could be a cause of terrorism. US Homeland Secretary Michael Chertoff is warning that people who wouldn't otherwise have access to terrorist training camps can get the skills -- and of course the indoctrination -- online. In one sense, what he says is true; if someone were so inspired, they could seek these things online. But it's hard to imagine that if somebody were committed to terrorism, the lack of an internet connection would stop them. And if he's talking the internet threat up, is that a precursor to more regulation of it, in the name of homeland security? Seems likely. After all, why would he be identifying the threat if he didn't have a plan to do something about it? Meanwhile, it seems that Iran is similarly concerned about the dangerous effects of the internet. The country is banning broadband, not because it's concerned about terrorism, but because it's worried about too much western culture and media dominating its own.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  •  
    identicon
    eric, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 10:14am

    sounds like they're just trying to warm us up to the idea of the need to monitor all internet usage...instead of adapting to the new "business model"

     

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    Jo Mamma, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 10:27am

    I'm no fan of either the asses or the big, fat elephants, but this crappy administration has got to go.

    Internet = information. You can use it to your advantage, or cry about it and (unsuccessfully) try to stop it.

     

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    Adam Singer, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 10:27am

    don't the terrorists win...

    if we ruin everything we enjoy because of the 'possible' threat of them ?

    oh wait - it's not about the terrorists anyway, it's about our personal freedoms slowly being choked

     

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    Faz, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 10:33am

    Ouch

    Next it will be cars that are a threat.. i ahte whenignorant people do not understand the technology and write it off as bad.. reminds me off the dark ages when people with ADD were marked as possesed by deamons AAAHHHHHH

    internet is for information and sharing, it can be used for good and bad. it is not a living thing. you can not blame the internet.

    like you cannot have war on terrorism, we need a war on some one not an idea aah

     

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    Prometheum, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 10:34am

    The terrorists have already won...

    The terrorists aren't the religious extremists, the terrorists are the leaders who use a faceless enemy to bolster their own political power. When we can all be accused of terrorism, it ceases to be a lable for an enemy and becomes the government's excuse to monitor, detain and torture whoever they see fit.

     

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      adam, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 11:30am

      Re: The terrorists have already won...

      its true, i've seen "terrorist" being used more and more as a label for "dissidents" its amounting to violations of free speach.

      the reality of it is, that with a free and open society comes the freedom and openess to be who you want. instead of focusing on keeping its own citizens from gaining clandestine knowledge, why not focus on the REASON these people want to hurt the US in the first place.
      the US system is broken, its an aristocracy now, not even a republic and most certainly not democratic. the internet isn't indoctrinating these people, the government is doing a fine job of that itsself. WE CREATE THE TERRORISTS, not them, calling it the spread of democracy is a misrepresntation, its really the spread of our brand of capitalism.

      i'm so sick of the erosion of our freedom due to the fight against terrorists.

      /rant

       

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    The Kid, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 10:39am

    Security!

    In the future, you'll need to have a background check to get your private surfing license. An identification layer will be a standard include with the TCP/IP protocol and ISP's won't be allowed to sell you private service without proof that your a bona-fde patriot. Don't try going to the library, you'll need your ITPin to surf. Sorry guys!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 10:50am

    Virtural Crime

    You know that the next thing is for cops to pretend to be terrorists in a chat room or on my space. Then arrest anyone who talks to them about it and takes an oath for al-kidda (pun intended) online

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 10:50am

    Virtural Crime

    You know that the next thing is for cops to pretend to be terrorists in a chat room or on my space. Then arrest anyone who talks to them about it and takes an oath for al-kidda (pun intended) online

     

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    chris (profile), Oct 18th, 2006 @ 10:53am

    OMFG terrorism on the internets!!!

    well, i fusing the internets supports terror we need to ban it right now!!! dig up those tubes and set them on fire!!

    if you use the internets, the terrorists have already won.

     

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    u no, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 11:06am

    reminds me of all the distopias (1984, Farenheit 451, etc) I had to read in high school. I hope this one doesn't end the same way (either death or the dimise of the inidivdual thought).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 11:35am

    Meh ...

    Vehicles can be used as car bombs ... Radios can be used for terrorist communication ... Fertilizer and Petroleum products can be used as explosives ... Paper, pen and an envelope can be used to communicate terrorist plans ... Money can be used to fund terrorism!

    My God!! Is there no hope?! We need to either Monitor or Outlaw everything! Everyone's a terrorist until proven innocent!

    Let's move back to the Dark Ages ... Maybe we can have another renaissance ...

     

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      Capt. Underpants, Jan 15th, 2007 @ 11:18pm

      Re: Meh ...

      Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy:

      First men on earth "We have decided that leaves will be our form of currency. As you can see we have a major inflation problem. To solve this problem we will now burn the forest down."

      To have a renaissance would require people amoung the ignorant to rise up -- contradict popular opinion -- and survive being intelligent and revlolutionary. It's amazing that there was a renaissance the first time.

       

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    Matt Bennett, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 11:37am

    The internet does help terrorists organize, enormously, as do cell phones. Technology that enables everybody enables bad guys, too.

    If the U.S. really had a proble with these sites, they would wage denial of service attacks and whatever else against them, same as everybody else. They wouldn't need excuses, they'd just do it. The fact of the matter is they obviously prefer to leave them up, but as way to monitor things. That's a strategic choice, nothing more.

     

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    Dan, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 11:59am

    but what about...

    the children.

    1) If we say knowledge is power.
    2) If we agree with the Spiderman doctrine - with great power comes great responsibility; and we use standard logic to say 'with power comes responsibility.'
    3) Then we can substitute and say 'with knowledge, comes responsibilty'

    Seriously... documented knowledge is worthless unless you look for it and use it. The internet is not our only source of information. The chemical reactions for explosive material used to exist in standard chemistry books, or could be copied at the local library.

    Is the internet our our modern society's Library of Alexandria, where it will be burned and rebuilt. Does it make sense to destroy or try to control what we know is there, but haven't tried to understand?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 12:18pm

    Yeah, I guess having information on how to build bombs, guns, dirty bombs and other information shouldn't concern anyone. I mean, its just information, right?

     

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      Random Person 2343, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 12:41pm

      Re:

      Yeah, and i guess we shouldn't worry about destroying things like online books not available anywhere else, ease of accessing things, ability to read news, hell, why not free speech altogether? After all, it's just information, right?

       

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    a reader, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 7:35pm

    "But it's hard to imagine that if somebody were committed to terrorism, the lack of an internet connection would stop them."

    Joe, you're buying into the Western self-hatred thing there.

    "But it's hard to imagine that if somebody were committed to burglary, the lack of me leaving the front door open would stop them."

    Stop being suicidal, and stand up to the intolerant religious fundamentalists. There are indeed people who want to kill you, and it's okay to prevent them from doing so.

     

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      eb, Oct 19th, 2006 @ 7:31am

      Re:

      No, it's not all right to stop them at the price of my civil liberties. I'd rather go down fighting with my civil liberties intact, thank you very much. It's amazing how spineless most Americans have turned out to be.

       

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    |3331373|3|_||3, Oct 18th, 2006 @ 7:51pm

    Info

    Terrorists can find all sorts of information easily. If I wanted to, I can wander into the University Library in my city, look in thte chem section, and find out how to make a bomb. (For that mater, I knew how to make ANFO for years, and a priest I know told my entire Yr 12 chem class, a group with several people who had already made and launched rokets etc down at the River Murray). Most of the concepts a sensible pesron can figure out for themselves, and after hold-ups, shootings, and major attacks I know some people who ctique the terrorist/criminals, and laugh at htier incompetence.

    It is the propaganda which mastters, but most of the perople wgo would read a site/book/article which advocates terrorism and takes it seriously would be leaning towards the authour's point of view anyway.

    THe whole idea that the USA is against terrorism per se is nonsense, they funded the IRA for years in blowing up pubs and offices.

     

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    Muk, May 30th, 2009 @ 12:42am

    just say thanks

    Steel and aluminum scaffolding for construction is a very useful tool. How's China printing industry developed this years, who can tell us? China based injection molding services with low costs and supeior quality

     

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    identicon
    China Tent, Oct 8th, 2010 @ 11:45pm

    Your blog article is very intersting and fanstic,at the same time the blog theme is unique and perfect,great job.To your success.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    China Tent, Oct 8th, 2010 @ 11:45pm

    Your blog article is very intersting and fanstic,at the same time the blog theme is unique and perfect,great job.To your success.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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