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.

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Comments on “The Internet, Everyone's Favorite Whipping Boy”

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Faz says:


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

Prometheum says:

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.

adam says:

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.


The Kid says:


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!

Anonymous Coward says:

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 …

Capt. Underpants says:

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.

Matt Bennett says:

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.

Dan says:

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?

a reader says:

“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.

|3331373|3|_||3 says:


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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