Friday, October 05, 2007

Western Goverments Look to Counter Online Terrorist Activities

It should come as no surprise that Western governments are looking for ways to counter the use of technologies by terrorist and other politically motivated groups. The International Herald Tribune has a report on these efforts and the potential impacts.

It is clear that governments must take action to counter online threats but the fear is that these actions are not always well thought out or the unintended consequences of countermeasures are understood. The article states this very clearly:

"One way of viewing these trends is that the terrorists have won," said Richard Clayton, a computer security researcher at the University of Cambridge who is part of the OpenNet Initiative, which tracks Internet surveillance and filtering practices. "They're making us change our society to counteract, not what terrorists are doing, but what they're threatening to do," he said.

"And what's being proposed doesn't really make any difference for a terrorist, who will find a way around it."

It is critical that the effect of countermeasures, whether defensive or offensive, must be understood. This is just as applicable in cyberspace as in the physical world.

West Is Taking Fight Against Terrorism Online

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