‘Never interrupt the enemy when he’s making a mistake’ ~ Napolean Bonaparte
I guess, if ‘ole Napolean was around today, and at the front of a ‘cyber-jihad’ the quote of his I placed directly above would rather read ‘never interrupt the enemy when he’s leeching off our constitutional rights’… and here’s why:
Today I watched a CSPAN hearing on “Social Media & the Next Evolution of Terrorist Recruitment”. (Side note I notice that Mubin, in the 1 hr 55th minute uses the quote “Be Like Water”, it’s probably a coincidence). That’s right, today, not last week, not last month, and not a couple of years ago. Today. I guess in a way I’m glad the threat and offensive counter-measures I’ve been conducting and documenting right here on this blog for 5 years is finally getting some ears to prick up.
Those who have followed me for the longest time will recall my strategy on dealing with the threat of jihadis radicalizing, recruiting and even training homegrown threats online. Back then, they weren’t nearly as prolific on social media as they are today. Partly b/c they now have large swathes of ‘Anonymous’ doing their cyber bidding for them. They had their own websites, forums and discussion boards hosted in ‘unfriendly nations and states’. They were managed by themselves and almost always had an English speaking section, for the US-based homegrowners to keep up with the latest techniques, tactics and procedures they were concocting.
So back to the original ‘strategy’
I didn’t go out of my way to broadcast my approach except in a select few places. It was quite simple. I made it my mission to “constantly disrupt and/or disable their self-managed offshore servers, to sow distrust among the users and total frustration among the site administrators… strive to make it too much of a pain in their puckered asses to bother using their own resources… thereby forcing them off those boxes and ‘herding’ or ‘funneling’ them into a smaller space. Because smaller spaces are easier to watch and monitor.” The whole effort was well-documented and relatively successful, in at least 179 cases (via CNN) and independently confirmed here (by NBC).
Another GIANT indicator of the success is they are now mostly utilizing Social Media. Well guess what? This is the ‘smaller space’ I mentioned above. The US for all intents and purposes IS social media. Facebook, Twitter, WordPress etc are all US owned companies, that’s a pretty small space and footprint compared to the hundreds of self-managed servers in places that either support them, or simply don’t care. Here’s an excerpt from my interview with Homeland Security Today Magazine over a year ago explaining a little more:
So that’s good right?
Well yes and no. It would be good if the US Social Media companies would stop thinking that the protections that OUR Constitution affords us also applies to foreign terror organizations. They’re using the 1st Amendment, our 1st Amendment, against us. Add to that only a couple of weeks ago Twitter bosses vowed to tell users who are suspects if any government agency comes knocking looking for information on them. This is a US company tipping off terror suspects. That’s freaking ‘providing material support to terrorists’ in my opinion. I realize Twitter, Facebook, WordPress et al are NOT the Government, they are private companies, so I’m not talking about the legality here, it’s the goddamn principle.
Everything is pretty messed up. We’ve got the Government (allegedly) infringing the constitutional rights of citizens, while at the same time we’ve got internet giants handing out those same OUR constitutional rights to non-citizens, worse, terrorists. I wrote about this only a few weeks ago here, so I won’t drone on too much.
Yes the internet wants to be free, and borderless, all that. And I agree, mostly. But at what cost? The way I see it, the terrorists are, as of right now, in that smaller space, easier to watch and monitor. We’ve got ’em right where we want ’em, and yet we are squandering the holy hell out of the opportunity. I don’t know what the answer to this shitfest is, but until somebody un-fucks this madness, I guess I’ll stick around.