The advent of the internet was groundbreaking, allowing half the planet—from students to scientists—access to an unparalleled amount of information and resources acquired throughout the history of time. It has become an integral part of our lives, revolutionizing trade, ﬁnance, shopping, and banking, while changing the structure of communication and furthering globalization. Today, it is estimated that over4billion people have access to the internet. There are reportedly 6,000 tweets posted every second on Twitter, totaling a whopping 500 million tweets per day. YouTube claims that 400 hours of video are added to its site per minute. Every hour, Facebook’s roughly 2.07 billion users world wide post around 30 million messages.
The internet has given a voice to those who previously had no means of expressing themselves to a wider audience. This phenomenon was ﬁrst observed in 2009, when a Moldovan student protest was organized after cell phone coverage was halted by the government. This was considered the ﬁrst “Twitter revolution.”3 After the disputed 2009 Iranian presidential elections, civilians took to the streets and were able to freely post hundreds of accounts, videos, and photos of clashes that were taking place. In 2011, Egyptians were able to organize, and garner public support, via Twitter in order to bring down the government. However, despite all of these positive uses, there are inherent dangers in the ﬂow of information. This powerful engine of communication has also become a weapon of choice for extremist groups, crime networks, and terrorists, who use it to preach hate, spread dangerous ideologies and propaganda, and incite violence.
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By Nir Boms, The Jerusalem Post
Aug. 21, 2007
The Internet – the free and open Web of ideas – has become the new symbol of freedom, or at least one of its more visible prophets. Howard Rheingold, a scholar of the early Internet era, predicted a utopian vision where the “electronic agora” would change the public space and create a free, global society, or an “Athens without slaves.”
But Rheingold’s vision remains utopian. Research shows that outside the Western hemisphere, it is the terrorist groups that have gained the upper hand on the Internet as they use its free virtual space to support radicalism and extremism rather than democracy and freedom. Today, there are more than 5,000 Internet sites affiliated with terrorist groups. Continue reading “Slavery and Freedom on the Internet”
August 23rd, 2004
By Nir Boms/Erick Stakelbeck
While the war on terror has left scores of Islamist terrorists worldwide on the run, there is still one place where they – or at least, their message – can find safe refuge: the Internet.
In the past two weeks alone, a beheading, a graphic terrorist training video and several chilling threats against the West have all been posted on Islamist Web sites. In addition, the FBI announced on Aug. 9 that it was investigating Mazen Mokhtar, an Egyptian-born American citizen, for allegedly operating a radical site that solicited funds and recruited fighters for the Taliban and other jihadist groups.
Continue reading “Democracy Web”
The Labour party is nursing a viper.
By Erick Stakelbeck & Nir Boms
New antiterrorism measures proposed by Britain’s Labour government in late January – including curfews, electronic tagging, and house arrest for terror suspects – were a step in the right direction for a nation increasingly beset by radical Islamists.
The fact that British authorities have arrested dozens of suspected Islamic terrorists and terror sympathizers over the past year and thwarted several terrorist plots (including one which involved crashing airplanes into Heathrow Airport and London’s financial district) merely underscores Britain’s dubious position as al Qaeda’s leading European target.
Continue reading “Britainistan”