Terrorist organizations and terrorists are exploiting social media and the internet resources for the purpose of committing terrorist activities and for the facilitation of wide-ranging terrorist activities including radicalization, incitement, training, recruitment, communications, information gathering, planning, financing, and preparation (United Nations, n.d). Technology has quickly become a fundamental component of the modern day society. Technology governs itself therefore making it possible for terrorists to utilize it for the purpose of advancing their terrorism. Modern terrorism has become unpredictable and instantaneous thanks to technology. Technology has made it possible for terrorists to target large audiences and bring terror right into the home (InfoSec, 2018). Cyberspace is a technological environment that has no boundaries hence making it a place where terrorists can locate resources, disseminate propaganda information and launch attacks in any corner of the world.
5 main technological types and/or tools Used by ISIS for Information Sharing and Intelligence Gathering
Social Media: Modern terrorism has chosen social media as a useful resource. The online social platforms make communication within terrorist groups possible. Terrorists use social media for recruitment, propaganda sharing, psychological warfare, mobilization, information gathering, data mining etc. (InfoSec, 2018). Most terrorist attacks are choreographed meticulously for the purpose of attracting electronic media and international press. The objective of terrorism is to target the population watching and using media resources and not just the killing of victims. The strategists of ISIS employ social media as an important resource for mobilization. ISIS has managed to mobilize approx. 40,000 foreigners from around the world with enticing messages encouraging them to join them (Ward, 2018).
Increased access to the internet in the Middle East and Africa has given ISIS a broader pool of support gained through social networks. It is the duty of analysts and policy makers to comprehend the intentions of terrorist organizations in their use of Information communication technologies (Ward, 2018). The internet offers convenience due to its accessibility and affordability. Broader social media reach (platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, YouTube, and Instagram etc.) in the global space has allowed ISIS to easily share information and gather intelligence.
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Encryption: Encryption of communication through messaging applications and electronic devices has become a growing phenomenon today. ISIS and other terrorist organizations have exploited the encryption technology to make it possible for them to communicate securely and thereafter store destructive information (Graham, 2016). Any legislative effort aimed at empowering enforcement agencies with ability to listen to private communication may never bear any fruits. The encryption of information is a new phenomenon commonly referred to as going dark (Graham, 2016). End to end encryption codes have given rise to unbreakable…
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…surveillance activities have been used by terrorists to counter the efforts of security forces.
ISIS has been known to use threats, murder, kidnapping, population control, resource control to prevailing over Syria and Iraq. They send threats to targeted populations through social media, through text messages, IED attacks, bombing, anonymous calls etc. This way ISIS succeeds in sending terror to the local communities who oblige by paying taxes to them for their own security.
In order to overcome the threat of terrorism the U.S. security agencies may have to bleach the rights to privacy in order to get into the communication networks of suspect organizations if only to foil potential attacks on the American people. By hacking into the ISIS fusion centers and eavesdropping on their digital, radio, and apps communication it is likely to decode what they might be planning. As it was with the San Bernardino attacker the FBI employed the services of professional hackers to access details of the attacker’s iPhone (Nakashima, 2016). The FBI can also employ drone surveillance, artificial intelligence, and data mining to get into the terrorists networks and minds (InfoSec, 2018). The security agencies can also deploy radio and cellphone jammers to disrupt, interfere, or block illegal, terrorist wireless communications (Phantom Technologies, 2018). Similarly the intelligence units can interfere with internet communication as….....
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Ward, A., (2018). ISIS\'s Use of Social Media Still Poses a Threat to Stability in the Middle East and Africa, Rand. Retrieved 14 March, 2019 from https://www.rand.org/blog/2018/12/isiss-use-of-social-media-still-poses-a-threat-to- stability.html