Combating terrorism with Twitter
For years, social media has been a source where people can connect and share information. We all share our holiday pictures or our latest activities. But what most of us don’t know, is that it’s also used to track terrorists. Previously, investigators would rush to the crime scene when a crime occurred. Nowadays, they rush to access the perpetrator’s footprint in digital space. Often, that’s where they’ll find the most crucial clues. It is proven to be particularly important to use digital tracing in suspected terrorism crimes. Investigators research different sources as social networking sites, emails and digital address books for signs of radicalisation and suspected persons.
In the ‘The ISIS Twitter Census’ report they state the ISIS use Twitter to send its propaganda and messaging to the world. They also use it to recruit people vulnerable to radicalisation. Seen their huge amount of support and highly organised tactics, they have been able to make an impact on the world, while also use Twitter to attract new recruits and in- spire lone actor attacks. At the moment, it is estimated that the ISIS control 90000 twitter accounts.
While the ISIS uses Twitter as source to spread their message and recruit new people, the platform can also expose the terrorists’ vulnerabilities and provide its enemies with a means to exploit them. With the terrorist organisation is working hard to hide its secrets and push propaganda as fact, leakers may turn out to be an increasingly important source of information about it and other extremist groups. For instance, @wikibaghdady, he posted several tweets of information about ISIS.
Also the hacker organisation Anonymous gets involved and are hacking ISIS twitter accounts and releasing lists with account names. Not everyone is happy with the hacking campaign of Anonymous: investigators at the Pentagon state that the revelation of the account names removes their ability to follow the ISIS and gather intelligence. This brings up a new discussion: should twitter ban the ISIS fans from twitter, or do nothing and track their moves? What do you think?
356802pb Pauline de Bruijn