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This is the second item I've read about terrorists' networks today. I keep
wondering who is studying US decision-making networks. Probably not the
same people who report US deaths and not Iraqis'. And interesting to see
that "high-risk radical opinion leaders" (like George Washington, Pierre
Trudeau & VP Chaney) are under scrutiny.
"Tracing Terrorists' Social Web"
Associated Press (11/18/07); Rotstein, Arthur H.
There are currently tens of thousands of Web sites devoted to delivering
the beliefs and methods used by terrorist organizations, and tracking and
monitoring these Web sites and chat rooms is a extremely difficult task
for government agencies. While the sites may not appear to reveal any
information on their creators, programmers and writers leave digital clues
such as the words they chose, punctuation, syntax, and how they code
multimedia attachments and Web links that can be used to find them.
University of Arizona researchers are working on a tool that would use
these clues to automate the analysis of online jihadism. The Dark Web
project aims to search sites, forums, and chat rooms to find the
Internet's most influential jihadists and learn how they attract new
recruits. Artificial Intelligence lab director Hsinchun Chen hopes Dark
Web will cripple the online terrorist recruitment and education effort, as
many potential terrorists learn how to make explosives and plan attacks
online. "Our tool will help [U.S. authorities] ID the high-risk, radical
opinion leaders in cyberspace," Chen says. Former FBI counterterror chief
Dale Watson says the ability to sort through massive amounts of data
automatically would be of great value, as terrorist Web sites and
communications are currently analyzed manually. "It would greatly enhance
the speed and capability to sort through a large amount of data," Watson
says. "The issue will be where is the Web site originating and where are
the tentacles going?"
S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, FRSC NetLab Director
Centre for Urban & Community Studies University of Toronto
455 Spadina Avenue Room 418 Toronto Canada M5S 2G8
Updating history: http://chass.utoronto.ca/oldnew/cybertimes.php
Elvis wouldn't be singing "Return to Sender" these days
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