Internet and Terrorism
1: Describe the various types of exploitation that can occur over the Internet. Social Exclusion
Ideally, social exclusion is among the mildest forms of cyber bullying and to some extent it can cause severe distress. It can be described in simple terms as the online equivalent of leaving an individual from a group that is expected to have automatic membership. However, this may include the whole class not accepting a classmate’s friend request.
- Tagging Without Permission
Ideally, tagging is a form of attaching an individual’s name to an online image or photo so that images of another individual can be identified one’s a person searches for tagging images using her name. In the real sense, tagging an individual’s name against a defaming, embarrassing or manipulated image especially without their permission is a form of internet abuse, particularly when it is intended to ridicule or distress the person (NATO, 2008, p. 12).
It can be described as the practice of posting offensive comments about another person. It may entail outing other individuals by revealing that they are gay when they haven’t come out themselves. It is similar to character assassination by rebuking an individual’s character through overstressing his perceived faults in a deranged way, or rather posting up false information about a person so as to damage their reputation or image.
- Sex Re-Posting
This is a very risky activity especially when one is in a relationship, they can easily be drawn into sexting a photo of themselves to their loved one without necessarily taking into account potential future risk of it being used against them. For instance, younger internet users such as teenage girls could easily be flattered into sexting photos and images of themselves or even flashing on a webcam by pedophiles, predators or photographers who may use such images and photos for cybersex.
- What are the typical characteristics of victims involved in Internet exploitation crimes?
These victims are rarely young children. In most cases, they are teens of 15-17 years old who take risks with personal information. However, most offenders never deceive these victims about the fact that they are adults who are interested in sexual relationships. Most of these victims are described as feeling close bonds or being in love with the offenders. They are kind of naive persons who do not have a second thought of uncertainty or insecurity at all. In all instances, it only closes their minds that their personal information and privacy is on the line once they are they fall victims of exploitation (Matusitz, 2008, 9. 114).
2: Outline the roles of the ALF and the ELF in extremist terrorism within the United States. What methods has each group used in their terrorism operations? Have they been effective?
- ALF (The Animal Liberation Front)
ALF (The Animal Liberation Front) is the most active extreme animal rights movement in the United. It is comprised of unidentified underground cells that oppose all forms of animal perceived mistreatment and experimentation. Its aim is to rescue animals from hazardous places. Its cells claim responsibility for many ‘direct actions’, ideally, this is a euphemism for crimes which comprises of freeing animals from property destruction and from their owners. ALF does not have a membership and it normally operates under a model of leaderless resistance of several supporters and activism such as Coronado. Coronado is a group that represents the group and volunteers to speak in public for the movement. It is a representative that performs the necessary tasks of advertising communities from unknown cells while claiming accountability for recruiting and illegal activities. ALF has been active all through in the US and their numbers increase gradually and its rise in activity is matched by the growing severity and sophistication of attacks (Silke, 2010, p. 78).
- The Earth Liberation Front (ELF)
The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) which is ALF’s environmental counterpart was setting new records for property damage in 2004 after the modelling of ALF. Just like ALF, it consists of autonomous groups of individuals who are unknown both to the public and to other groups as well. It uses a model that aims at imposing economic damage to persons profiting from the exploitation and destruction of the natural environment. In addition, it educates and reveals the public on acts of violence that are committed against all aspects that populate the world. Since no animal or human being is tagged, acts of property destruction are therefore considered to be non-violent by ELF. This group has made national headlines since 1997 after it claimed responsibility for the arson of Colorado, ski resort in Vail which caused $12 million in damages. Both ELF and ALF have become the most active criminal extremist constituents in the United States.
Hate Crime is the act of prejudice and violence. It is intended to intimidate or harm an individual due to their ethnicity, race, religion, origin, disability or sexual orientation. Hate is therefore the motive and it can involve harassment, intimidation or physical force against an individual, a property or a group.
Why has hate crime legislation been so controversial in the United States?
Primarily, hate crime registration has in recent times been so controversial in the United States. This is because some sources claim that hate crime registration is not only a violation of the rights of freedom of speech and of religion but also an unnecessary element. Though spoken offenses are not in any way technically illegal, any kind of speech that appears to encourage acts of violence is punishable. Conversely, this suggests that individuals speaking peacefully against homosexuality because of their moral beliefs or religious beliefs can be charged with the offense of inciting a hate crime. The controversy arises when its registration may lead to persecution or prosecution of pastors or owners of small businesses or any other individual speaking their mind while discouraging violence adhering. President Obama for instance posited that this registration could help protect American citizens based on who they love, what they look like who they are or how they pray. On the other hand, other people who are in favour of hate crime legislation think that it is a way of making biased persons see the light to speak and that it is a way of altering people’s attitudes.
Why have politicians debated on the constitutionality of enhanced penalties based on a suspect’s association with extremist groups
Politicians have often debated on the constitutionality of enhanced penalties based on a suspects association with extremist groups for a number of reasons. One reason for this is because politicians have discovered that people are advocates of rights in theory but practically, their support normally wavers especially when it reaches the time to practice those rights. Secondly, the American government is both constitutional and demographic and therefore it must perform a major task of resolving conflicts between rights. This issue has been debated time and again in need of finding a profound reason to take one side.
4: Distinguish the differences between cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, and exploitation by way of the Internet. How is each different from the same real world situation?
Cyber-bullying is harassment through the use of information technology such as the internet and cell phones. It could be limited to posting gossips or rumours about people in the internet creating hatred in the minds of other people or even publishing materials humiliating and defaming them. Cyber-bullying can be termed as a psychologically and cruel form of social malice particularly among adolescents. Cyber-bullying is different from cyber-stalking and exploitation by way of the internet in a number of ways. One, it creates an illusion of vagueness. Cyber stacking on the other hand includes accusations, making threats, monitoring, the solicitation of minors for sex, identity theft or damage to equipment or data or gathering information in order to harass. Although cyber-stalking is a form of cyber-bullying, it often features linked patterns of both offline and online behaviour and its impact could be stronger than face-to-face bullying (Brown, 2009, p. 56).
Exploitation by way of internet (internet exploitation) is a form of crime where one accesses someone else’s personal details or email. The internet has greatly transformed the way perpetrators recruit and lure victims to sexually exploit across the world. It is for this reason that the internet has become a venue where all sorts of risky exploitive practices have propagated. However, internet exploitation is very different from the same real world situation, for instance, through internet exploitation, use of encryption could change someone’s data into another form that no one else could comprehend. In real a world situation, it could be easy to trace or determine loopholes or such crimes taking place but through internet exploitation, it can be very tricky and intricate to follow up crime activities.
5: What roles do law enforcement agencies play in the areas of cyber-exploitation?
The role of law enforcement agencies is to investigate domestic crime on the internet which includes; the United States Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Secondly, it is their duty to develop nationwide capacity effective, rapid and measured investigation responses to all forms of internet crimes. Third, they have an obligation of decreasing the vulnerability of children to sexual exploitation. These law enforcement agencies use a strategy that involves using multi-agency and multi-disciplinary teams to investigate and prosecute crimes that cross geographical, legal and jurisdictional boundaries; enhancing and promoting interagency sharing of specialized skills and widely offering their victims/witness service (Denning, 2009, p. 7).
What are the primary challenges that law enforcement agencies face during cybercrime investigations?
Law enforcement agencies are faced with numerous challenges during cybercrime investigations. Cyber crime is very technological, skilful and technical and therefore it is often very difficult to find information that has been encrypted with malicious software. Secondly, many victims are not aware their computer or themselves have been compromised and reluctance of these victims to report offenses is a great challenge to law enforcement agencies.
Brown, I., & Korff, D. (2009). Terrorism and the proportionality of internet surveillance. European Journal of Criminology, 6(2), 119-134.
Denning, D. E. (2009). Terror’s web: How the internet is transforming terrorism. Handbook of internet crime.
Matusitz, J., & O’Hair, D. (2008). The role of the internet in terrorism. Terrorism: Communication and rhetorical perspectives, 383-407.
NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Security Informatics and Terrorism - Patrolling the Web, Gal, C. S., Kantor, P. B., & Shapira, B. (2008). Security informatics and terrorism: Patrolling the Web : social and technical problems of detecting and controlling terrorists' use of the World Wide Web. Amsterdam: IOS Press.
Silke, A. (Ed.). (2010). The psychology of counter-terrorism. Routledge.