Saturday, August 04, 2007

Information War: Internet Videos and Material Support for Terrorism

Today I go to war. It is "virtual war", but it is a battle none the less for a space that has been generally left to the terrorists. It is a vast space, but it is not completely unchartered or unknown.

Terrorists work through informal networking. This networking is not necessarily through real person to person contacts. Nor even through infamous mosques or madrassas or Islamist universities. This informal networking takes place every day on the internet. Much in the same manner that we socialize through milblogging, link lists or other other internet organization. It is not only a matter of websites or chat rooms dedicated to terrorist activities. It is also open network spaces like Myspace, LiveLeak and YouTube.

For sometime, I have noted the presence of Islamist terrorist propaganda video on YouTube and have flagged them as I ran across them. Now, a group of bloggers have taken the next step and that is to form an internet army whose function is clandestine warfare against such blatant use of public space to further terrorist propaganda, recruit fighters and provide direct material support to such organizations.

All of which is against the law. Not even the auspices of free speech protect such things as terrorist videos showing attacks on our forces, our allies or civilians on YouTube. No nation, not even ours with such open discourse or laws protecting speech, can be compelled to provide a platform for our enemies to conspire, plan and carry out attacks against the government or the people of the United States. Not even those under arms in a foreign nation. The 1st Amendment does not intend to imply nor state any such suicidal pact. That is what a terrorist video does. In fact, their very presence on YouTube, an American company with servers in the United States, breaks the law that states no such material support can be provided to terrorist organizations or individuals.

Hosting a terrorist video, even for free, is providing material support. The value of this free hosting is immense. It actually has a monetary value as, without this free service, terrorist organizations would actually have to spend their own money to set up, maintain and operate servers, electrical power, back up power, cable connections, software and a whole host of other costs associated with such an endeavor. Therefore, it is expressly breaking the law that prohibits such material support.

Of course, YouTube can stand behind its claim that it does not have the resources or capabilities to determine what is illegal and what is not when thousands of video are posted every day. Fair enough. Neither does our government have the type of resources nor organization that civilian internet social networks can bring to bare, inexpensively, yet effectively on such a battle space. But that is why I am posting here today. It is we on the internet and particularly those who have the social network of like mined bloggers who have the power of numbers to take on this important aspect of the war.

So, today I join the internet war with Operation YouTube SmackDown to interdict, interrupt and destroy terrorist abilities to spread their propaganda, educational and recruiting devices for FREE on an American website that reaches millions across the world.

There are times when YouTube gets it right. And then there are the times YouTube gets it wrong. Jihad has come to the Internet. And YouTube is helping them. We're not saying they set out to, but that's the result. Jihadist videos have found a home there. Our enemies are using that website, and others, to spread propaganda and recruit new terrorists. YouTube allows anyone to post anything and doesn't take it down unless someone objects, at which point they might take it down.

Well, we object. We object to YouTube making a profit hosting videos celebrating the death of Coalition Soldiers (and pretty much everyone else) while washing their own hands of any responsibility. We're out to smack those videos down, and maybe shake a little sense into YouTube in the process.

Terrorists video tape many attacks on our forces and those of our allies. They run back to their hidey-holes where they set up large banks of computers to edit, burn CDs and upload the video to known terrorist websites and to free hosting services like YouTube. A known terrorist group even had a set up in a "media van" with satellite hook up. Some terrorists have even become so sophisticated that they use basic photoshop and video editing tools to create fake backgrounds, blend images and remake them to fit their story for the day. These videos receive hundreds and thousands of hits. Somewhere in those thousands are men waiting to be recruited to either attack the United States and our allies directly, or to join terrorist organizations over seas to attack and kill our men and women, not to mention innocent civilians.

So, I have taken up virtual arms to assist in decreasing that number, even if it is by one since one suicide bomber can kill hundreds of people with one bomb. Thus, our endeavor is not fruitless. It is true that a "user" can create a new name and post the videos again. It is true that there are many such videos that abound in cyberspace. But it is equally true that our numbers vastly outnumber those who are posting. We have but to organize and dedicate ourselves to the battle. Remembering that their defeat is not in their total or instantaneous destruction, but in the harassment and continual interdiction of their abilities. Remember that all efforts are worthy if even one life is saved.

It costs nothing but your time and but a few seconds of that daily to take up virtual arms and become a part of the war effort. You do not have to do your own "reconnaissance" if you do not wish to. The group provides the "hit" of the day as well as the top 12 offenders (daily dozen) that is revised as videos and terrorist or terrorist sympathizers go down. This is how it works - How to Guide:

Short version: Just view the videos linked on our Daily Dozen. If you agree they deserve it, click the 'flag as innapropriate' button below the video. Select from the menu of reasons, typically 'graphic violence' or 'hate speech'. This will help get these videos reviewed, and maybe removed. Thank you.

Yeah, it's that simple. You want a sample of what is on YouTube? Check this out:

Al Sahab Media (the Cloud) is the media arm of Al Qaeda. "Sword of Baghdad" posted this video showing a rocket attack on a US base in Iraq.

Also from Al Qaeda in Iraq: Insurgent Sniper shoots American Soldier

If you want more information and would like to join, please go to Operation YouTube Video Smackdown and find out what you can do in the war on terrorism.

PS..the fighting 101st Keyboardist insignia goes back up today. It's no longer about "chickenhawks" v. "anti-war". This is virtual warfare via the internet and our group has received a new mission. I hope that you will answer the call.

Feel free to use the insignia below:

Terrorists Delende Est!


Saurs said...

That ought to read: terrorists, delendi sunt.

Saurs said...

Also, you probably wouldn't be happy if they were destroyed (deleti sunt, for you). Then you'd have to remake all your fancy Girl Guide patches. What's the patch look like for pretending to eat dead Iraqi brains on camera?