Monday, October 27, 2008

Do you really know who is following you?

Have you heard? The Army intelligence report, thinks that Twitter could be used as an effective tool for coordinating militant attacks. We've all marveled at the speed of distributing news on Twitter. Many people have found Twitter to be the fastest way to break news. There have been well-documented reports of Twitter being used for keeping the public informed during catastrophes whether it's earthquakes, California wildfires, or hurricanes. Twitter succeeds in disseminating news because it's:
  • Portable, working on multiple platforms, browsers, and clients
  • Easy to use
  • Global distribution
  • Fast, works in real-time
These same attributes make Twitter very attractive to terrorists according to the Army's 304th Military Intelligence Battalion. They lay out a possible Scenario : Terrorist operative “A” uses Twitter with… a cell phone camera/video function to send back messages, and to receive messages, from the rest of his [group]… Other members of his [group] receive near real time updates (similar to the movement updates that were sent by activists at the RNC) on how, where, and the number of troops that are moving in order to conduct an ambush.

The report identifies three new technologies as possible threats to national security. Alongside Twitter, Global Positioning System maps and voice-changing software are claimed to be “potential terrorist tools”. You can learn more about the report on the Homeland Security News site, National Terror Alert Response Center. Ironically, NTARC is also using Twitter for the reasons above to get its messages out.

Maybe this is a little farfetched, but at least the boys and girls in the 304th are thinking.

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