Cyberwar

http://tinyurl.com/lz3lzwp

On August 31, “the US has launched a social media offensive against ISIS”. Business Insider is quoting diplomats and experts who admit that “the digital blitz being waged on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube will never be a panacea to combat the jihadists”. However, U.S. officials have a different opinion. They see the social media as being a “crucial battlefield” in the new age of informational warfare.[1]

Along the past 18 months, U.S. governmental institutions have targeted many social media network accounts which presumably belong to Islamic radicals. A few countermeasures were taken by the State Department as well, including an Arabic language Twitter account and a Facebook page launched this very week.

Described in just a few words, this is a “guerrilla warfare”, as a U,S, State Department official said. The murder of US journalist James Foley, executed by the Islamic State militants on August 19 “jolted the new breed of US cyber warriors into frenzy”.

A propaganda video circulated on August 19 showed a masked ISIS fighter beheading a kneeling man dressed in an orange jumpsuit, who is purported to be James Wright Foley, a photojournalist who went missing in Syria in 2012. “The video, entitled A Message to America and directly addressing US President Barack Obama, was initially uploaded to YouTube and has been widely circulated over social media; spreading across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. Screenshots from the video have also circulated. Trending terms on Twitter were #Isis, #James Foley and #Islamic State.”[2]

 

[1] Nicolas REVISE, “The US Has Launched A Social Media Offensive Against ISIS”, BusinessInsider, August 31, 2014, at the Internet address http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-us-cyber-warriors-battling-islamic-state-on-twitter-2014-8

[2]“James Foley: How social media is fighting back against Isis propaganda”, The Guardian, August 31, 2014, at the Internet address http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/20/james-foley-how-social-media-is-fighting-back-against-isis-propaganda

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