Thesis: Terrorism in the Information Age

Sample Thesis Paper

Another article by retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Timoty L. Thomas (2002) emphasized that information terrorism should be otherwise more appropriately refered to as ‘terrorism in the information age’. This argument points out that wide variety of approaches and influences that terrorists have available to them to affect their ends.  State-run information networks are not the only avenues available when information is a global phenomenon. Thomas discussed nine ways that terrorists utilize information in ways that cannot intercepted by military authorities:

  1. Sensitive target data – the internet can be used as a tool for the terrorists to acquire important sensitive data which can be used against business or government units or for blackmailing purposes.
  2. Financial support – terrorists are enabled to raise funds for their activities through the internet by “manipulating stock options” or instructing victims to “head to a certain bank and deposit their money on a provided bank account.”
  3. Disparate group connections – it becomes easier for extremist groups to schedule and conduct meeting operations through the internet which only takes seconds to communicate, unlike before through the use of snail mails, telegrams or telephone lines which require more time before one can acquire communication access to a certain contact.
  4. Extortion – financial institutions are often the target victims of such disadvantage who are intimidated and forced to give a certain amount of money so that they will no longer be attacked on the internet. Decision makers also suffer from extortion in the internet and are influenced by terrorists otherwise they will “lose their credibility.” In Dorothy Denning’s (1999) “Activism, Hacktivism, and Cyberterrorism: The Internet as a Tool for Influencing Foreign Policy,” some examples were provided on how to influence lobby decision makers. One was through emails and faxes sent to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien as well as all members of the Canadian Parliament in order to “stop aggression against Yugoslavia and seek a peaceful means to resolve the Kosovo problem.” These campaigns through electronic mail have proven much helpful in distributing many petitions and gathering signatures without much physical exertion or financial expenses (Denning, 1999, p. 260).

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