Gasp! “The Jihadists’ Digital Toolbox:…”

The Jihadists’ Digital Toolbox: How ISIS Keeps Quiet on the Web by Jett Goldsmith.

From the post:

As the world dives deeper into the digital age, jihadist groups like ISIS and the Taliban have taken increasingly diverse measures to secure their communications and espouse their actions and ideas across the planet.

Propaganda has been a key measure of any jihadist group’s legitimacy since at least 2001, when al-Qaeda operative Adam Yahiye Gadahn established the media house As-Sahab, which was intended to spread the group’s message to a regional audience throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Over the years, jihadist propaganda has taken a broader and more sophisticated tone. Al-Qaeda published the first issue of its digital newsmagazine, Inspire, in June of 2010. Inspire was aimed at an explicitly Western audience, and intended to call to jihad the would-be mujahideen throughout Europe and the United States.

When ISIS first took hold in Iraq and Syria, and formally declared its caliphate in the summer of 2014, the group capitalized on the groundwork laid by its predecessors and established an expansive, highly sophisticated media network to espouse its ideology. The group established local wilayat (provincial) media hubs, and members of its civil service distributed weekly newsletters, pamphlets, and magazines to citizens living under its caliphate. Billboards were posted in major cities under its control, including in Raqqah and Mosul; FM band radio broadcasts across 13 of its provinces were set up to deliver a variety of content, from fatwas and sharia lessons to daily news, poetry, and nasheeds; and Al-Hayat Media Center distributed its digital newsmagazine, Dabiq, in over a dozen languages to followers across the world.

Jeff covers:

  • Secure Browsers
  • Proxy Servers and VPNs
  • Propaganda Apps (read cellphone apps)
  • Encrypted Email
  • Mobile Privacy Apps
  • Encrypted Messages

That Jihadists or anyone else are using these tools maybe a surprise to some Fortune or Economist readers, but every conscious person associated with IT can probably name one or more instances for each category.

I’m sure some Jihadists drive cars, ride hoverboards, or bicycles, but dramatic recitations on those doesn’t advance a discussion of Jihadists or their goals.

Privacy software is a fact of life in all walks and levels of a digital environment.

Crying “Look! Over there! Someone might be doing something we don’t like!” isn’t going to lead to any useful answers, to anything. Including Jihadists.

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