How Technology Transforms Terrorism
How Technology Transforms Terrorism. Spreading as it did over the years, technology transformed virtually every aspect of human life. Regrettably, the impact of these advances has also had negative implications since they facilitate terrorist activity. Notably, the use of technology by terrorists has advanced significantly since the 1990s. Back then, terrorist groups like Al Qaeda primarily used technology for communications, research, and fundraising activities (Kremling & Parker, 2017). They used fax machines and the Internet to send messages and instructions to their members and supporters and to spread their message to the world. In its early years, the World Wide Web was resourceful in researching targets and locating potential recruits. Al Qaeda also used the web to solicit donations from various sympathizers and to communicate with their networks.
Utilizing technology to advance terrorist causes
Utilizing technology to advance terrorist causes has since registered incredible progress. Today, they use it to plan and conduct attacks, disseminate propaganda, recruit new members, raise funds and communicate with their networks (Kremling & Parker, 2017). In the post-9/11 era, social media would provide another platform for Islamic extremist groups to mobilize grassroots support and organize coordinated attacks through coded messages on Twitter. Today, the dark web provides a platform for the flow of arms and weapons, making it easier for terrorists to access materials for attacks (Kremling & Parker, 2017). Besides sending encrypted messages to coordinate attacks, social media has transformed terrorism by making it a sympathetic cause in the global outlook. With practically everyone glued to their electronic gadgets, terror groups now target supporters by capitalizing on political polarization. People who feel disgruntled about their governments can now find a home in extremist quotas.
Unfortunately, the gains of technological advancement cannot be reversed; it is impractical to think that we can put technology back in a box. Therefore, the only solution here is to device innovative ways of averting terrorism. In response to the growing use of technology by terrorists, governments and security agencies must continue to invest in and develop new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to detect and disrupt terrorist activities (Kremling & Parker, 2017). Governments must also work to prevent terrorists from accessing and using technologies. The recommendation is to enforce more stringent regulations to help detect terrorist activity through proactive measures. Governments must liaise with other stakeholders, including local communities, to create a vigilant society conscious of eliminating terror threats. Likewise, the government must use monitoring technology companies and work on implementing laws restricting the sale and transfer of technologies that could assist terrorist activity.
a growing need to engage tech companies and other stakeholders to develop solutions to address the terrorist use of technology
In the same spirit, there is a growing need to engage tech companies and other stakeholders to develop solutions to address the terrorist use of technology. Such measures could include developing new technologies to detect and disrupt terrorist activities or creating partnerships with tech companies to share information on suspicious activity. Unfortunately, such moves would bear legal issues associated with privacy concerns, which requires the enactment of laws that exempt terrorists from such constitutional freedoms.
Ultimately, the use of technology by terrorists has evolved significantly since the 1990s, and governments and security agencies must continue to invest in and develop new technologies to detect and disrupt terrorist activities. From using emails and telephones to communicate with their networks to purchasing weapons in the dark web, terrorists have benefited significantly from technological advances over the years. Therefore, there is a growing need for vigilance in our efforts to eradicate this deadly menace. The call to action is for governments to invest more in proactive counterterrorism approaches.
Kremling, J., & Parker, A. M. S. (2017). Cyberspace, cybersecurity, and cybercrime. SAGE Publications.