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When Criminals and Terrorists Communicate In Real Time 245

Posted by Soulskill
from the getting-CNN-holograms-to-jabber-about-you-isn't-enough-anymore dept.
theodp writes "CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen notes that the assault on the upscale Westgate Mall in Nairobi by armed gunmen 'was the first major terrorist attack in history in which the group that mounted the operation used Twitter to announce to the world it was responsible. The group then quickly tweeted what its rationale was for the attack and also gave operational details of the assault — all in real time.' During the massacre, a Twitter account purportedly used by the Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab tweeted, 'Like it or loathe it! our mujahideen confirmed all executions were point blank range!' The group also wrote, '#Westgate: a 14-hour standoff relayed in 1400 rounds of bullets and 140 characters of vengeance and still ongoing. Good morning Kenya!' So, what's in store for our brave new world of Social Media? 'The next logical step,' fears Bergen, 'will be for terrorists to cover their deadly operations using their own real-time live video feeds linked to sites such as Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. If that happens, terrorist attacks will become a form of theater in which terrorists not only get to write the play but also act as the primary producers of the coverage of the event.'"
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When Criminals and Terrorists Communicate In Real Time

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  • by Xest (935314) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:03AM (#44970973)

    I think the Westgate attack has simply strengthened Kenya's resolve to sort out Somalia, and has turned even more people against the militants.

    If they start doing live feeds and start "controlling" reporting of the events they'll just make even more people hate them and make people even more determined to defeat them.

    Terrorism is about as effective as torture.

    • by Dan East (318230)

      It will glorify and make "celebrities" of those terrorists that are martyring themselves for their religion. That will have a very strong influence on the youth already brainwashed by Islam, and prompt them to follow in their footsteps. The purpose is not to try and convert people to Islam, but to encourage and mobilize the existing followers of the religion. I think it would succeed in that (specifically talking about live video, etc).

      • by gl4ss (559668) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:14AM (#44971123) Homepage Journal

        yeah so how does this differ from red terror of '60s?
        not one bit.

        publicity hunting terrorists hunt for publicity, newsflashs at 19.00.

        • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:35AM (#44971427) Homepage

          Actually it does differ. The 'Red Terror' (Socialist / Communist / ????) from the 1960's had a message they were trying to impart to the proletariat. Arise and shake off your chains. The Mujahedin / Muslim Radicals want to convert other non aligned Muslims to the cause (and then wipe out everyone else). There are different targets to the message and qualitatively and quantitatively different styles to the broadcast of the message.

          I think most Westerners don't see that because blatant hate speech / incitement to violence is essentially heavily censored and things aren't so bad in (most) of the West as to have a huge pool of angry (usually) young men with nothing to lose.

          TL;DR - YOU are not the target of these ads.

          • by gl4ss (559668)

            huh? what do you think al shabaab is trying to do if not deliver the exact same message for muslims, arise and shake off chains of imperialism.

            not that different at all..

            in reality of course it's just submitting to a different leader, but so was submitting to communism. there's not that much difference from taking an embassy hostage or taking something else hostage or trying to blow up planes. if anything is different is the suicidical tendencies in the action.

          • by houghi (78078)

            The 'red Terror' was only a terror to those who wanted it to be a terror. People were afraid of it (at least in Europe) because they were told to be afraid of Russia.
            Apart from some minor groups, there was no terror. There was no threat.

            You have nothing to fear, but fear itself.

            Even now I can vote for a communist or socialist party. Or for a more right wing one, if I want to do so. I can tell my friends that I am a communist and even my employer and nobody will bat an eye.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by AHuxley (892839)
          Yes the 1960-70's gave the world the a few agents provocateurs and false flag terrorist attacks to up the publicity for more protective governments.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy_of_tension [wikipedia.org]
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by hjf (703092)

        But but but... Islam is a religion of peace!

      • by Xest (935314)

        I can't see live video making the blindest bit of difference.

        If someone's radicalised then they're radicalised. They may be egged on by a video of someone doing something horrible but they'll be egged on by that live or not.

        FWIW I don't see what it has to do with Islam either. Last I checked live reporting of terror events isn't something that only muslims would ever possibly be able to do.

        I'm sure the likes of the IRA if they weren't now just a bunch of angry chavs without much competence would equally lik

      • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:38AM (#44971467) Journal
        Depends on the country, I suppose. It appears that some of the vids coming out of Syria are doing a good job of convincing young muslims not to go and fight/die in a crappy jihad. And they're doing an even better job convincing the parents to convince their kids not to go.

        In this case, confronting would-be supporters with the raw reality instead of a romantic picture of people fighting for their beliefs or freedom, may well work against the terrorists, losing them those supporters. With some luck the terrorists will be marginalized like ETA or the RAF (both the German and Colombian one).
      • by TheCarp (96830) <sjc@cGINSBERGarpanet.net minus poet> on Friday September 27, 2013 @12:16PM (#44972621) Homepage

        Actually its more likely to mobilize people against islam, and alienate even some of their own foillowers. For the most part, people only like war in theory. People really love hypothetical wars. They like idealized violence. Violence against Emanual Goldstiens is ok, as long as emanual goldstien is not a real man whose eyes they have to look into and whose children they have to hear scream.

        I mean, the terrorists probably don't think this way, but most other people do. Exposure of their atrocities will, in the end, not help them. It will drive away all but their most radical supporters.

    • by Antipater (2053064) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:20AM (#44971225)

      I think you're partially right and partially wrong. Terrorism can be effective, but only when it creates fear in a populace (that's a tautology, actually). What creates fear is not hurting and killing people, it's hurting and killing people with impunity. If someone punches you in the face, and then you fight back and beat them to a bloody pulp, you're not going to be afraid of them. If someone punches you in the face and easily defends against your attempts to retaliate, then the fear starts.

      The Westgate attackers were, afaik, all captured or killed. Had they struck, killed a bunch of people, and then faded away into the shadows, then I think there would be a lot more fear shown by the Kenyan people. Or if Kenyan forces are defeated in Somalia, and Somalian terrorists continue to attack Kenya, then I think there will be more fear. But the current situation, where the Kenyans have been thus far quite successful in driving al Shabaab from its bases and then in bottling up their retaliatory strike, brings to mind more an animal in its death throes than something to be feared.

      • by Xest (935314) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:42AM (#44971511)

        But does that ever happen? Here in the UK when the 21/7 bombers got away they were on the lose a while before getting caught but I don't think there was any real hysteria, in fact, I caught a plane from Heathrow when they were all still on the run and whilst there were a few more police walking around I don't think anyone was particularly more scared.

        I think even if they escape, or even the al-Shabab managed to defeat Kenyan forces and push into Somalia it wouldn't do anything to further their cause, it'd just leave Kenya with more allies working to protect them and defeat al-Shabab.

        This is basically what happened in Mali, where the Islamist did threaten the capital, and all that did was piss off a sleeping dragon - France, to come and blow the living shit out of them.

        About the only example I can think of of terrorism possibly working was the Madrid train bombings resulting in a different government getting into Spain and pulling out of Iraq, but there's still a question as to whether the Spanish people would've wanted that anyway.

        There's a certain irony to it all though, terrorism tends to happen when people feel disempowered to affect real political change in the way they feel is at least an acceptable compromise, but all it does is give the victims of terrorism that exact same feeling turning them against the terrorists with even more zeal. If someone blows up your family, you don't say "Okay I give in, I'll give you everything you want", you instead pursue policies or actual physical revenge that makes the terrorists even more powerless than they were before they turned to terrorism, it ultimately creates a cycle where the terrorists are always the disadvantaged and become ever more so as the cycle progresses to the point they're either crushed or forced to pursue their agenda peaceful through politics.

        The IRA, the Tamil Tigers, and now FARC and the PKK. It's always the same. It'll happen to the likes of al Shabab eventually one way or the other too.

        • Sure, it happens. Mali is a great example - without foreign (French) intervention, the Malian government was pretty much helpless. But I think a better example would be the US and bin Laden. Here was a man who had directly attacked the US, and despite our seemingly best efforts, toppling governments and generally stomping around the region, we still couldn't get him. Nobody was afraid of Saddam - we walked all over his army, tried him, and executed him. But bin Laden couldn't be found. When people def

        • by dkleinsc (563838)

          A big part of that was the government response to a terrorist attack. In the UK, what the government always told its citizens to do was "Keep Calm and Carry On". In the US, what citizens were told to do was "Panic! Buy lots of safety equipment! Support invading a country that had nothing to do with it!"

          I've always thought that response from the US government was a big reason why the 9/11 "truthers" gained as much traction as they did.

      • The Westgate attackers were, afaik, all captured or killed. Had they struck, killed a bunch of people, and then faded away into the shadows, then I think there would be a lot more fear shown by the Kenyan people.

        The attackers themselves were pawns. The guys at Al-Shabab that rented the storefront, got the weapons and organized the attack and the twitter-coverage are still very much alive and probably still capable (perhaps not immediately) of striking again in the future.

        Don't confuse the mastermind with th

      • Your analysis seems mostly correct. However, what would you make of suicide bombers? They don't survive the attack, so can't attack again. But this terrorism tactic still seems to be effective, or they would not continue using it. So the existence of a larger terrorist organization besides the attackers themselves must factor into the effect.
      • by tlambert (566799)

        I think you're partially right and partially wrong. Terrorism can be effective, but only when it creates fear in a populace (that's a tautology, actually). What creates fear is not hurting and killing people, it's hurting and killing people with impunity. If someone punches you in the face, and then you fight back and beat them to a bloody pulp, you're not going to be afraid of them. If someone punches you in the face and easily defends against your attempts to retaliate, then the fear starts.

        Personally, I still don't understand how terrorist acts accomplish their political, social, or economic goals. So far, no one has made that connection for me. I can understand the "well, we're based in Somalia, Kenya is relatively closer than the other countries with significant presence in the U.N. peacekeeping force that's driving us out of our toeholds, we can retaliate against them". But I'm not seeing what's getting accomplished, other than to get Kenya to get real pissed, and have their peacekeeper

    • I think the Westgate attack has simply strengthened Kenya's resolve to sort out Somalia, and has turned even more people against the militants.

      This is very probable, and so maybe anticipated. "by their fruit you will recognize them"

    • Terrorism is about as effective as torture because it is the tactic of impotence (to paraphrase somebody smrt). It gets you attention - mostly negative - but if your cause is just, some non-trrist face will be appointed your leader (Mandela, Gandhi) and you eventually win. That your local government is secular rather than something-ist is not a just cause. That your local government is a brutally repressive kleptocracy is.
    • by julian67 (1022593) on Friday September 27, 2013 @12:36PM (#44972819)

      "Terrorism is about as effective as torture."

      Actually terror often works. An incident like this is explosive and dynamic and sudden but actually it is usually meticulously planned and done in the context of a campaign of attritional and unending activity, political and social as well as paramilitary or military.

      Lenin and his Bolsheviks unleashed terror on their own population and by doing so destroyed all serious opposition and the party gained absolute power for 70 years without any further serious internal challenge. Mao's party in China exterminated many millions in subduing the population and has never lost power. In modern times it showed itself perfectly willing to kill thousands of civilians for simply protesting. Western forces in counter insurgency campaigns in Malaysia, Kenya ,S.E. Asia, Afghanistan and elsewhere destroyed villages and tortured and murdered civilians, en masse on occasion, in campaigns which we prefer to term pacification but which are no different to what armies have always done - terrorizing a hostile or indifferent population while denying the enemy resources and support.

      Many modern newly established or re-established post colonial states have been founded or governed by people who were at one time, by any definition, terrorists. Just look at the history of Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Israel for examples. There are lots more and this is easy to see and understand if you can set aside distaste, personal and political preferences and loyalties and examine the actors, the acts and the results. A man who was cutting throats or bombing hotels or arranging murders and kidnappings can become a prime minister or president and be perfectly respectable, even honoured.

      Terror and terrorism are used by both established powers and states, and by groups seeking power or radical change or disruption. Everyone knows it can work and nobody does it expecting to be loved by their opponents or victims. If your propaganda is effective then you can terrorize and murder people while observing events from the vantage point of the politcal moral high ground.

      How is it not effective?

  • And? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:04AM (#44970987) Homepage

    Aside from the question of who gets to act as producer, how is this different from using CNN to do the same thing?

    • by mi (197448)

      how is this different from using CNN to do the same thing?

      It is different in that CNN do not conspire to commit a terrorist attack with hundreds of murders. They profit handsomely from reporting such occurrences, but they don't initiate them. At least, not directly...

    • Re:And? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SirGarlon (845873) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:19AM (#44971215)

      At first I was thinking it's no different -- television and radio have been abetting terrorists forever by sensaltionalizing on their attacks and keeping the stories in front of the public for weeks -- but then I realized there is a difference: editorial control. Independent media can filter and spin the message in the way that serves the media's interests (keeping people glued to their televisions). The terrorists want that control for themselves, to serve their own agenda.

      • by swb (14022)

        The novelty of a real-time criminal enterprise would quickly wear off for the viewing audience, turning it into something worse than the lowest budget fakeumentary indie horror movie.

        It could just get boring and worst it would turn the audience against them, perhaps enough so that the authorities might be politically enabled to use the kinds of force against them now considered too extreme. Right now the public might consider the collateral damage of dead hostages unacceptable, it could get to the point w

      • by s.petry (762400)

        You lost me on what the difference is. If a group of terrorists want control and use media to do so, or the cartel that owns the US media want control, I fail to see the difference. Sure, independent media and journalists can work for any cause they wish. They could work for the cartel controlling American media, the terrorists, themselves, or even a foreign government. It's all about controlling knowledge no matter how you look at it.

        If a terrorist starts a video and kills someone, is it really differe

      • by mdielmann (514750)

        At first I was thinking it's no different -- television and radio have been abetting terrorists forever by sensaltionalizing on their attacks and keeping the stories in front of the public for weeks -- but then I realized there is a difference: editorial control. Independent media can filter and spin the message in the way that serves the media's interests (keeping people glued to their televisions). The terrorists want that control for themselves, to serve their own agenda.

        The nice thing about the terrorists providing their own media feed on an action is that it allows us to concentrate our hate. We'll no longer have to divide it between the terrorists and the media who sensationalize them and their actions. We can save it all for the terrorists.

        • by SirGarlon (845873)
          That's optimistic. The media will report on the terrorists reporting on themselves, and keep milking the story long after the terrorists have got tired of it.
    • Aside from the question of who gets to act as producer, how is this different from using CNN to do the same thing?

      Governments around the world are terrified of their citizens getting information that hasn't been thoroughly spun by the former's propaganda machine.

    • by s.petry (762400)

      Aside from the question of who gets to act as producer, how is this different from using CNN to do the same thing?

      That's an easy question to answer. CNN is way more corrupt than the terrorists in Kenya. CNN's lies also caused more deaths than these terrorists did. The fake gas attacks on the CNN outlet in Georgia for example [youtube.com].

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:05AM (#44970997)

    communicate in real-time faster than anybody else: it's called high-frequency trading.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:15AM (#44971155) Homepage

    If that happens, terrorist attacks will become a form of theater in which terrorists not only get to write the play but also act as the primary producers of the coverage of the event.

    CNN and other news outlets are simply demanding to be in charge of the coverage themselves - the terrorists showing and explaining their own actions is a challenge to their oligopoly! Also, it makes it impossible for the US State Dept to go to the major media outlets and politely ask them to adjust the coverage to something more to the current administration's (whoever the current administration happens to be, this isn't Obama-specific) liking.

    Major media outlets don't really hate massive disasters and horrific violence, because both of those drive up ratings. In fact, if there's nothing major going on, they'll do their best to take a relatively minor affair and describe it as a massive disaster, for precisely that purpose.

    • So in short, this is just another "power" narrative to you, and you're in favor of "power to the people" even if it is power to those who are killing the people?

      • When did he say anything about being "in favor" of any action? You know, it IS possible to state facts/ideas without taking a side. Which, as a sidenote, is something Americans seem to have a notoriously hard time doing. The recent Trayvon Martin shooting is a good example. Everyone had strong feelings towards one side, even though a logical person would say "there's not enough information to make a definitive judgement", and shift his mind to more productive matters.
        • by TheSpoom (715771)

          The recent Trayvon Martin shooting is a good example. Everyone had strong feelings towards one side, even though a logical person would say "there's not enough information to make a definitive judgement", and shift his mind to more productive matters.

          There are plenty of people (including many Americans) who think things like that. The problem is that by definition, they aren't the ones you hear from, as they've, as you say, shifted their mind to more productive matters.

  • I am surprised it hasn't occurred already with other cam systems.
    • by Xest (935314)

      Well it kind of has to an extent. A couple of terrorists to date have used the likes of Go Pro to record the incidents. That guy in France who killed a few soldiers and kids for example.

      I think some of the mass shooters in the US have too, the Aurora shootings perhaps?

      The only problems they had is that they weren't live, so got picked up by the police and locked well away before it got out though IIRC one of them was leaked at least.

  • by mi (197448)

    Like it or loathe it! our mujahideen confirmed all executions were point blank range!

    Me thinks, a conspiracy to commit murder this massive and this blatant, for reasons this nebulous, and with attitude this obnoxious, deserves punishment, that's harsher than an ordinary death penalty...

    And not even for the actual murderers, whom I would allow to die in battle, but the jerks cheering them and goading them on — like this little twit behind the tweeter account. A simple needle or firing squad is not en

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      You're not the only one.

    • by Urkki (668283)

      While I will refrain from commenting on your post otherwise, I have to say that execution by a simple needle sounds like quite a nasty and slow way to kill someone. If that is not enough for you, I don't want to know how "medieval" you want to get.

    • Whatever you do, it'd only further inspire their follows. You just need to make the penalty something sufficiently *boring*.

      It might help if the law stops treating terrorists some some super-elite league-of-their-own master criminals, and just throws them in with all the run-of-the-mill murderers and vandals.

      • by mi (197448)

        Whatever you do, it'd only further inspire their follows.

        The attitude of "we all die sometime, so let's die with glory fighting the infidels", may be broken by making the death at the hands of the "infidels" so much more nasty and gruesome, that the "glory" may not be enough to compensate...

        Whether or not it would be effective, is for the military psyops to evaluate — but, if they think, it may help, we ought to follow the advice.

  • Wasn't there a terrorist attack elsewhere in Africa a few months ago where the people involved were tweeting about it?

    May have been the same organization - I think it was an attack in Mogadishu?

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:20AM (#44971221) Journal
    So, in the future, terrorists will sacrifice considerable amounts of operational secrecy because they are wannabe-mediagenic attention whores? Isn't this a terribly convenient development, for everyone except the wannabe-mediagenic attention whores who are currently paid by news channels to bloviate mindlessly on the minimal information available 24/7, without pause, until substantive information becomes available, which terrifies them and drives them back to celebrity gossip?
    • by PhxBlue (562201)

      So, in the future, terrorists will sacrifice considerable amounts of operational secrecy because they are wannabe-mediagenic attention whores?

      On the other hand, maybe they'll accidentally reveal just how much the blue force can reveal about its tactics without sacrificing operational security. It also sets up a natural contrast, so long as the "good guys" don't execute people, etc.

    • by mbone (558574)

      I think they already are "wannabe-mediagenic attention whores."

      (Well, except for the people working for a state intelligence service, but if they do something like this, it will be controlled and strictly for disinformation.)

    • Terrorists generally don't plan to win personally. Media coverage is part of the aim. There's no point killing people if the world doesn't get to hear why you did it.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Yes the "sacrifice considerable amounts of operational secrecy" only works well with state funding, the protection of perfect papers, on going weapons support.
      That would be a real press story :)
    • Do you understand the point of terrorism? It's not to "win" the fight. It's to scare the ever loving piss out of your enemies. It's one thing to have CNN say "3 hostages were killed" and another to watch armed gunmen kill 3 people in cold blood on a live video feed.

  • More likely they'll use a platform like Ustream if they want to put up live video.

    • Youtube has some live video capability, I don't know if ordinary users can access it though. Youtube would shut it down fast in any case.

      Terrorists will have to do something like how live sports broadcasts are pirated: Have one source, ideally going over a darknet, that is streamed to many public sites creating a game of whack-a-mole that can't be won.

  • This might sound like a great idea at first, but remember what happened to Howard Beale. I'm warning you, terrorists: you can go on killing people, but DO NOT fuck with primal forces of nature.

  • by mbone (558574) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:29AM (#44971343)

    This will work the first time, maybe. After that, the feeds will be shut off quickly.

    I could see real-time terrorists being fed a honeytrap version of social media, tailored for them, with certain... inaccuracies for their enjoyment. THAT would be a sensible employment of the NSA's computer power.

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:30AM (#44971357) Journal

    I'm not seeing a downside to this. It's not like they are getting good PR out of it. Anything that gets information out of the control of the main stream media, and lets people make up their own minds is a good thing. It's OK for us to listen to their message, and condemn them when we decide that it is evil on our own. We don't need CNN to do that for us.

    • I'm not seeing a downside to this.

      You will be encouraged to think for yourself and explore other avenues of thought (at least theoretically, "thinking" and Twitter really shouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence).

      • This type of thing is a big part of the plot of Ghost in the Shell TV series. The idea that what "people" think can be shifted as it evolves especially because people are always connected.

  • Wow - I wonder if there will be an advertising outlet where folks can advertise anything they like. Cigarettes, alcohol, weapons?

    I can see the live video feed from these folks becoming a revenue stream for their cause?

    Do you want to know more?

  • by mbone (558574) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:34AM (#44971413)

    True terrorism (as opposed to guerilla actions conveniently labeled as terrorism) has always been theater. How else are masses of people going to get terrorized?

  • Can be used for good and evil. Its just the nature of humanity.

  • I believe that most of the 3rd world do not listen to CNN or do they listen to president speeches. Rhetoric and rebuttle is a problem as I am certain that societies that fully understood the arguments would be disgusted by their leaders ignorance. Unfortunately it is the masses, the lowest common denominator, the idiocracy, the mob, that feed the irrational organized terrorism and they have little desire to get educated when confronted with the breadline and minimum wage.

    So what does this mean...?

    Terroris

  • Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheCarp (96830) <sjc@cGINSBERGarpanet.net minus poet> on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:39AM (#44971471) Homepage

    Seriously. Good. I hope they do more of this. If they keep going it will backfire on them faster than a semtex shockwave through the bodies of apostates in the sears tower (hey there NSA: stop reading, start leaking).

    I know these guys, some of them, are scholarly and study terrorism. They read books by IRA members, and all that good stuff. They didn't learn some big lessons.

    The single biggest lesson the US military learned in Viet Nam was this: Civilians hate real war. Nothing has so turned people against war and against supporting it like seeing the real true brutality of it all over their TV screens and front page.

    The US military learned that, which is why, by the time the gulf war happened, reporters were being shuttled around to get to the scene right after the bodies were moved, and real brutality over.

    Also.... one disagreement I have with the article is that this is such a huge change, or will change terrorism. It has ALWAYS been a media stunt. Terror attacks are not serious existential threats, they are media grabs. This is just taking it to its next logical step.

    • Mod parent Insightful, hits all the good points.

    • by mdielmann (514750)

      Also.... one disagreement I have with the article is that this is such a huge change, or will change terrorism. It has ALWAYS been a media stunt. Terror attacks are not serious existential threats, they are media grabs. This is just taking it to its next logical step.

      But it is a huge change...for the media conglomerates. This is the same terrifying spectre the buggy whip manufacturers saw when cars were invented. In fact, it's a change that is so significant that it may require that news organizations do something different from the other information outlets if they want to stay relevant. One such thing would be to actively attempt to provide clear, understandable, and unbiased reports of newsworthy events. One can hope, anyway.

  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:41AM (#44971505)

    "If that happens, terrorist attacks will become a form of theater in which terrorists not only get to write the play but also act as the primary producers of the coverage of the event."

    As opposed to:

    "If that happens, military intervention will become a form of theater in which governments not only get to write the play but also act as the primary producers of the coverage of the event."

    The CNN coverage of the Iraq invasions could be seen as the same thing as in Nairobi - it just depends on what side you stand on.

  • Swat teams would love it if they had a real time camera on each target. It would be best if they strap it to their head so the swat can sneak up and shoot them in the back.
  • Anti-terrorist organizations can use the same live technology to show terrorirsts getting captured / killed.

    Twitter should be able to better control removal of such content, idk if that encroaches on the 1st amendment though.

    • by petes_PoV (912422)

      encroaches on the 1st amendment though

      Kenya isn't in the Unisted States. The US consitution and/or amendments don't apply.

      • by Lithdren (605362)

        Twitter is also not the US goverment, the amendments do not apply. If Twitter doesn't want you to speak, there's not much you can do about it.

    • by RussR42 (779993)

      Twitter should be able to better control removal of such content, idk if that encroaches on the 1st amendment though.

      Two things come to mind: I'm fairly certain the 1st amendment doesn't apply to the region in question and Twitter isn't in any way required to help you out with your 1st amendment rights. To be clear, it's twitter's service and their choice on what to allow. You want to say something they don't allow? No problem, start your own website. Or start printing pamphlets.

  • by gallondr00nk (868673) on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:53AM (#44971679)

    Anyone who has watched Network knows how this will pan out. Still a disturbingly prescient film.

  • There's nothing like laughing at someone's earnest attempts at political theory or correcting their grammar to belittle their attempts at being taken seriously.

  • It'll be hard to uStream that attack when you pay for your data by the minute.

    "Ahmed, I thought we were on an unlimited plan?"
    "We are, Rachman, but we're getting throttled!"
    "And why is our username AllahsAngels?"

  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Friday September 27, 2013 @10:58AM (#44971737) Homepage Journal

    "If that happens, terrorist attacks will become a form of theater in which terrorists not only get to write the play but also act as the primary producers of the coverage of the event."

    Oh, you mean like the US Government is doing?

  • Finally something Google Glass will actually be good for:(
  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Friday September 27, 2013 @11:40AM (#44972227)
    I wonder who will be the first to buy ads on the live terrorism channel. In the 80's, a friend of mine wrote a short story about a future in which anyone could have their own television channel, with real-time viewer tracking. Money would pour in real time into their bank accounts in proportion to how many viewers their channel had. Then somebody had the idea to do a live murder spree and police chase on their channel, which made them very rich, very quickly. So, yeah, we're getting close.
  • You could argue that the US introduced non-stop realtime war porn during the first gulf war. I'm kind of surprised that it's taken this long for other entities to catch up to the propaganda possibilities of doing the same, particularly given how cheap it's become.

  • Just pointing out these are Muslims killing non-Muslims. Allah would be proud.

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