Some Regulars Just don’t Get IW

Cyber Vigilantes Track Extremist Web Sites, Intelligence Experts Balk at Effort

Michael Radu, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and an expert on terror-related Web sites, said the government is already overburdened trying to monitor the thousands of sites on the Web believed to contain radical Muslim messages. These cyber vigilantes, he said, are not helping.

“It is very unlikely they will find something of significance in the Internet that the government doesn’t already know,” Radu said. “They are redundant at best.”

“There are a lot of weekend warriors and quasi vigilantes out there that think they can do what the government can’t,” said a private intelligence contractor for the U.S. government who has been investigating jihadist Web sites for more than 15 years. The contractor spoke to on condition of anonymity due to his continuing work with U.S. intelligence.

He said that when cyber-sleuths alert authorities or ISPs to the whereabouts of an extremist site, the page is removed — only to reappear somewhere else, and sometimes within hours.

“For those working in the intelligence community, it becomes extremely costly, because then they have to go looking for the sites all over again,” said the private intelligence contractor, noting that U.S. intelligence often knows of the sites for a long time and monitors their traffic to look for clues to their origins, creators and visitors.

When the site comes down, he said, intelligence investigations can be ruined.

“They have good intentions, but end up doing more harm than good,” he said.

Doing more harm than good to whom is the question.

Michael Tanji asks assume our Uncle gets his act together WRT leveraging irregulars; what guidance would you like to receive/be willing to accept; what resources would you find useful/accept; what level of C2 would you be willing to accept?

Additionally, how do you define success?



Filed under IW, PSYOP Auxiliaries

4 responses to “Some Regulars Just don’t Get IW

  1. I polled PIST and Co. C on Michael’s questions and am posting the responses here.

    As much guidance as needed. I suspect I would need some.

    Resources. I am not sure I know enough to know what resources I would need. I am a newbie to this sort of thing, but want to help. In the immediate term, because I have a “political” blog, perhaps some sort of counterintel, or directed psy ops is a possibility in the short term.

    Question 3: I would act on any reasonable request from C2, provided it was in my power to do so and would not jeapordize loved ones, my country, or my ability to provide for my family.

  2. Hmmm. Given that I lack faith in our gov’t to handle this because of their tendency to get all PC with the redtape, I’d rather they just leave us (and people much better at this than I) alone and let us give them tips and leave it at that. It’s kind of like with my homeschooling. Just leave me alone and let me do what I’m doing. Any time the govt wants to “give” me something (i.e. a tax break) they want me to give up something in return (my autonomy.) That’s sort of how I see this stuff. We’ll be better able to effect change if they leave us alone.

  3. Grimmy

    I’d give my response as:

    Screw it. We, as citizens, have every fookin right to reach out and touch the enemy as hard, harshly and destructively as we can find ourselves able.

    There is no front line in this fight and everyone is at risk.

    If the gov types can’t figure a way to utilize those motivated to pitch in and help, then screw em. We’ve been given exactly zero reason to have faith in their efforts and have seen heaping helpings of reasons to mistrust the upper echelons of national intel in competence, cohesion, common sense, and even loyalty to the fight against the enemy.

    Until the gov types take a torch and pitchfork to all those pieces of **** that infest their organizations with leftist political agenda betrayals at a knee jerk level, and shed themselves, by whatever means necessary of all the weak and feckless idiots hiding behind federal employee union protectionism, then why the hell should we not consider them just another failure in this fight?

    We are NOT peasants. And we will NOT just sit by and wait for our “betters” to decide how we should be made to behave.