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 FOXNews.com 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?