"Hacktivists" Fight Terrorism From Their Home Offices
A informal network of civilians, some of them former military, are helping to fight terrorism by hacking into extremist Web sites and sending their findings to US intelligence agencies.
Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn
What's the Latest Development?
Citizen "hacktivists" are working to infiltrate Web sites belonging to terrorist organizations and their supporters, supplying the US military and FBI with data that can be used to help identify individuals and activities. Because this network of individuals isn't "official" or organized, the data supply is "a one-way street," according to Jeff Bardin, a former Air Force linguist who has spent years developing various personas that he uses to penetrate terrorist sites. He became a hacktivist after entering Al Qaeda bulletin boards and seeing videos of attacks on US soldiers.
What's the Big Idea?
One US Special Forces officer says that the hacktivists' activities represent "a domain of warfare where an individual can make a difference." However, others worry that citizen interference could have a negative effect on existing intelligence efforts. While Bardin teaches a "Cyber Intelligence" online course in which he instructs students to obey the law, another hacktivist, known as The Jester, chooses to go beyond infiltrating the typical terrorist sites. He claims to have taken down Wikileaks and sites associated with an American extremist church. He says he wants to help disrupt terrorism but he doesn't want to be a government employee: "I feel I can be more effective overall this way."
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.