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Max Forte's List: Web Warfare

  • Jul 22, 09

    Israel's "Team Twitter" set in the context of the Israeli state's broader propaganda efforts.

    • Israel’s foreign ministry is reported to be establishing a special undercover team of paid workers whose job it will be to surf the internet 24 hours a day spreading positive news about Israel.
    • “To all intents and purposes the internet is a theatre in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we must be active in that theatre, otherwise we will lose,” said Ilan Shturman, who is responsible for the project.
    • The existence of an “internet warfare team” came to light when it was included in this year’s foreign ministry budget. About $150,000 has been set aside for the first stage of development, with increased funding expected next year.

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    • 'Terrorists are certainly in a Web 2.0 world now,' Homeland Security chief warns
    • sees room for major improvement in creating what she called a "culture of collective responsibility."
    • "The terrorists in Mumbai, for example, made use of GPS devices, satellite phones, mapping websites like Google Earth and even live cable TV," she said.

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    • Recently finished reading "The Bookseller of Kabul" by Asne Seierstad. Powerful insights into the lives of Afghan women and girls.
    • Gratified that CAPT Speicher's remains have been identified. Grateful for his service, sacrifice and courage. Thoughts are with his family.
    • Presided over retirement for Vice Adm. Nancy Brown today. What a role model, not just for women, but for ALL naval officers. Will miss her.

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    • "It is not in fact going around the chain of command; it allows us to connect to the chain of command in ways we have not been able to experience before."
    • “These internet sites in general are a proven haven for malicious actors and content and are particularly high risk due to information exposure, user generated content and targeting by adversaries,” reads a Marine Corps order, issued Monday. “The very nature of SNS [social network sites] creates a larger attack and exploitation window, exposes unnecessary information to adversaries and provides an easy conduit for information leakage that puts OPSEC [operational security], COMSEC [communications security], [and] personnel… at an elevated risk of compromise.”
    • “The mechanisms for social networking were never designed for security and filtering. They make it way too easy for people with bad intentions to push malicious code to unsuspecting users,”
    • "My very first recruiting officer was G.I. Joe,"
    • "Only later would I learn   just how enmeshed G.I. Joe's manufacturer, Hasbro, was with the military. One   instance of this close association came to me in 2003 when the Department of   Defense shared the specifications for their Future Force Warrior concept  with the toy company, even before awarding the contract to General Dynamics.   More important to the military these days are its ties to video game manufacturers.   The latter turn tax-payer-funded combat simulators into first-person shooters   that, in effect, pre-train youngsters in small-unit military tactics and irregular   warfare."
    • Turse also talks of the Microsoft Xbox game "Close Combat: First to Fight,"     which was originally a training tool developed for the US Marine Corps by civilian   contractor Destineer Studios.   His book reveals that the game "was created under the direction of more   than 40 active-duty Marines, fresh from the frontlines of combat in the Middle   East [who] worked side-by-side with the development team to put the exact tactics   they used in combat into "First Fight."

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    • The outage that knocked Twitter offline for hours was traced to an attack on a lone blogger in the former Soviet republic of Georgia — but the collateral damage that left millions around the world tweetless showed just how much havoc an isolated cyberdispute can cause
    • The attacks Thursday also slowed down Facebook and caused problems for the online diary site LiveJournal.
    • Twitter, the 140-character-or-less messaging site used by celebrities, businesses and even Iranian protesters, suffered a total outage that lasted several hours.

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    • From her computer, she enters a world where young Muslims openly volunteer to fight against US-led coalition troops in Afghanistan or learn how to make explosives out of everyday materials.
    • The 24-year-old Singaporean research analyst is constantly on the lookout for attack manuals, video clips of Islamist militants in training and fiery extremist chatter that could hint at an imminent assault somewhere.
    • "This whole thing is worrying," she told AFP in an interview, referring to a growing trend of individuals imbibing radical ideas online.

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