15 November 2016
TERRORIST and non-state actors have used different modes and mediums to spread their message and communicate with their comrades. The dawn of the Internet has also provided such groups with unparalleled opportunities to establish communications and operational links that were not possible before. Starting from websites, terrorist groups moved to more interactive mediums like chatrooms and forums. Social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, truly revolutionised how militants, terrorists and non-state actors communicated with each other, recruited sympathisers and supporters, and disseminated their propaganda.
The Islamic State perfected the use of social media, which became the preferred source for the “jihadists” or “soldiers of the Caliphate”. In response, technology companies have been compelled to take down Facebook and Twitter accounts affiliated with IS. Because of these supporters, sympathisers and members of jihadist groups have moved into the deep web and the darknet.
Deep web and darknet are interchangeably used, but they are two different things. The deep web includes all those web pages that a search engine, such as Google, cannot find. This includes web pages that are password-protected, all webmail, private Facebook accounts, user databases and pages behind paywalls. Websites that are not indexed by Google are also part of the deep web. The surface web is all that Google has indexed and a user can access it using any search engine.
… The writer is a Research Analyst with the International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 17/11/2016