The Twitter - Al Qaeda connection

Saying Twitter can be used by terrorists is a bit like saying oxygen can be used by terrorists.

Osama on Twitter!

Osama on Twitter!

I always knew those Twitterati were up to no good. And now it seems the US Army has cottoned on to this as well.

A draft US Army intelligence report has identified Twitter as a potential tool for terrorism. (You can find a copy on the Federation of American Scientists web site [PDF].)

Apparently the military spooks are afraid Twitter could be used by terrorist cells to coordinate movements and select potential targets.

And how did they come to this conclusion? By seeing how Twitter was used by protestors at the US Republican National Convention last September.

While Sarah Palin was up on stage putting lipstick on a pit bull, police were rounding up and detaining hundreds of protestors outside the convention hall. Protest organizers used Twitter and mobile phones to route people around the cops and send medics to those overcome with tear gas.

Saying Twitter can be used by terrorists is a bit like saying oxygen can be used by terrorists. These are the guys that hijacked four planes using box cutters, remember? The next big terrorist threat: Water balloons filled with Cheez Whiz.

But is it such a great leap to suggest that when the US Army means "terrorists," they're not just thinking of fanatics with bombs who blow up innocent people, but ordinary folks who might occasionally be moved to exercise their Constitutional rights?

Check out the rogues gallery of evil doers cited by the report:

Twitter has also become a social activism tool for socialists, human rights groups, communists, vegetarians, anarchists, religious communities, atheists, political enthusiasts, hacktivists and others to communicate with each other and to send messages to broader audiences.

Terrorist cell, or your average parents and friends meeting? You make the call.

With all the blather this political season of "domestic terrorists" and "real Americans," I'm getting a strong McCarthyesque deja vu. We have seen this ugliness before.

Can your tweets land you on an anti-terror watch list -- or in Gitmo? Stranger things have happened. If you get a message saying somebody named NSAspook is following you, don't say I didn't warn you.

Are you a Twitter terrorist? Fess up below or email me direct: dan (at) dantynan (com). You can also follow my terrorist tweets @tynan_on_tech.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags twitter

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Tynan

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?