ISIS uses satellite internet to recruit terrorists; companies could immediately cut off ISIS Internet access with ease

“No terror organization uses the Internet as successfully when it comes to marketing itself and recruiting supporters as Islamic State (IS) does,” Nicolai Kwasniewski reports for SPIEGEL ONLINE. “But how is it able to do so given that the group operates in a region where telecommunications infrastructure has been largely destroyed?”

“The answer to this question is an extremely problematic one for Europe, for it is European companies that provide the terrorists with access to the platforms they use to spread their propaganda,” Kwasniewski reports. “It remains unclear whether the companies knowingly do so, but documents obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE show that they may very well know what’s going on. And the documents show that the companies could immediately cut off Islamic State’s Internet access without much effort.”

“It’s unlikely that any of these companies are deliberately trying to help or support the Islamic State, and it is also unclear if they really know who their equipment is ultimately delivered to,” Kwasniewski reports. “For the satellite operators, it’s technically relatively easy to cut access to networks. Using the web portal OSS, it only takes one click to eliminate access. In cases where they harbor suspicions, operators would also have the technical ability to see what kind of data is be transmitted or received by the satellite dishes.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: No back doors to encryption — compromising the privacy of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people in the process — required, if you simply cut their Internet link at the source.

None of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information. This is a basic human right. We all have a right to privacy. We shouldn’t give it up. We shouldn’t give in to scare-mongering or to people who fundamentally don’t understand the details.Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 27, 2015

Donald Trump: To stop ISIS recruiting, maybe we should be talking to Bill Gates about ‘closing that Internet up in some way’ – December 8, 2015
Hillary Clinton: We need to put Silicon Valley tech firms to ‘work at disrupting ISIS’ – December 7, 2015
Tim Cook attacks Google, U.S. federal government over right to privacy abuses – June 3, 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook advocates privacy, says terrorists should be ‘eliminated’ – February 27, 2015
Apple’s iPhone encryption is a godsend, even if government snoops and cops hate it – October 8, 2014
Short-timer U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder blasts Apple for protecting users’ privacy against government overreach – September 30, 2014
FBI blasts Apple for protective users’ privacy by locking government, police out of iPhones and iPads – September 25, 2014
Apple thinks different about privacy – September 23, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for government, police – even with search warrants – September 18, 2014
Would you trade privacy for national security? Most Americans wouldn’t – August 6, 2014
Apple begins encrypting iCloud email sent between providers – July 15, 2014
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013
U.S. NSA seeks to build quantum computer to crack most types of encryption – January 3, 2014
Apple’s iMessage encryption trips up U.S. feds’ surveillance – April 4, 2013


  1. Ed,

    That’s one way of looking at it. However if you completely deny these antediluvian thugs complete access to the net then you lose a very good source of intelligence as to what they are doing and who is involved.

    Obviously it’s a hard call, shut them down or monitor them online. I’m glad I don’t have to make a decision like that but it is a difficult call nonetheless.

  2. I find this guy moronic for making such suppositions and conclusions.

    It is impossible for any network provider to simply throw a switch and arbitrarily cut someone off just because a phrase or word was spoken or typed, or that the data came from a particular residence or business.

    If they, the providers, could make these decisions, there would be no way to stop them cutting off anyone anywhere. And they would have to monitor all your traffic to do so.

    This is an elimination of your privacy and liberty.

    Law enforcement does its job, and when found, they can get a connection terminated-under the law.

    I hear about all this talk about back doors to encryption. Dumb. As many have said, “the cat is out of the bag.” There are many private chat applications that manage their own encryption. Anyone ever hear of PGP? You can manage your own keys and send encrypted email without a back door.

    Back doors are a non-option. If you want to crack a key, then you will need a MPP algorithm and AI that makes educated guesses about the entropy of they key generator to make deciding faster.

    Criminals will break the law. So making encryption illegal is not the answer.

    Back to this story: Don’t give the power to cut off your internet access to your internet provider (assuming you paid for the service)

  3. Some problems simply do not admit of a technological solution. Has technology solved war, poverty, intolerance, irrationality? No. It’s made them worse.

    It’s always been one tribe, one ideology, against another. Bring it on.

  4. No, no, no! Cutting off ISIS would violate the sacred principles of Net Neutrality! No blocking, no throttling and no paid prioritization! The FCC has so ruled! /sarc if you haven’t figured it out yet.

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