Feeds

British spooks hit AQ bulletin boards

Are you sure about this jihad thing chaps?

SANS - Survey on application security programs

British spooks plotted to use the internet to help promote two separate messages to the Muslim world - one of the engagement which we hear openly from politicians and diplomats and a darker, secret, message to groups of "more radicalised constituencies".

A letter from William Ehrman, director-general of defence and intelligence, to the government's security adviser David Omand in April was leaked to Sunday's Observer. It warns that "the potential for intelligence operations backfiring on us is even greater that during the Cold War". The letter, headed "Hearts and Minds and Muslims", also notes that actions in the region are likely to have more impact than messages.

It says some in the region will not be impressed by talk of peace and prosperity, although they would be impressed if it actually happened.

To address such groups the letter suggests taking a more radical stance. It says such groups "might, however, listen to religious arguments about the nature of jihad that, while anti-Western, eschew terrorism." It suggests borrowing tactics from Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

The letter also warns latter-day Lawrence of Arabias of the dangers of trolling: "The McColl paper also mentions Cyberspace. I presume there are opportunities for engaging in debate on Islamist websites, unattributably. But whoever was doing would need a carefully worked-out script. There may also be ways to disrupt or impede extremist websites. I hope some proposals on all this will emerge from ongoing cross-government work on setting up better systems for monitoring websites."

The letter says "too many Middle Eastern governments are sticking with the wrong answer: suppression and gerrymandering of superficial bits of democratic furniture, instead of bringing moderate Islamist tendencies into the power structure while they are still moderate, and confronting them with the realities of power and responsibility."

The Observer story, which links to the documents, is available here.

So, has Whitehall indeed created a cadre of desk-bound James Bonds dedicated to de-grooming radical Islamists in internet chatrooms? The powers-that-be appear to be have kept that a secret. For now.®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.