The early 1970s was when the first modern day internet was created and was centralized. It was later decentralized because of the fear of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. After about 20 years of researching, the internet was open to private and public users alike during the late 1980’s. This meant that anyone with internet access could gain information from all over the world where there was a connection. The following is a list that shows the flexibility of the internet and why it is easy for terrorists as well as their organizations to gain access it to spread violence and fear and plan and make attacks. Weimann (2004,) said that the internet has,
- easy access;
- little or no regulation, censorship, or other forms of government control;
- potentially huge audiences spread throughout the world;
- anonymity of communication;
- fast flow of information;
- inexpensive development and maintenance of a web presence;
- a multimedia environment (the ability to combine text, graphics, audio, and video and to allow users to download films, songs, books, posters, and so forth); and
- the ability to shape coverage in the traditional mass media, which increasingly use the Internet as a source for stories.
Cyber Terrorism is the same as physical terrorism, except that they use computers to make attacks. An example of cyber terrorism would be hacking into the CIA or FBI to intimidate or coerce the American people. Another example would be hacking into hospital databases and changing patient information in a way that would cause patients to die due to false medication dosage or allergies to foods or medicines. In 2003, the projected ecommerce dollar amount for the year said that “if the internet went down there would be a disruption of nearly $6.5 billion in world transactions.” (Coleman, 2003, ¶ 2)
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