Responding to cyberterror: A failure to firewall freedoms?
While campaining for office of President of the United States in 2008, Barack Obama described a ‘net attack’ as being as serious and grave a problem as any potential nuclear or biological threat. Obama’s concerns echo long-standing criticisms of the Internet and its capacity, such as its openness and the lack of a regulatory power. Governments have readily highlighted that terrorists have been quick to utilise the potential that the cyberworld has to offer them to deliver their messages, communicate with each other and retain their anonymity. As a result, efforts to curb and contain have often trampled over human rights, privacy and civil liberties. This chapter examines the developments by looking at the actual threats of cyberterrorism and what threats are posed by the use of the Internet by terrorists. This chapter analyses the trends in government measures to attempt to control hyperspace, question the nature of these measures and present how these measures threaten E-Democracy while at the same time highlighting the need for legitimate E-Identity mechanisms to be created.