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[Nettime-nl] [NMBB-NIEUWS] Rol Internet bij aanslagen VS
Steven Lenos on Tue, 18 Sep 2001 14:56:26 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-nl] [NMBB-NIEUWS] Rol Internet bij aanslagen VS

Sommige journalisten doen graag 'dwars'. Neem bijvoorbeeld Herbert
Blankesteijn. In het NRC schreef hij maandag 17 december schreef hij
onder de kop "Internet faalt als het erop aankomt" het volgende:
"Onder normale omstandigheden kan internet je beste vriend zijn. Maar
als het er werkelijk toe doet, bijvoorbeeld na de aanslagen in de
Verenigde Staten, loopt het spaak".

Hieronder volgt een mooi overzicht (geleverd door Phil Noble van
www.PoliticsOnline.com) over de rol die Internet heeft gespeeld in de
VS. Dat levert een volstrekt ander beeld dan de conclusie van
Een van de dingen die Phil Noble onvermeld laat is de rol die het
Internet wellicht heeft gespeeld voor de terroristen toen zij hun
daden voorbereidden. Communicatie tussen 'terroristische cellen' en
'het hoofdkantoor' of 'de strategen' verloopt mogelijk via in
plaatjes versleutelde boodschappen of andere kryptische boodschappen
op bijvoorbeeld drukke voetbal-discussiesites.

Steven Lenos (s.lenos {AT} publiek-politiek.nl)
Instituut voor Publiek en Politiek

*** Democracies Online Newswire - http://www.e-democracy.org/do ***

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 14:49:26 "GMT"
From: PoliticsOnline <politicsonline {AT} politicsonline.com>
To: politicker {AT} politicsonline.com
Subject: The Weekly PoliTicker

Special Edition: Analysis of the Role of the Internet and the Attack
on America

Note From: Phil Noble (phil {AT} politicsonline.com)
President, PoliticsOnline
843 853 8190 office phone
843 296 1490 mobile

PoliticsOnline has received many calls from journalists and others
about what role the Internet is playing in the current crisis. To
respond we have 1) developed this Special Report that outlines the six
key points in understanding the developments and, 2) created a special
section on our web site (www.PoliticsOnline.com) to track these
developments and provide a research and reference source.

The attack on the Pentagon is indeed ironic when we remember that it
was the Army that started it all way back in 1969 with a project
called ARPNET. They wanted to design a system that would allow
computers to communicate in times of national disaster. They were
planning on missile attacks from the Russians, not civilian airplane
attacks from terrorists.

As one analyst noted, during this crisis people turned to the Internet
for what they needed and wanted, just as they began doing with the
telephone many years ago.

Recently the focus has been on the crash of the tech stocks and the
success and failures of e-commerce. This week the Internet stories
were about the technology was incorporated into the daily life of
average citizens in these extraordinary times. This week the Internet
truly became The People's Channel.

1. What the Net does best is Communications and Connections

In this crisis, the Internet did what it does best - communicating and
connecting. For those personally caught up in the crisis, it was a
means of communications when other means failed. People stranded in
the World Trade Center Towers sent e-mails and instant messages to
their loved ones; Blackberrys and pagers came through when mobile
phones and land lines failed. Hundreds of online groups formed to do
all the things people wanted to do - reach out to each other, share
their grief, search for friends and loved ones.

* NY.com  (www.ny.com) created an interactive database listing
survivors from the Trade Center collapse. Within 24 hours they had
2,600 listings.

* Hundreds of people posted prayers, related prayer circles and
discussions groups on Beliefnet (www.beliefnet.com), a popular
non-denominational site.

* United (www.ual.com) and American Airlines
(www.americanairlines.com) posted information and listed phone numbers
for people to call looking for more information on their crashes.

* People used Yahoo Groups to create numerous discussion groups to
share information, express grief and vent their anger.

Survivor Databases Offered by NY.Com and Prodigy (InternetNews)
Ny.com, a Web site that calls itself the "paperless guide to New York
City" and Prodigy, the national ISP, are offering interactive
databases listing survivors of Tuesday's World Trade Center collapse.

Web Offers Both News and Comfort (New York Times)
The major news Web sites were quickly overloaded. Many links to the
not-so-major news Web sites stopped working. But more than news, what
people all over the world craved in the wake of yesterday's terrorist
attacks was connection to each other, and many of them found that most
easily achieved by going online.

After Attack, the Net Reassures and Informs (USA Today)
As phone systems faltered in the aftermath of Tuesday's terrorist
attack, the nation clung to the Net, reaching out to friends and loved
ones, praying, spreading accusations and gossip, and overwhelming news
and information sites.

Net Offers Lifeline Amid Tragedy (CNET)
People in New York City and around the globe turned to the Internet on
Tuesday to communicate with their families and to grasp the horrific
sequence of terrorist attacks that transformed the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon into disaster zones.

Internet Performs Global Role, Supplementing TV (Online Journalism
History expands. Terribly. In 1914, two bullets fired at an automobile
driving through the streets of Sarajevo killed the Archduke Franz
Ferdinand and Sophia, his wife. Their deaths led to World War One.

Web Acts as Hub For Info On Attacks (CNET)
Moments after airplanes separately crashed into both towers of the
World Trade Center, and then later the Pentagon, Web sites for the
major news outlets were swamped by an overflow of traffic.

E-Mail Indispensable as Phone Systems Jam (Atlanta
As the World Trade Center collapsed and planes plunged from the sky,
sending and receiving e-mail -- the most popular Internet activity --
became the indispensable communication tool during the attacks.
(September 12, 2001)

Net Helps Connect People in Distress (ZDNet)
People in New York City and around the globe turned to the Internet on
Tuesday to communicate with their families and to grasp the horrific
sequence of terrorist attacks that transformed the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon into disaster zones. (September 13, 2001)

International E-mails Show Depth of Shock at Attacks (Sky News)
Everyone from city governors to newsreaders and presidents have
expressed their shock at the scenes in America. (September 11, 2001)

2. The Net created a Helping Network

After connecting and communicating, the second big use of the Internet
is helping - people reaching out to help in any way that they can. The
ability for instant response is one of the greatest strengths of the
Internet and the crisis is a perfect demonstration of the potential.
Within minutes of the first reports sites were set up to provide
mechanisms for people to help.

* Amazon (www.amazon.com) converted its first page into an appeal for
help to its 35 million customers. According to a ticker on their site,
by 3pm Friday 128, 000 people had contributed $4.7 million.

* Numerous sites linked to the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org)
site that was reporting 50 million individual visits within the first
day. In addition to taking contributions and directing people where to
go to give blood, they also provided extensive news coverage about
relief efforts.

* AOL/Time Warner and their Foundation are using their many channels
to direct people, most notably their effective Helping section
(www.helping.org) that became a pop-up window on AOL's front page.

* MSNBC (www.msnbc.com) and others are using their site to promote
relief efforts with on-screen solicitations to various organizations
as well as separate banner ads for such organizations as the Salvation

* Members of Congress eager to get involved are also using their sites
to channel people's efforts. George Washington University's Democracy
Online Project (www.congressonlineproject.org) distributed a special
edition of their newsletter on how members of Congress can use their
sites to help.

America Under Attack: How to Help (MSNBC)
To help the victims, offer tips to the police or get information on
loved ones, check the provided links. (September 14, 2001)

Web Sites Take Red Cross Donations (MSNBC)
Web site operators, including Yahoo and Amazon.com, have set up
virtual donation baskets to collect relief funds in the wake of
horrific attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.  More than 40,000
people had contributed over $1 million on Amazon.com by Wednesday

Make A Difference On The Net (ABC News)
Web site operators including online retail giant Amazon.com Inc. have
set up virtual donation baskets to collect relief funds in the wake of
horrific attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

3. The Technology Worked

Unquestionably, this week was the biggest test to date of the Internet
in its 32-year history - and it worked. It creaked and it groaned; it
was often slow and congested; a few major sites went down, but only
briefly. In short - it worked. As Tim Blair of the Online Journalism
Review noted, "Princess Diana's car crash and Bill Clinton's Oval
Office follies suddenly seem minor markers in the evolution of the
Net..." Most communications networks, of almost any type, were swamped
with unprecedented traffic.

* For a recap of website response time for the major news sites, see
PoliticsOnline's Key Stats

* Many sites had to add additional servers or stripped down their
pages so that they would load faster.

* The day of the attacks, CNN reported 9 million hits per hour as
compared to its usual daily average of 11 million. CNN received offers
of excess server capacity from several US and international companies.
CNN executive producer Mitch Gelman said they declined the offer but
he took down their number just in case.

* MSNBC reported a ten-fold increase in traffic and many international
sites such as the BBC reported record numbers.

* Cingular Wireless, the second largest US wireless carrier reported a
400% increase in calls attempted in the Washington area and 1000% in
New York.

* The nation's largest long distance company, ATT, had twice the
normal workday traffic.

Internet Lessons Will Be Learned From U.S. Attacks
Although the events of this terrible week will probably never be
forgotten, the disaster recovery issues that companies have had to
face in the aftermath of the multiple disasters across the U.S. will
help firms and organizations in the future, an Internet expert said

High-Tech Industry Plods On In Wake of Attacks (Washingtonpost.com)
Technology companies across the country opened for business today as
industry leaders vowed not to be paralyzed by the terrorist attacks
that struck the Pentagon and World Trade Center on Tuesday.

Internet Buckles Under Demand for Attack News (CNN)
Internet traffic buckled and major Web sites were jammed as surfers
crowded online for details on the airplane attacks in New York and
Washington D.C.

Internet Traffic Soars Following U.S. Attacks (Reuters)
Internet news traffic soared on Tuesday following attacks on the World
Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., slowing
retrieval times on popular Web news sites and forcing online
publishers to cut back on graphics and interactive features.
(September 13, 2001)

Internet Reacts to America Under Attack (U.S. News)
As America reacts to apparent terrorist attacks on the World Trade
Center, the Pentagon, and other possible targets, millions turn to the
Web for information.

News Sites Endure Overload After Attack (CBS News)
Devastating attacks on the U.S. strained and brought down the nation's
leading news Web sites on Tuesday as millions of people logged on to
catch the latest updates hitting the Internet. (September 11, 2001)

Traffic Jams Internet In Wake of Attacks (Nando Times)
Internet traffic slowed and major news Web sites were slow to load as
people craving details on Tuesday morning's World Trade Center and
Pentagon attacks went online.

Scrambling for News (ABC News)
A rush of Internet users seeking the latest news on the series of
attacks on buildings in the United States snarled major European news
sites today.

Tech Sites Pick Up the News (Wired)
Personalized Internet radio stations and technology websites abandoned
their normal news-delivery operations as major Internet media outlets
wilted under the crush of traffic following Tuesday's attacks in New
York and Washington.

4. The Net as a Tool of Investigation

Almost immediately after the attack, the FBI and other law enforcement
people turned to the Internet for help in tracking down the terrorist
and thoes who support them. For the first time, they used the Net as a
tool of investigation and called upon people to use the net to
respond, and respond they did from all parts of the US and around the
world. Also, in an action that is sure to draw a response (even if
delay for a while) from privacy advocates, the FBI stepped up
monitoring of email traffic.

* Attorney General John Ashcroft asked people to send information to
the FBI online through The Internet Fraud Complaint Center site
(www.ifccfbilgov). The site had received only about 10,000 complaints
since it was established last year and the response crashed the site.
It was still down as of late Friday afternoon.

* The FBI issued search warrants to some of the nation's largest ISP's
to get information on email address and other information about
suspected terrorist and their communications. AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo,
Earthlink, and Excite {AT} Home were all contacted and are cooperating.

* The FBI has been installing "Carnivores" (now renamed DCS1000) which
are Fed computers that are placed at an ISP's core to electronically
monitor the ISP's electronic communications.

Scouring Cyberspace for Clues on Attack (ABC News)
In the effort to find those responsible for the horrific terrorist
attacks on America, the FBI is searching everywhere - including
cyberspace - for clues.

FBI Utilizing Internet for Clues (Nando Times)
The FBI is issuing search warrants to major Internet service providers
to get information about an e-mail address believed to be connected to
Tuesday's terrorist attacks.

FBI Web Site Overwhelmed (MSNBC)
Attorney General John Ashcroft asked that anyone with information
about terrorist attacks contact the FBI via a Web site - but that site
was jammed within seconds of Ashcroft's announcement Tuesday night and
has been inaccessible since.

5. Cyber Security - Electronic Pearl Harbor

To date there does not seem to have been a cyber-attack on companies
or the government in coordination with the attack in New York and
Washington. But, it is widely expected to happen at some time if not
now. The warning and alarm bells about our vulnerability to an
electronic Pearl Harbor have filled the tech press since the attack.

* Terrorist organizations are noted for their skill in using the
Internet and communications technology in general. NewsFactor Network
reported "Experts say that terrorists have made a practice of putting
encrypted messages, including maps of targets, inside seemingly
innocent internet chat rooms, bulletin boards and other web sites."

* Some new sites report that cyber activist sites are calling for
cyber-counter attacks on sites of governments friendly to known
terrorist groups.

* Internet security sites and related security company sites have
reported a dramatic increase in contacts from business seeking help
with protecting their site and companies from a possible attack.

Cybersecurity Seriousness Escalates (Federal Computer Week)
A Senate hearing originally scheduled to examine the security of the
critical cyber infrastructure took on extra meaning as Congress and
the nation attempted to respond to Tuesday's terrorist attacks.

How Terrorists Use the Internet (NewsFactor Network)
The same advantages the Internet and advanced technology bring to the
general public and to business -- speed, security and global
linkage -- are helping international terrorist groups organize their
deadly and disruptive activities.

U.S. Attack: Companies Warned About Possible Cyber Attacks (InfoWorld)
Government and private-sector security experts fear that Tuesday's
attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are only the
beginning of a wave of assaults that could include cyberterrorism.

Companies Urged to Prepare for Cyber Terrorism (Industry Standard)
Government and private-sector security officials warn that the attacks
against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon may be followed by a
wave cyberterrorist assaults.

6. The Dark Side Emerges: Hate, Scams and Sickos

"The Internet, like American society itself, is a virtual reflection
of the best and worst that humanity has to offer, say reporters for
internet.com - and they are right. The disaster has brought the rats
out of the sewers and they are spamming the Net with phony
contribution come-ons and spewing racist bile.

* Anti-Arab hate speech was the first to surface. Sites related to
Arab groups or simply those of some of the ordinary 7 million
Americans of Arab descent have been targets both online and offline.

* So-called Christian evangelist Jerry Falwell linked the attack to
the ACLU, gays, pro-choice activist and those who wanted to ban school

* Numerous scams to get credit card donations in the name of the
tragedy have been launched; many use the name of the Red Cross and
other reputable organizations.

* Some people tried to sell pieces of the rubble and other "souvenirs"
of the disaster on E-Bay. The company has since barred any such sales.

* A video game called WTC Defender has appeared where users can shoot
down planes flying toward the twin towers.

Scam Artists Capitalize On Tragedy (MSNBC)
Consumer protection advocates are warning Internet users that scam
artists are trying to take advantage of Tuesday's terrorist attacks.

Growing Number of Internet Scams Mar Relief Efforts (InternetNews)
The Internet, like American society itself, is a virtual reflection of
the best and worst that humanity has to offer.

Web Vents Open on U.S. Muslims (Wired)
As the volume of anti-Arab hate speech on the Internet cranked to full
blast Wednesday, U.S. Muslims reported rampant harassment on- and

"Purge Our Society," Online Bigots Shout (Salon)
While most online reactions have focused on expressions of emotional
support and pleas for calm, there is also evidence that in many online
communities, Muslim-Christian relations already are breaking down --
as posters, assuming the attacks are the work of Islamic radicals,
lash out.

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