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U.S. Hacks Al-Qaeda Affiliate Website in Yemen

By - Source: Washington Post | B 42 comments

It is rare the U.S. government would admit an hacking event as an effort of counter-terrorism.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters that Strategic Counterterrorism Communications staff at the State Department had successfully attacked Yemeni tribal websites that posted propaganda about Al Qaeda killing Americans.

The hacking was carried out apparently within 48 hours of those sites going live and replaced the original content with content that showed the "toll Al Qaeda attacks have taken on the Yemeni people," Clinton said. The response of the website operators was to question the credibility of content on websites stating that people should not believe everything they see and read on the Internet.

According to Clinton, the monitoring and hacking of sites comes as part of the strategy to limit radical Islamist ideology from spreading on the Internet and it appears that the U.S. government is taking the importance of such efforts more and more seriously. Using intelligence that leverages military and intelligence sources, Clinton said that online counter-terrorism is part of a larger effort, one that includes immediate strikes beyond actions like the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden as well as a diplomatic campaign to attract the support of local governments and train local forces.

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  • 20 Hide
    cosilica , May 27, 2012 10:06 AM
    who really cares about this propaganda bullsh*t?
  • 13 Hide
    NuclearShadow , May 27, 2012 2:17 PM
    Quote:
    According to Clinton, the monitoring and hacking of sites comes as part of the strategy to limit radical Islamist ideology from spreading on the Internet


    I cannot agree with doing this. If the website was a actual terrorist website that had information on future attacks or the where about of terrorists it would be supportable, by all means hack it. But just to censor the speech and expression of peoples views is wrong. I may not agree with what they say on there or their methods but censoring them is going too far.

    Furthermore we are constantly bombarded with misinformation by our government and media at home. Does this give us the right to take the major news networks websites down and government websites? Also why do I get the feeling the word "radical" will become more and more watered down and liberally used against anything that voices even the smallest and fairest criticism?
  • 11 Hide
    doorspawn , May 27, 2012 11:17 AM
    They are so self-deluding if they think US hacking Yemeni websites is going to make Yemenis less antagonistic towards the US.

    What Yemeni's'll hear is "The US isn't content just to bomb us and buy our govt, they even hack our websites. How could anyone not think they're our enemies".
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    cosilica , May 27, 2012 10:06 AM
    who really cares about this propaganda bullsh*t?
  • 2 Hide
    alyoshka , May 27, 2012 10:21 AM
    Oh!! 'Thar she blows again'.... I really wouldn't have thought of anyone else but Hillary C to come up with such stuff.... or couldn't really expect anything else from her or here so called 'Team' of 'experts'... :) 
  • 0 Hide
    alyoshka , May 27, 2012 10:21 AM
    oops! "HER so called ....."
  • 11 Hide
    doorspawn , May 27, 2012 11:17 AM
    They are so self-deluding if they think US hacking Yemeni websites is going to make Yemenis less antagonistic towards the US.

    What Yemeni's'll hear is "The US isn't content just to bomb us and buy our govt, they even hack our websites. How could anyone not think they're our enemies".
  • 13 Hide
    NuclearShadow , May 27, 2012 2:17 PM
    Quote:
    According to Clinton, the monitoring and hacking of sites comes as part of the strategy to limit radical Islamist ideology from spreading on the Internet


    I cannot agree with doing this. If the website was a actual terrorist website that had information on future attacks or the where about of terrorists it would be supportable, by all means hack it. But just to censor the speech and expression of peoples views is wrong. I may not agree with what they say on there or their methods but censoring them is going too far.

    Furthermore we are constantly bombarded with misinformation by our government and media at home. Does this give us the right to take the major news networks websites down and government websites? Also why do I get the feeling the word "radical" will become more and more watered down and liberally used against anything that voices even the smallest and fairest criticism?
  • 3 Hide
    freggo , May 27, 2012 2:40 PM
    The war of the websites should at least be less expensive than the cold war.
    You can hire a bunch of hackers for a lot less than it takes to operate even a single aircraft carrier group.
  • 0 Hide
    Sonny73N , May 27, 2012 3:06 PM
    Once again, our government is acting like a bunch of stuck-up b1ches who choose to do whateverTF they like despite all our principles of a democratic free world, on our expenses. Anyone has any idea how to replace these evils?
  • -2 Hide
    theconsolegamer , May 27, 2012 3:52 PM
    Hacking an "organization" that doesn't even exist!
  • -2 Hide
    DRosencraft , May 27, 2012 3:56 PM
    Yes, it's a complicated thing, the US hacking other websites. It certainly brings up free speech issues, which I'm sure the gov't will counter by saying that even in the states speech that incites violence is not protected. No, they do not think this will change the thinking about them among the Yemeni people, because just as a matter of numbers this isn't a story that is going to get a whole lot of play on Yemeni news, and quite frankly a website a few days old from a radical fringe group is not going to have a whole lot of eyeballs from a nation that doesn't have particularly many eyeballs on a computer This kind of attack is not meant to deal direct blows on the target, but sustain a war of attrition. Every time a site is attacked like this they're hoping it slows down the enemy, have them see things from a different side, frustrate their ability to recruit. If you think this was meant to win hearts and minds, you're sorely mistaken. Winning hearts and minds isn't done with flying robots raining explosives down on people's heads. Whether the US will ever be able to win hearts and minds, if it's even possible under any circumstances, is debatable. But they are not really trying all that hard to do it right now.
  • 9 Hide
    vittau , May 27, 2012 5:19 PM
    I'll quote the famous saying here: "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"

    The U.S. Government is not entitled to do that. Period.
  • 7 Hide
    v1ze , May 27, 2012 5:27 PM
    vittauThe U.S. Government is not entitled to do that. Period.

    ...and Al Qaeda isn't entitled to kill civilians. What's your point?
  • 1 Hide
    vittau , May 27, 2012 6:00 PM
    v1ze...and Al Qaeda isn't entitled to kill civilians. What's your point?

    My point is two wrongs don't make a right.
  • -5 Hide
    erunion , May 27, 2012 6:45 PM
    Just more hypocrisy from the American government, nothing to see here. Move a long. Move a long.
  • 0 Hide
    willard , May 27, 2012 7:22 PM
    So let me get this straight. Anonymous defaces corporate websites and practically all you see in the comments here is support. The US government does it to replace pages celebrating the murder of civilians, and suddenly everyone is up in arms?

    The hypocrisy is absolutely astounding.
  • 9 Hide
    oxiide , May 27, 2012 7:31 PM
    Gundam288if you think Osama Bin Laden wasn't dead before 9/11 your very gullible, the CIA has admitted many a time to faking videos of him.

    Wow. An argument between two competing, ridiculous conspiracy theories. I'm sure you both have some links to awesome websites set in 14 pt Comic Sans that certainly prove your points beyond any reasonable doubt.

    This thread, by the way, reads like the rantings of a bunch of 14-year olds who have just discovered they can be rebellious via politics.
  • 4 Hide
    willard , May 27, 2012 7:36 PM
    oxiideThis thread, by the way, reads like the rantings of a bunch of 14-year olds who have just discovered they can be rebellious via politics.

    After posting here regularly for several months I've come to the same conclusion. The vast majority of the posters here are just whiny teenagers who are angry about things they don't understand. They also REALLY don't like to be called out on their ignorance. I'm guessing both of our comments are going to get rated down into oblivion for pointing out the hypocrisy and stupidity. Much easier to click the thumbs down button and sling insults than to defend the vapid arguments these kids make.

    Must be nice to have the whole world figured out at age 14. Clearly, if the world were run by a bunch of whiny 14 year old kids, everything would be so much better? Because they're the only ones who really get how the world works, right?
  • 0 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , May 27, 2012 9:01 PM
    On one hand, it's nice that they're at least trying.

    On the other hand, they can't really think that taking down a couple of websites that were 48 hours old is going to somehow turn the tide of the public's perception. Humans are so silly.
  • -6 Hide
    leeashton , May 27, 2012 9:25 PM
    willardSo let me get this straight. Anonymous defaces corporate websites and practically all you see in the comments here is support. The US government does it to replace pages celebrating the murder of civilians, and suddenly everyone is up in arms?The hypocrisy is absolutely astounding.

    because anonymous does it for everyone the US govt. does it for themselves f**k you are stupid!
  • 3 Hide
    willard , May 27, 2012 10:09 PM
    leeashtonbecause anonymous does it for everyone the US govt. does it for themselves f**k you are stupid!

    Case in point, the average 14 year old kid who has the whole world figured out.

    Attacking corporations because you're angry about the economy, good.
    Attacking terrorists who are celebrating MURDER, bad, and also somehow not in the interests of the people the terrorists are attempting to murder.

    When you grow up, I hope you think back on things like this and realize just what a moron you were.
  • 2 Hide
    mb2bm55 , May 27, 2012 11:48 PM
    willardAfter posting here regularly for several months I've come to the same conclusion. The vast majority of the posters here are just whiny teenagers who are angry about things they don't understand. They also REALLY don't like to be called out on their ignorance. I'm guessing both of our comments are going to get rated down into oblivion for pointing out the hypocrisy and stupidity. Much easier to click the thumbs down button and sling insults than to defend the vapid arguments these kids make.Must be nice to have the whole world figured out at age 14. Clearly, if the world were run by a bunch of whiny 14 year old kids, everything would be so much better? Because they're the only ones who really get how the world works, right?



    Look anywhere on the internet is going to have comment sections full of overly-opinionated people to say the least. I don't know where you expect to find anything much different other than on highly specialized sites.

    However, you have to admit that there is something borderline hilarious, hypocritical and just plain sad about this announcement. Hillary Clinton (who is rapidly setting the age record for becoming a political dinosaur since 2008) made an announcement about the US Government hacking some puny third world website (In an election year. Shocker. After we have heard wave after wave of American military corporations, offices etc getting hacked containing blueprints and specifications to our $300 billion air superiority fighter by our main global rival China. Another Shocker.) and changed/censored the free speech of some foreigner. Look Al Queda can go Fuck itself. I'd be first in line to piss on Osama bin Laden's dead body. The people who ran this website are obviously the worst form of human detritus. But the US Government has no right to censor the free speech of any individual on this planet whether they are worthless criminal scum or not (with the exception of course of fighting words but imo that has to be said in person. Going after people hiding on the internet is not their territory. The readers are willing exposing them selves to those words). We were founded on certain principles and sometimes it feels like the US government will throw these aside at its own discretion whether it be against American citizens or not. The internet is one of the frontiers we are still fighting for to establish those rights. That's what these posters are not so eloquently lashing out against (and why they side with Anonymous and not this).

    Also the fact that the US is announcing this like an achievement after all the embarrassments we suffered is ridiculous. I could've gone to Barnes and Noble, bought a hacking for dumbies book and done this. The Secretary of State announcing this is just too much not to laugh
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