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

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.

  • cosilica
    who really cares about this propaganda bullsh*t?
  • alyoshka
    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'... :)
  • alyoshka
    oops! "HER so called ....."
  • doorspawn
    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".
  • NuclearShadow
    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?
  • freggo
    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.
  • Sonny73N
    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?
  • theconsolegamer
    Hacking an "organization" that doesn't even exist!
  • DRosencraft
    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.
  • vittau
    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.