October 24, 2003
As widely reported in the world o’ weblogs, the attack appears to have been against a site called Internet Haganah, which among other things is involved with exposing web sites they say are involved with terrorism, and getting their ISPs to cut them off.
Internet Haganah claims the DOS attack “was directed by hackers associated with Yussuf al-Ayyeri, one of Osama bin Laden’s closest associates since the early ’90s.” Maybe so. If Internet Haganah really is involved in a gritty online struggle with elements of Al Qaeda, well, go Internet Haganah. Here in NYC, we’re opposed to Al Qaeda. I wish I didn’t have the uneasy feeling that there’s more to this story, but I get that feeling from most stories like this, these days.
Of course, it would help if “terror” hadn’t come to be a term as overused as “fascism”:
Meanwhile, bloggers at other affected sites were concerned that cyberterrorists might be targeting them, said Michele Catalano, the Long Islander who runs the popular command-post.org Web site.I may not have a precise and bulletproof definition of “terrorism” in my hip pocket, but I do know this: a disruption that does not require me to get out of my chair isn’t “terrorism”, it’s an annoyance. Buildings being blown up, people being killed: definitely terrorism. Weblog inaccessible for a few hours, hobbyists cranky about it: not terrorism.
Really, are the rugged, go-get-‘em web warriors of Internet Haganah and Command Post really terrified (as opposed to concerned, or vigilant, or quite reasonably pissed off) by the prospect of vandalism against web sites? Is anyone? I think not. I certainly hope not. If this is what we in America now consider “terrorism,” we must be the most easily-terrified bunch of weenies on the planet. I’d really rather have a better opinion of us—all of us—than that. [11:29 AM]