I was reading this article on MSNBC yesterday and they mentioned that an Al Qaeda website was showing a video and messages about the oil worker hostage in Saudi Arabia. Though the site has been shut down by now, I was surprised it hadn’t been shut down before.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a big advocate of Free Speech. In my opinion, ransoms and announcements of crimes is not protected speech. It took me all of 90 seconds to do a WHOIS search to find the host and it is unclear to me whether the site was hosted as a freebie site, someone paid the host (hostanime.com) for the site, or someone hacked the host to put up the site.
The big question in my mind is whether we need to gather a technological force to chase the electronic trail. While there are ways to remain anonymous online, often breadcrumbs are left that security experts can often track. Maybe we can get the RIAA people to help tracking these terrorist websites instead of suing thirteen year olds ;)
Update: I forgot to mention that I was also surprised that the website had versions of the threats in several formats, Word, Word Doc ZIP’d, and PDF. I guess they wanted anyone to be able to read them ;)