Currently, we discuss about certain websites those that carry propaganda against Sri Lanka publishing false reports by LTTE supporters or sympathisers. Where are these terrorist groups? What is the legitimate action Sri Lankan government could take against such illegal activities?
Other than Sri Lanka, powerful countries like U.S.A., India and Pakistan have been already affected by terrorist propaganda using internet.
Why terrorist groups use internet for their propaganda?
Internet offers easy access, little or no censorship or control of government, medium to spread stories, graphics, videos etc., throughout the world easily. Further it has a fast flow of information compared to traditional mass media.
Whom do the Internet terrorists target at their sites?
Their supporters, sympathisers, political organisations, its allies and competitors, international community who are not directly involved in terrorism, citizens who are against terrorism and fighting to demoralise them by threatening.
What are the gains using internet by terrorists?
It is a heavy tool to carry worldwide propaganda (e.g. websites used by Al Qaeda, LTTE groups) and to use it as a fundraiser (e.g. IRA's website). They can post abusive and false messages hiding the exact location of terrorists groups.
Collecting of evidence relating to Cyber Terrorism may be rather difficult since these sub groups carry attacks from distant servers located in different jurisdictions and due to their interaction with similar groups in the world.
International Corporation will play a vital role in combating cyber terrorism.
What is Cyber Terrorism
Cyber Terrorism is premeditated, politically motivated attacks against information, computer system, computer programme, and data which result in violation against non combatant targets by sub national groups or clandestine agents.
E.g. hacking into a hospital computer system and changing medical prescription of a patient to a lethal dosage as an act of revenge and recent attack on defence website, Sri Lanka during the humanitarian operation.
What are the legal provisions against terrorist activities through internet gover in Sri Lanka?
According to section 6(1) of the Computer Crime Act No.24 of 2007, any person who intentionally causes a computer to perform any function, knowing or having reason to believe that such function will result in danger or imminent danger to (a) national security; (b) the national economy; or (c) public order, shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be punishable with imprisonment of other description for a term not exceeding five years.
Why terrorist activities carry through internet cannot be banned?
Right to information and freedom of expression guaranteed under most of the Constitutions in the world and States feel that controlling of free flow of information will be a violation of human rights. Therefore, it is not easy to ban some websites without having international support.
Therefore, Sri Lanka is the best country to convince the entire world to consider this issue seriously.
By Sunil D.B. Abeyaratne, LL.M. (London), Dip.in Business Management (IGNOU-India), Dip. In Forensic Medicine (Colombo), Attorney-at-Law.