As anyone who knows me knows, I am a huge fan of computers.  I build them, I break them down, I use them on a daily basis and as I walk around campus its hard to find someone who doesn’t at least browse the web once a day.  So as computers permeate our lives, they are perfect targets for terrorists to gain and share information.  Is this really terrorism?  It isn’t violent and most of the time it doesn’t harm people physically or mentally because they are completely unaware it has even occurred.   How about starting viral videos of beatings, attacks or even worse, decapitations.  Does this count as terrorism? It certainly strikes fear into the heart of a population.  Political motivation?  Why not.  As my pen pal and I discussed the role that software developers and just average people using computers have in securing data and understanding the mind games anyone can play it became pretty clear that cyber-terrorism could really be a problem.  The worst part is it is hard to impossible to combat without censorship.  It is cheap, it is easy and pretty much anyone can do it.  I sent this link to my pen pal (http://www.crime-research.org/articles/Cyber_Terrorism_new_kind_Terrorism/) to see what his opinions were on what cyber terrorism means and if he really considered it “terrorism.”  After reading the link and sending me another (http://afgen.com/terrorism1.html) about what the future of cyber terrorism could entail he gave me a pretty straightforward response.  At the heart of it, this so called “cyber-terrorism” uses computers as an indirect form of mental violence.  Not only that but the information learned by cyber attacks can really lead to disastrous physical consequences.  Overall, he agreed that cyber terrorism is something that should not be taken too lightly but any kind of dramatic scene on the Internet should be taken with a grain of salt.  The ability to be anonymous gives people crazy ideas sometimes.

What does everyone else think?  Should we worry about cyber-terrorism or should we just leave it to the FBI/CIA/Other acronym-ed organizations of the government?