Cybercrime and, in particular, cyber terrorism, isn't to be taken lightly. Service providers around the world are beginning to crackdown on the disturbing practice – and for good reason. Not only do some of these threats target computers – including personal systems and governmental servers – but some of them are specifically targeting the lives of individual users.
With so much at stake, it's important that cyber terrorism is fought as vigorously as possible. But it's equally important that service providers and law enforcement personnel are acting on good information. In the 21st century – also known as The Information Age – there's simply no excuse for anything but.
That's why it comes as such a surprise that the online domain, Archive.org – known for hosting archived podcasts, concert recordings, and other types of content – was recently hit with nearly 600 takedown notices from the European Union. As one of the more popular – and arguably, innocent – sites on the Internet, it's hard to image that their hosting any sort of terrorist propaganda.
Unfortunately, the hundreds of takedown notices were delivered for alleged "terrorist propaganda" – only it wasn't. Not only was the content in question – as indicated by specific URLs – not terrorist propaganda, but many of them linked to entire content collections instead of individual works.
Making matters worse, all of the takedown notices were delivered in the middle of the night – when the entire staff of Archive.org was sound asleep. With only an hour to respond to each request, it was an impossible task by any means.
But that's not all. According to the recent statistics, Archive.org has only complied with 64 percent of such requests from the European Union to date – meaning that many others are likely false accusations, too.
A follow-up statement, made by Archive.org and posted on their official blog, read, in part: "It would be bad enough if the mistaken URLs in these examples were for a set of relatively obscure items on our site, but the French IRU’s lists include some of the most visited pages on archive.org and materials that obviously have high scholarly and research value."
It's not clear what's triggering such a large number of false accusations within a well-known site such as Archive.org. What is clear, however, is that all of the requests were originally issued by the French IRU, or Internet Referral Unit – an organization that was expressly created with the purpose of patrolling and policing the World Wide Web.
While a spokesperson with Europol ultimately indicated that their notices were made in error, it only goes to highlight the inefficiency of such policies. Although nearly all of us can agree that the Internet needs some sort of regulation and oversight, and that individuals need to be held accountable for their online actions, it seems we can't quite figure out a way to do it in a manner that is fair and accurate.
For more information Archive.org, or to access the free resources they offer, please visit their official website at www.archive.org.
Archive.org Falsely Accused of Hosting Terrorist Propaganda
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