An Egyptian student studying Engineering at the University of South Florida was sentenced today for a video he put on YouTube. It showed how to make a bomb detonator from a remote control car that he bought at WalMart. He narrated the how-to video in Arabic and called the US a “vile nation.” It had been viewed “hundreds” of times.
This case shows that YouTube and other innovations like Twitter, Facebook and other web 2.0 applications are susceptible to use by people who do not have the best intentions. Just in the last week, I’ve seen articles about many popular sites and their ability to be used by terrorists.
From Wired, an article about Al Qaeda trying to “infiltrate” Facebook.
From ABC News, an article about terrorists and Twitter.
From Computer World, an article about Google’s refusal to take down, at Sen. Joe Lieberman’s request, videos of American soldiers being attacked by terrorists.
From Znet, an article about how the NSA is monitoring MySpace for terrorists.
All of these stories show the challenge of the Internet and web 2.0. They allow the good, along with the bad, to communicate faster and share more information with a wider audience. It is a challenge that we will continue to face as technology continues to evolve.