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U.S. Shuts Down Somalia Internet Access

michael posted about 13 years ago | from the proud-to-be-an-american dept.

United States 799

BrianGa writes: "This article reports that Somalia's only internet company and a key telecom company have been forced to close because the United States suspects them of terrorist links."

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Somalia's been cut off! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603798)

.So what?

(*rimshot*)

MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE LINUX DOS (-1)

egg troll (515396) | about 13 years ago | (#2603801)

I work as a consultant for several fortune 500 companies, and I think I can shed a little light on the climate of the open source community at the moment. I believe that part of the reason that open source based startups are failing left and right is not an issue of marketing as it's commonly believed but more of an issue of the underlying technology.

I know that that's a strong statement to make, but I have evidence to back it up! At one of the major corps(5000+ employees) that I consult for, we wanted to integrate Linux into our server pool. The allure of not having to pay any restrictive licensing fees was too great to ignore. I reccomended the installation of several boxes running the new 2.4.9 kernel, and my hopes were high that it would perform up to snuff with the Windows 2k boxes which were(and still are!) doing an AMAZING job at their respective tasks of serving HTTP requests, DNS, and fileserving.

I consider myself to be very technically inclined having programmed in VB for the last 8 years doing kernel level programming. I don't believe in C programming because contrary to popular belief, VB can go just as low level as C and the newest VB compiler generates code that's every bit as fast. I took it upon myself to configure the system from scratch and even used an optimised version of gcc 3.1 to increase the execution speed of the binaries. I integrated the 3 machines I had configured into the server pool, and I'd have to say the results were less than impressive... We all know that linux isn't even close to being ready for the desktop, but I had heard that it was supposed to perform decently as a "server" based operating system. The 3 machines all went into swap immediately, and it was obvious that they weren't going to be able to handle the load in this "enterprise" environment. After running for less than 24 hours, 2 of them had experienced kernel panics caused by Bind and Apache crashing! Granted, Apache is a volunteer based project written by weekend hackers in their spare time while Microsft's IIS has an actual professional full fledged development team devoted to it. Not to mention the fact that the Linux kernel itself lacks any support for any type of journaled filesystem, memory protection, SMP support, etc, but I thought that since Linux is based on such "old" technology that it would run with some level of stability. After several days of this type of behaviour, we decided to reinstall windows 2k on the boxes to make sure it wasn't a hardware problem that was causing things to go wrong. The machines instantly shaped up and were seamlessly reintegrated into the server pool with just one Win2K machine doing more work than all 3 of the Linux boxes.

Needless to say, I won't be reccomending Linux/FSF to anymore of my clients. I'm dissappointed that they won't be able to leverege the free cost of Linux to their advantage, but in this case I suppose the old adage stands true that, "you get what you pay for." I would have also liked to have access to the source code of the applications that we're running on our mission critical systems; however, from the looks of it, the Microsoft "shared source" program seems to offer all of the same freedoms as the GPL.

As things stand now, I can understand using Linux in academia to compile simple "Hello World" style programs and learn C programming, but I'm afraid that for anything more than a hobby OS, Windows 98/NT/2K are your only choices.

thank you.

Re:MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE LINUX DOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603912)

As a QB, VB, C, and JAVA coder, I can say without any hesitation that VB allows for the LEAST amount of low level tinkering, and is the SLOWEST language around. At least I can manipulate hardware using QB or C, and with Java, I can control what is done. With VB, I have what MS has given me, no more.

Of course, I realize this is a 6 month old troll, but I don't really care...I'm just rambling on to waste time :)

Re:MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE LINUX DOS (-1, Troll)

VALinux (449801) | about 13 years ago | (#2604015)

He's talking about VB.NET, which you obviously have not used. VB.NET compiles code which is 70% faster on average than the equivalent gcc code.

Munch me (-1)

I.T.R.A.R.K. (533627) | about 13 years ago | (#2603802)

The US can suckle onto my fat hairy meat rod.

- I throw rocks at retarded kids

Yikes.. (0, Offtopic)

boaworm (180781) | about 13 years ago | (#2603803)

Can it really be illegal to link to such stuff ? I mean.. what happens if someone searches on the Allmighty google and finds a terrorst link. Will the US shut down Google ?

Ofcourse they can demand the links are removed, but just turning the power switch seems a bit too drastic imho.

look out... (1)

FatSean (18753) | about 13 years ago | (#2603810)

By suggesting the use of google to find terrorist links, you have become a terrorist link yourself. Prepare to have your plug pulled...

Re:look out... (-1)

Wil Wheaton (532837) | about 13 years ago | (#2603822)

Shut the fuck up, cumguzzling shiteating asslicking headgiving karma whoring shitstain.

Holy Homoerotic Hijinx, Batman! (-1)

egg troll (515396) | about 13 years ago | (#2603829)

Prepare to have your plug pulled...


That may be the gayest commentI have ever read on Slashdot.

Re:Holy Homoerotic Hijinx, Batman! (-1)

Wil Wheaton (532837) | about 13 years ago | (#2603877)

Only you would notice that, because you want him to jack you off.

Close but not quite (-1)

egg troll (515396) | about 13 years ago | (#2603893)

Actually its you I want to jack off. Ever since I saw Stand by Me, I always wanted to feel your rock hard manshaft in my hands. Whadya say, sailor? Swing by around 6pm? I got some poppers!!

Re:Close but not quite (-1)

Wil Wheaton (532837) | about 13 years ago | (#2603926)

I only have sex with lil' boys and cast members on Star Trek. Do you qualify as either?

Re:Close but not quite (-1)

egg troll (515396) | about 13 years ago | (#2603956)

I'm 12 years old and have a Star Fleet uniform at my home. I'll chill some Zima for you.

Re:Yikes.. (-1)

Wil Wheaton (532837) | about 13 years ago | (#2603814)

Stop trying to whore karma, and moderators, please mod the parent down as offtopic or overrated or something.

The terrorist links mean they are somehow funding terrorists or supporting them. It has nothing to do with linking to terrorist sites. They've shut down other business suspected of funding terrorists, and that's probably what this is about.

Re:Yikes.. (-1)

gdiersing (240179) | about 13 years ago | (#2603947)

Does anyone bother to actually read the fucking article? Don't answer, I already know.

Re:Yikes.. (-1)

Wil Wheaton (532837) | about 13 years ago | (#2603965)

I'm a fucking troll so it doesn't make a fucking difference if I read the article or not. Shut the fuck up asshole and go suck CmdrTaco's dick or something.

I seriously hope this is a weak troll, becaus.... (1)

TheCaptain (17554) | about 13 years ago | (#2603834)

They are not talking about hyperlinks there skippy....go read the article.

If you had read the article, etc, etc, etc, . . . (2)

kfg (145172) | about 13 years ago | (#2603838)

You would know that the "links" refered to are not www hyperlinks, but "links" in the sense of associated with.

i.e. they are suspected of actually being actively involved in terrorist networks, including supplying them with funding.

Linking to information is irrelevant to the action.

And how a relevant got into my pajamas I'll never know.

KFG

who cares (-1)

Wil Wheaton (532837) | about 13 years ago | (#2603805)

it's only somalia *sob*

Boohoo! (-1)

egg troll (515396) | about 13 years ago | (#2603813)

As far as I'm concerned, that whole country should be cut off and tossed into the ocean. Same thing with Canada, too. Both are havens for toque-wearing madmen.

Re:Boohoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603824)

I hate Yankees like you . all high and mighy on yourselves. Blame everything onus (canada) well where did the terroists trian to crash planes? yup the US.

Re:Boohoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603839)

Who is blaming anything on Canada? What are you talking about. Go back to sleep.

Re:Boohoo! (1)

Sj0 (472011) | about 13 years ago | (#2603873)

Browse at -1.

I wish that they would show messages modded beneath your threshhold if there are messages at your threshhold attached to it, or just don't show any of the messages in the thread. It just serves to confuse.

Re:Boohoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603917)

Options->Comment Options->Reparent comments: off.

Re:Boohoo! (-1)

egg troll (515396) | about 13 years ago | (#2603908)

well where did the terroists trian to crash planes? yup the US.


Thats because there's nothing worthwhile in Canada. Not to mention that the Canadians are probably in cahoots with bin Laden. After Afghanistan, it won't be Baghdad we bomb, it'll be Montreal!

Suspects?? (3, Insightful)

RedOregon (161027) | about 13 years ago | (#2603815)

Suspects? No proof... we just _think_ this is the case? This bothers me...

Re:Suspects?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603868)

..and they can count themselves lucky, no bomb in the HQ yet.

Re:Suspects?? (4, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | about 13 years ago | (#2603899)

The US state dept.,( as reported by CNN), has now admited that they bombed the Red Cross center in Afghanistan, multiple times, * knowing that it wasn't a military target* because Taliban members and troops were *suspected* of pilfering some amount of food from it.

At the same time, of course, the US was randomly dropping food supplies all over the place, for anyone to pick up, including Taliban troops.

This bothers me a good deal more. It is not only the targeting of a known civilian humanitarian aid station, but smacks more than just a bit of hypocrisy.

The shutting down of an ISP hardly compares to killing civilian aid workers on *suspicion* that the opposition might be able to snag some Hershey bars from them.

The arrogance is the same in both cases though, although, of course, as everyone knows, the Internet "belongs" to the US, so I guess they can just do what they please with it.

KFG

Re:Suspects?? (3, Informative)

Anonymous DWord (466154) | about 13 years ago | (#2604009)

The US state dept.,( as reported by CNN), has now admited that they bombed the Red Cross center in Afghanistan, multiple times...

They killed four American Red Cross workers in the first couple of days of bombing. I haven't seen that mentioned on any major network though. Granted, I don't watch a lot of TV.

At the same time, of course, the US was randomly dropping food supplies all over the place...

Including into known minefields. "Here's some food, just watch your step! You can thank us later... if you have any limbs left." It doesn't seem to matter much though, as long as CNN spins it right.

Re:Suspects?? (1)

Joe Decker (3806) | about 13 years ago | (#2604012)

The US state dept.,( as reported by CNN), has now admited that they bombed the Red Cross center in Afghanistan, multiple times, * knowing that it wasn't a military target* because Taliban members and troops were *suspected* of pilfering some amount of food from it.

Missed that, do you have a reference?

Re:Suspects?? (0)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 13 years ago | (#2603913)

Suspects? No proof... we just _think_ this is the case? This bothers me...

Proof? Proof? We don't need no stinkin' proof. In the post-9/11 world, suspicion is enough to get you bombed, let alone get your wires cut.

The "world's policeman" is busily building the "world police-state". Welcome the the 21st century, boys and girls; liberty and justice are no longer in style.

Re:Suspects?? (2)

swagr (244747) | about 13 years ago | (#2603920)

And what's proof?
If I witnessed a terrorist act first hand and witnessed the terrorists put up a website and told someone about it, is that "proof"? What if I witnessed no such thing and lied?

Re:Suspects?? (1)

CaptIronfist (457257) | about 13 years ago | (#2603991)

Me too, along with all the american crap the rest of the world is getting since the last terrorist
manifestation.

I like to make conspiracy theories usually, but here it's just too damn easy.

Somalia is a good source for GREAT heroin... (-1, Offtopic)

peepoh (537606) | about 13 years ago | (#2603820)

Somebody add to my story, please! I've got writer's constipation like you wouldn't believe! -peepoh Tuesday, November 6, 20001. Digging through some boxes in the Psychology lab where I work today, I discovered an ancient box full of syringes, heroine, and what lookedto be the Rorschact Test. Then I found instructions for an old experiment that had been carried out here in the lab during World War II.Apparently the experimenters hypothesized that if American soldiers were to shell the Germans with artillery shells containing a gaseous form ofheroine and then dropped Rorschacht test cards from airplanes, they'd all just fall down into heaps of twitching, high-as-a-kite junkies.Naturally, it all made little sense to me. But then hey, why the hell not try it? So after preparing a syringe with the heroine, I pulled down my pants and injected it directly into my penis. Hey, I'm no perv. There's a lot of blood vessels in there just waiting to carry the delicious drug straight to my brain. I guess I should have known better than to inject 60-year-old opioids into my privates, though, because before I could remove the needle I slumped over forward and continued to fall -- all the way INTO one of the Rorschacht Test cards. Then some oddly catchy electronic music kicked in. Where was it coming from? So began Stage 1-1 of my odyssey.

Evidence? (4, Insightful)

czth (454384) | about 13 years ago | (#2603821)

A little evidence would be nice before one goes and cuts off a whole country from the 'net. The fact that they denied it is irrelevant; anyone would deny it, especially knowing that the US is on the warpath. But it's pretty hard to see the US having an ulterior motive for shutting them down; Somalia isn't exactly a force to be reckoned with. Unless the motive is to use Somalia as a "test case" to see how the world reacts to US/Europe flexing its muscles a little....

OTOH, this doesn't affect me personally at all... no servers I use are in Somalia, I don't even know any sites there.

But it's a disturbing precedent.

Re:Evidence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603988)

Why???
They never revealed any proof that Osama Bin Laden was involved either.

Re:Evidence? (2, Flamebait)

Cally (10873) | about 13 years ago | (#2603996)



A little evidence would be nice before one goes and cuts off a whole country from the 'net.


...but it's not just the net; it's also taken out most of the country's telephone network. This means people working abroad can't send money back to their families back home.

This is a direct attack on the civilian infrastructure of a neutral, non-combatant country. When is the U.N. going to stand up and say that this has GOT to STOP? Oh wait, the U.N., the US doesn't even pay their subscriptions to the UN.

Keep in mind, this is not a somalia company (3, Insightful)

Joey7F (307495) | about 13 years ago | (#2603826)

The US and the UK gave them access. They (we) can take it away.

--Joey

Hmmm... (1)

Sj0 (472011) | about 13 years ago | (#2603835)

Does that mean that the US are now "hacker terrorists" for causing a crime of mass disruption?

BOMBS AWAY!

Re:Hmmm... (1)

gzerod (229293) | about 13 years ago | (#2604014)

Nope, that would make them "hacker counter-terrorists". You have to remember that we are on morally superior ground, and besides we write the history books.

Coincidence (1)

ROBOKATZ (211768) | about 13 years ago | (#2603837)

It's a coincidence that they are the ONLY ISP in Somalia and that they're suspected of terrorist links. As much as some people here would like to believe it, I'm sure the US is not trying to curtail the Somalian people's "freedom" to use the Internet.

Medicine Factory (1)

hotsauce (514237) | about 13 years ago | (#2603842)

Isn't this the place we struck after the embassy bombings? We claimed we bombed a chem weapons plant. Turns out we destroyed their largest pharmaceuticals factory.

Great.

Re:Medicine Factory (1)

bmasel (129946) | about 13 years ago | (#2603889)

No. That was Sudan

What is Somalia? (0, Flamebait)

eAndroid (71215) | about 13 years ago | (#2603843)

What kind of country is Solamia? I don't feel bad for any country smaller than Texas.

(that's supposed to be funny, but I'm in a bad mood so take it as you will)

Re:What is Somalia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603968)

I don't know what is more sad.
Your attempt at being funny or the fact that you didnt't even manage to spell the name of the country correctly.

No Offense But... (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | about 13 years ago | (#2603852)

Good for Somalia. The US took action against a company, not the country, just because it happens to be the only provider in that country doesn't make them any different. Do you think that the US Government shouldnt' split MS since the public thinks they're the only thing on the desktop?

New Market for AOL (2, Funny)

kilocomp (234607) | about 13 years ago | (#2603855)

AOL should go into that market. There will be 0 competion and should be easy to buy off the government to keep it that way.

Re:New Market for AOL (1)

Cyrano de Maniac (60961) | about 13 years ago | (#2603909)

Hehe. So, everyone using that service would now be considered SOL?

Re:New Market for AOL (1)

jeffmock (188913) | about 13 years ago | (#2603918)

"You've got hunger!"

Before Everyone Over Reacts.. (2)

lkaos (187507) | about 13 years ago | (#2603856)

We have to trust the intellegence community has solid evidence against these companies. It would be political sucide if they didn't.

It's horrible that the Somalians have essentially been shut off from the outside world but while such an action may have negative short term effects, it will benefit the Somalians in the long run.

If these companies are washing money for terrorist groups they are obviously corrupt. The next question is what other bad things have these companies done.

Hopefully, this will open up the market to another honest company that will in the long run benefit the Somalians.

Re:Before Everyone Over Reacts.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603952)

We have to trust the intellegence community has solid evidence against these companies. It would be political sucide if they didn't.
Oh my, GWB really is a good brainwasher. So you have to trust the US government now do you? This is the same government that asked you to trust them when they bombed the largest pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, and then said 'oops sorry', and also the same government that bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade and then said 'oh damn we had old maps'. Give me a fucking break. At the very least you owe it to yourself and your country to at the very least scrutinise and question every single move your government makes.

Right now GWB is basically playing the 'my dick is bigger than your dick' game and dragging the whole of the US and the Middle East into it.

Those who forget history. . . , etc (5, Interesting)

kfg (145172) | about 13 years ago | (#2603964)

Historically it has only rarely been proven wise to simply trust the intelligence community. I'll bet on the swift and strong, thank you.

I might also add that it is the first responsibility of every US citizen, indeed the *primary* responsibility, to trust nothing.

Only the cynic is the "true" American and patriot. It is a structure of political *equals.* Indeed, in many repects the simple citizen is politically superior to the president himself. It is the citizens who chose him and the citizens who may dismiss him.

He will be president for a maximum of 8 years. A citizen is a citizen for life. He must then protect his political interests for *life,* and the life of his decendents, not meerly a few years.

The intelligence community is the place where the greatest *ememies* of the state reside.

KFG

KFG

Re:Before Everyone Over Reacts.. (2)

Sj0 (472011) | about 13 years ago | (#2603973)

There's no such thing as political suicide through incompotence in the US. As long as you can spin it as being good, no matter how unbelievable the explaination, you'll have the sheep believing you, and the minority who understands the world will be told that "they are in bed with the terrorists".

"sure, we nuked the entire middle east, but we're airlifting supplies to the mutated survivors! It's their fault for resisting our invasion in the first place! We've made our point that terrorism will not be tollerated."

too far from what would happen? Likely not. I have no respect for the US government, or the American people, who allow themselves to be manipulated.

Re:Before Everyone Over Reacts.. (1)

fireboy1919 (257783) | about 13 years ago | (#2603999)

Political suicide? Riiigghhhtt. The US has done FAR worse things than remove an ISP. We've brought economies to our knees because we suspected them of supporting our enemies. Which is worse, cutting of an ISP of a starving country or causing a country to starve (please note that I'm NOT saying we caused the conditions in Somalia - I'm referring to other countries)?

We've also broken the rules of war (yes, they do exist, albiet informally) by hurting the innocents without cause, and without a good enough pretext.

Re:Before Everyone Over Reacts.. (2)

Cally (10873) | about 13 years ago | (#2604008)


We have to trust the intellegence community has solid evidence against these companies. It would be political sucide if they didn't.


Since when were the FBI and CIA elected? Wake up and smell the coffee!

The Balkanization of the Internet (2, Insightful)

vlad_petric (94134) | about 13 years ago | (#2603858)

Great Firewall in China and Saudi Arabia

US shuts down Somalian ISP

....

What next ?

France DOS-ing sites that trade Nazi memorabilia

Muslim countries attacking sites that advocate women's rights

...

Eventually, each and every country will attack the sites that it considers offensive ...

The Raven.

Not those kind of links... (1)

j_lazz (227801) | about 13 years ago | (#2603860)

They are talking about financial ties to terrorists. Though the article is a little vague about how those companies were used to support terror, it mentions that the Somalian Government is looking into the companies in question. The two companies responsible for the telephone connection in Somalia (AT&T, British Telecom) are from the two major players in the coalition against terrorism. How can they not comply and still be considered patriotic?

My thoughts... (3, Insightful)

eadyb (211458) | about 13 years ago | (#2603861)

I think Somalia has more presseing problems to worry about than worring about the few hundred lucky Somalians who have internet access.

IMHO feeding starving people is more important than checking email, reading /. etc...

IMHO

Re:My thoughts... (1)

Joe Decker (3806) | about 13 years ago | (#2604027)

You might, uhh, reread the article. It discusses the effects the loss of the 'net and phone system are having on UN humanitarian aid.

I like it! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603869)

cut all these fucking retard war ridden countries off, regardless of weather they are terroists or not. For gods sake they are wasing money on the internet when they could (SHOULD) be trying to feed there people. While we are at it, why not deport all turban heads here. Even if they are not terroists they good ol' usa would smell a hell of alot better.

Not good. (2, Insightful)

exceed (518714) | about 13 years ago | (#2603870)

Imagine what the Somalians think now to hear that the United States has shut down their two major communication companies? This will just create more anti-American tension within the world of Islam.

Re:Not good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603923)

Yeah, just like if they put a scud missile launcher in an orphanage. Orphanage gets bombed, orphans hate USA. But does that mean bombing it is bad idea?

Same old story ... (-1)

sales_worldwide (244279) | about 13 years ago | (#2603875)

The US does it again. Same as with banning trade with Cuba. If they (the US) want these countries to be more like them, you don't restrict thei raccess to things like the internet - you give them it, give them US TV, US Goods, US holidays, US magazines, US Music etc. etc.etc. Capitalism wil follow.

Yeah, right! (2, Interesting)

Tokikenshi (537552) | about 13 years ago | (#2603880)

First Echelon, and now this? Gee mom, uncle sam's getting paranoid!

Whoa! (-1)

arfo (525373) | about 13 years ago | (#2603886)

What does this mean for Joe Sixpack?

Re:Whoa! (-1)

egg troll (515396) | about 13 years ago | (#2603974)

What does this mean for Joe Sixpack?


It means Joe Sixpack won't be able to go to khatchewingsluts.so anymore.

hmmmmmmmmm (-1)

Anonymous Pancake (458864) | about 13 years ago | (#2603896)

The only people who would have net access in somalia would be maybe government officials, everyone else is too busy trying to find bread

Sad, sad situation (3, Flamebait)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 13 years ago | (#2603905)

So it's come to this again. Because we need or want to get rid of some controlling individuals, but won't go in and do it directly, we apply larger scale sanctions that mostly hurt the people that rely on them. Although this is really small scale stuff compared to Iraq and, what's that other place... oh yeah, Cuba.

I know, I know, it's up to the the locals to clean their own house, but I have to question our record on applying and lifting sanctions. Here we are cosying up with communist China, and one faction in Afghanistan, and yet we still sanction communist Cuba and Iraq and are bombing the crap out of our ex best buddies in Afghanistan, racking up civilian casualties among the populations we profess to want to liberate, while not being willing to take the media hit of spending the life of one US serviceman (volunteers all) to get the guy we originally went in after.

It would be nice if just for once, we could say "Here is a list of the bad guys. We are going to get them, but we will go after them, and only them, and will lose US servicemen in preference to killing civilians and discounting their lives as 'collateral damage'" Then without any ceremony or fanfare or spin doctoring, we sit and wait for six weeks until they've got complacent and cocky, then quietly blow the fuckers' brains out in dark alleyways.

This is tough on Somalia, but Somalians can at least count themselves lucky that they're not Iraqis or Cubas. God damn, I hate the hypocrisy of politicians.

Re:Sad, sad situation (2, Insightful)

swilcox (171376) | about 13 years ago | (#2603959)

I love it when flaming liberals bring up Cuba. We are the ONLY nation on this planet that doesn't trade with Cuba and yet the US gets blamed for the sad state Cuba is in. Ever thought it might be the fact that the government is COMMUNIST! Sheesh. Every other nation is free to trade (and alot do, France, China, Canada) with Cuba but the US continually gets blamed for Cuba's state of affairs by the more ignorant among us. As far as Somalia goes, what are we suppose to do? If there is a company that is aiding a terrorist organization you shut it down if possible. Hmmmm, lets see. Internet access for a third world nation or less resources for terrorist organizations. I know what I choose.

One of the Companies IS involved (5, Insightful)

zulux (112259) | about 13 years ago | (#2603910)


Al-barakatt is the Somali version of Western Union - they take money and 'wire' it over to Somalia for delivery. Unfortunatly, the terrorists are taking a cut of all transfers:

US Government View
[state.gov]
http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/terror/01110 71 1.htm

Al-barakatt is an ISP, kind of like how the mafia is a security firm.

I imagine the "Blame America First" crowd it running around gleeful: Look America is crushing open communication in Somalia.

Re:One of the Companies IS involved (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 13 years ago | (#2603936)

  • Al Barakaat's founder, Shaykh Ahme Nur Jimale, is closely linked to Usama bin Laden.

If we believe this, we're right to take action. But direct action. Punishing the company and the country for the actions of one man is rank hypocrisy. For all our vaunted military might and intelligence, we do seem to have a real problem when it comes to putting a bullet in the brain of the real bad guys.

Re:One of the Companies IS involved (2)

zulux (112259) | about 13 years ago | (#2604038)


It's even muckerier than that: Al Barakaats services are really needed - a lot of Somali immigrents here in Seattle need the service to wire money to their *starving* families at home. Western Union charges too much and requires ID to hand over the money - ID is something that most Somalis don't have. It's a difficult situation, with no easy answers. Hopefully, andother comapny will fill the void.

Personally - I think that killing Al-Barakatt as a company is ligitimate. The world would be a better place if we had a corporate death penelty for companies that are guilty of murder. Al-Barakaat should be joind with RJR Tabacco and BMW Jewish-Slave-Labor-Vehicles.

Re:One of the Companies IS involved (1)

Ryan_Terry (444764) | about 13 years ago | (#2603944)

It's about time someone came up with some REAL information for a change. I wish I had some moderation points to give your way.

OffTopic (Sorta...) (1)

Ryan_Terry (444764) | about 13 years ago | (#2603921)

Did we really have to put 2 of the top 3 stories from bbc? On the day after thanksgiving we're slashdotting one of the only things keeping me awake...:(

Re: Video of Taco dissing his readers! (-1)

egg troll (515396) | about 13 years ago | (#2603927)

Haha! I've never met Taco but from the pics I've seen of him, that does look like him. Who are the people whom he is talking with? Are they Slashdot editors. The fat one does kinda look like Cowboy Neal.

I bet of all the followup posts on this, half will be people pissed at him for talking so much shit about his readers (I liked when he called them "pony-tailed compufags!"), and the other half pissed cause it was in Real Media! Heh!

Re: Video of Taco dissing his readers! (1)

Cheshire Cat (105171) | about 13 years ago | (#2603935)

Woah, that is pretty crazy. I've met Taco once at a Linux con a long time ago and that video definately looked like him. It could be faked, but its pretty interesting nonetheless. Can anyone else confirm if this is him or not?

Utter Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603928)

This is all utter crap. The US lately has gotten into the habit of making bold statements and taking sweeping action, while at the same time claiming that they have irrefutable evidence, but providing none of it. Under the guise of surpressing terrorism, they're terrorising the world themselves in their own way. It really stinks. In the land of the free, it is evidently clear that everyone is free to be hypocrites. And why not, your government certainly makes being a hypocrite convenient enough.

Re:Utter Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603939)

terrorising the world...hahahahaha. Shutting down an ISP = terrorism eh? laughable man. laughable.

Re:Utter Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2604000)

terrorising the world...hahahahaha. Shutting down an ISP = terrorism eh? laughable man. laughable.
You Americans really need to get out of the little sandbox that your government has made for you and get a taste of what the real world feels like.

America terrorises the world in many different ways, including economic, miltarily and politically.

The only difference is that Americans have a habit of coming up with cute names for them like 'Operation Enduring Freedom' to make them sound all nice when in fact they might as well be called 'Operation Nationalist Militarism', or 'Operation Genocidal Tendencies'.

American people tend to take the shit their government throws at them up the ass and then ask for more.

Things looking bad for Somalia. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603938)

Yet another crippling bombshell hit the beleaguered horse community when last month Outdoor Somalia confirmed that horse-related activities account for less than 1 percent of all recreational activities in Somalia. Coming on the heels of the latest Outdoor Somalia survey which plainly states that horse-related activites have lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. the horse industry is collapsing in complete disarray, as further exemplified by failing to attract more enthusiasts.

You don't need to be a Nostradumas to predict the horse industry's future. The hand writing is on the wall: the horse industry faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for the horse industry because the horse industry is dying. Things are looking very bad for the horse industry. As many of us are already aware, the horse industry continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood. Vaulting is the most endangered of them all.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Dressage leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of Dressage. How many users of Showjumping are there? Let's see. The number of Dressage versus Showjumping posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 Showjumping users. Vaulting posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of Showjumping posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of Vaulting. A recent article put the racing industry at about 80 percent of the horse market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 the racing industry users. This is consistent with the number of the racing industry Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles in the racing industry, abysmal sales and so on, the racing industry almost went out of business and had to get emergency sponsorships.

All major surveys show that the horse industry in Somalia has steadily declined in market share. The horse industry in Somalia is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If the horse industry in Somalia is to survive at all it will be among horse fanatics and hobbyists. The horse industry in Somalia continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, The horse industry in Somalia is dead.

Other means of access. (2)

thetechweenie (60363) | about 13 years ago | (#2603940)

This won't prevent satellite internet access, and I though that Bin Laden had access to this? Also, some of the international lines are up, so they could get through.

"Why do they hate us?" (5, Interesting)

melquiades (314628) | about 13 years ago | (#2603942)

I saw a long article on the cover of one of the news rags (Time or Newsweek; can't remember) asking "Why do they hate us?" They had a long, fairly historically informed argument about the breakup of the Ottoman empire, the controversy of the Israeli state, and the rise of fundamentalism. It was a pretty good analysis, but its basic undertone was "the Muslim world is angry and backward".

There's a shorter answer to "Why do they hate us?" in this article about Somalia. I don't care how much our intelligence services swear that the ISP was run by terrorists -- it's just impossible not to read this as, "You primitive black people don't need the internet, and now we're smacking you down to size." When the US has "severely restricted international telephone lines and shut down vitally needed money transfer facilities", that sure sounds like an act of economic terrorism to me -- justified or not.

Remember that when the US bombed that "nerve gas factory" in Somalia, we were never able to present any hard post-hoc evidence that it was not, as the Somalis claim, a medicine factory. Eventually, the Pentagon mostly kind of sort of admitted it was full of shit. "Oops, sorry! We'll be more careful next time!"

"Why do they hate us?" Because we're a bunch of self-righteous bastards who think we can do whatever we want to the rest of the world.

When we cut off the Somalis' access to medicine, phones, internet, and money transfer because of suspected terrorism, we have a responsibility to step in and make sure that those services get provided somehow -- otherwise we are not punishing terrorists, but creating them.

Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2604024)

We're not a bunch of self righteous bastards who whink we can do whatever we want to the rest of the world, we're a bunch of self righteous bastards who KNOW DAMN WELL we can do whatever we want to the rest of the world.

*We* created the massively booming global economy, *we* created the technology that these companies have been using, *we* provided their internet access, *we* provided the financial support to the entire country that allowed these businesses to exist and *we* were the ones who had 4000 innocent civilians die because of organizations these companies and countries were supporting.

WHO THE HELL CARES what they think of us? You can't fight the actual individuals who are working towards the kind of attacks that we have been the successful and unsuccessful targets of. You can't threaten to bomb them -- they expect to die. All you can do is start making life as difficult as possible to live (or impossible to live in the case of those who end up under one of our bombs) for those guilty-by-association (and unfortunately those innocent people who have chosen to stand by and allow the guilty to operate). We can't stop terrorists directly with threats or direct actions, but if the threat of suffering and death makes the people around them take action and prevent their actions, then so be it. Good for us for having the ability to do that.

When it comes down to us or them, 100:1 isn't bad return in my book.

Minor Correction (3, Informative)

Carnage4Life (106069) | about 13 years ago | (#2604036)

Remember that when the US bombed that "nerve gas factory" in Somalia, we were never able to present any hard post-hoc evidence that it was not, as the Somalis claim, a medicine factory. Eventually, the Pentagon mostly kind of sort of admitted it was full of shit. "Oops, sorry! We'll be more careful next time!"

Actually it was a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan not Somalia. Interestingly enough the fact that the US bombed a factory that was producing medicine for in a poor country that is torn apart by famine, disease and strife is one of the rallying cries that Bin Laden used to recruit and swell the ranks of Al-Qaeda.

Shame on the U.S. Government (5, Insightful)

Cally (10873) | about 13 years ago | (#2603943)

With the over-reliance on technological solutions pedalled by pork-barrel defence contractors over good-old-fashioned human intelligence already acknowledged as a factor contributing to 9/11, and the long-awaited acceptance that the "terrorist facility" in Somalia that was attacked with cruise missiles in 1996 was a perfectly legal pharmaceutical factory making (mainly) antibiotics - one of the few in the country, or indeed region - they carry on making the same mistakes. This will just alienate even more people who were previously neutral in "The War Against Terrorism". As the BBC correspondent says: very, very depressing, and hif (he) had a stronger word he could use, he'd use it.

Please don't mod this as a troll; I really do think this is a straightforward tactical mistake.

Off-topic: there seem to be very few posts today, anything to do with Quest's DSL network going down? in the same week as BT's national network went down? I don't believe in coincidences like this. Someone has a zero--day sploit against the network hardware - something from Cisco is my bet...

a vicious cycle (1)

smilinggoat (443212) | about 13 years ago | (#2603945)

This is exactly the kind of action that spawns terrorist attacks. The U.S. imposes their power upon other countries who neither need nor want "help" and with only heresay as evidence destroy a country's only communications system. And they wonder why they are attacked...

The Dictatoship or USA (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603955)

What gives the right to US people to shut down and interfere with the internals of another country? If there was NATO or UN or something like that, behind a *request* for a shut down, then yes, it would be somewhat appropriate. But USA? Shutting down? Without asking permissions? PLEASE!

A Greek person (I have nothing to do with Somalians or Afgan people, but still...)

US out of hand (1)

firebat162 (463459) | about 13 years ago | (#2603958)

It sickens me that the US is terrorizing so many more people by shutting down and closing key telecommunications companies. In the article, it has stated many times about how the citizens of Somalia desparately need the cash from family members working abroad. If you do not remember, Somalia is a very poor third world country (i remember just a few years ago our churh was sending canned food and things like that to them).

It is fine that the US wants to capture bin Laden, but it is completely another thing to do this doing 'whatever it takes'. I believe the US should realizes the ramifications of it's decisions and either sets up temporary management for the phone company or reinstates it.

And from a non american point of view, I can't help but think that the US is taking this too far.

US, CULTURAL GENOCIDE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603975)

Us, cultural genocide.

Somalia's Internet (1, Flamebait)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | about 13 years ago | (#2603976)



It shouldn't be a problem, really. There are plenty of tin cans and string laying around to rebuild the network with. Those African bushmen who communicate with eachother using clicks and clucks might come in handy. Get one of them to whistle a tone, and make the other send data at 300 baud. :)

FUCK USA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2603982)

Fucking americans youll think that you are free but you arent...your fucking government watchs every fucking step you take... George Bush will pay for his terrorist acts. Im glad that your twin towers were destroyed becaused you deserve it. Did someone spoke about people dying when americans killed over a million of irak people (including civilians).


FUCK USA
TRixi0n

Oh please (1)

dkone (457398) | about 13 years ago | (#2603983)

"He added the impact would be felt even more strongly because the cuts have come during the holy month of Ramadan."

If I correctly remember the Islamic teachings... Ramadan is a month of relaxation and meditation in which one downloads porn from the internet.

Re:Oh please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2604026)

"He added the impact would be felt even more strongly because the cuts have come during the holy month of Ramadan."

If I correctly remember the Islamic teachings... Ramadan is a month of relaxation and meditation in which one downloads porn from the internet.
I believe that that reference was to the telephone networks. In Ramadan muslims are typically more in contact with their friends and close relatives in order to maintain good relations and be part of a community.

It's no wonder that you Americans don't understand this concept, it must seem completely foreign to you.

Inocent? (1)

Ashcrow (469400) | about 13 years ago | (#2603987)

Arn't they inocent untill proven guilty? If not then we Americans are a bit unfair with our dealings with others.

Way to go USA! (0, Flamebait)

Mofo_abc123 (472684) | about 13 years ago | (#2603997)

I love the war on terrorism, and how ignorant 90% of americans are to there own faults. How many innocent people have bombs killed in Afganistan? probably close to how many died in the WTC, and now how many people are going to starve because of this? Who is REALLY the terrorist? Lets look up terrorism in the dictionary....
The use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

Funny, that almost sounds like what the USA is doing. HMMMMM

It Remembers me the History of the Dark Palladin. (2)

famazza (398147) | about 13 years ago | (#2604007)

Everybody who have once played AD&D for sometime have ever headr about the Dark Palladin.

Once upon a time, a long long time ago, a woman (I don't remember her name), a palladin (lawful good) that have promissed to fight against all evil in the world if her child survives the terrible plague.

Once her son has survived she went to the holy fight against the evil, killing with no mercy all evil she could encounter, and destroying all the evil in the region.

Once she had destroyed all the evil (chaotic evil, neutral evil and lawful evil) she decided to destroy every soul that is not good. Many was killed, even innocents and children was killed.

She generated horror all around the reign destroying every soul not good, and now she started to kill non-lawful (chaotic good and neutral good). It was horrible, the fear was everywhere, nobody could ever know when the palladin could appear.

One day, after killing dozens of non-lawful-good she was praying when a strange mist came all around her beloved church. Her shining armor became dark and a voice told her: "You have done a wonderful job, but now I have something even bigger for you."

Now she has a whole realm for her in Ravenloft.

replace the ISP (1)

vinnythenose (214595) | about 13 years ago | (#2604011)

I don't know whether or not it was linked to terrorists.

But assuming the US government is right, since this was the only ISP in Somalia, wouldn't the political thing to do be replacing the ISP with one that perhaps has more controls? An ISP that perhaps when they feel things are safe again, then could hand over to Somalia?

After all, they've effectively cut a nation off of the Internet.

If Bush ruled Somalia... (1)

musicmaster (237156) | about 13 years ago | (#2604019)

From what we know from Bush we can easily predict what he would do if he was in the position of the leaders of Somalia: he would ask Al Quaida to destroy MAE East in Virgina. Problem is that someone else might get the same idea.

Can someone please explain to this egocentric man that if you treat others badly it will come back to haunt you sooner or later?

You can only build a "new world order" if countries start to treat each other in a civilized way. As long as the US thinks that it can do what it wants there will be lots of frustrated people who turn into terrorists.

Microsoft to supply Somalia with Internet service (1)

jc42 (318812) | about 13 years ago | (#2604031)

Redmond 11/13/1999

As part of the US Government's shutdown of the only Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Somalia, Microsoft has announced a new povision of their pending punishment from the US Justice Department. The Microsoft subsidiary msn.com will now provide Internet service to Somalia. It will be free for the first month, after which market rates will determine the cost of further service.

As part of the arrangement, all equipment and servers in Somalia will be converted to the latest Microsoft products. Previously, the service had been provided with old hardware running such unbranded systems as linux and FreeBsd. Microsoft and US government spokesmen claim that this will provide for improved service, at least during times when the new computers are up and running.

The CIA has expressed a desire to cooperate with the installation. A spokesman said that previous Internet gateways in Somalia had been "overly difficult for information gathering, due to their support for unbreakablel encrypion." The new systems will presumably cooperate fully with the recently-announced email virus that uses Microsoft Outlook to install keylogger software.

Money Transfers and terrorist links (5, Informative)

No-op (19111) | about 13 years ago | (#2604040)

Just recently several money transfer services in my hometown of Minneapolis were shut down. these were services used by our large Somali population to wire money back home to family members- they are a form of money tranfer based on trust called "hawalla". rather than paperwork etc it all is based on money transfers happening because people can be held to their word.

these organisations (that were shut down) were purportedly having money skimmed off the top of each transfer by members of the Al-Qu'eda network. whether or not this was happening, and whether or not the proprietors were aware of it, it has had a large negative impact on the US Somali community.

The Somali companies shut down that this article references were conduits for these money transfers, and I personally expect to see dire consequences come from this. as it states, 80% of the money coming in to somalia is from foreign workers sending money home. Do the math on that, and you come up with a large number of hardworking US residents having no way to support starving family members back home! this isn't a good thing.

I fully support shutting down organizations and companies that are funding terrorist activities- but how hard would it be for Bush to help out these hawallas and open up alternate methods of transfer? I'm sure that some of them would be willing to some oversight into their financial transactions as well, vs. being put out of business permanently.

I'd like to see a little more of that "compassionate conservatism" and a little less of Bush's ethnocentric reactionism. let's pray that he comes to his senses and stops harming innocent civilians in this crisis.
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