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US Military Shuts Down CIA's Terrorist Honey Pot

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the cyberwar-shambles dept.

Security 213

Hugh Pickens sends in a Washington Post story about how US military cyber-warriors attacked and shut down a CIA-backed intelligence gathering site. "US military computer specialists, over the objections of the CIA, mounted a cyberattack that dismantled an online 'honey pot' monitored by US and Saudi intelligence agencies to identify extremists before they could strike, after military commanders said that the site was putting Americans at risk. The CIA argued that dismantling the site would lead to a significant loss of intelligence, while the military (in the form of the NSA) countered that taking it down was a legitimate operation in defense of US troops. 'The CIA didn't endorse the idea of crippling Web sites,' said one US counterterrorism official. The agency 'understood that intelligence would be lost, and it was; that relationships with cooperating intelligence services would be damaged, and they were; and that the terrorists would migrate to other sites, and they did.' Four former senior US officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the creation and shutting down of the site illustrates the need for clearer policies governing cyberwar."

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Bah (5, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537932)

Mommy and Daddy are fighting

Re:Bah (2, Funny)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538036)

Don't let mommy brush your hair when she's mad at daddy.

Re:Bah (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31538198)

Go to work already, Steve Ballmer.

Re:Bah (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538540)

That couldn't have been Balmer--he doesn't have enough hair to brush.

Re:Bah (1)

BForrester (946915) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539476)

I hope that WHOOSH didn't take your hair out.

Re:Bah (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540190)

Duh. Big woosh. My bad.

Re:Bah (1)

Binestar (28861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539500)

And you never wondered why?

Re:Bah (4, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538200)

Don't let the CIA waterboard you when it's mad at the army.

Re:Bah (-1, Offtopic)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538610)

Why are you repeating exactly what I said?

Re:Bah (2, Funny)

nottheusualsuspect (1681134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539672)

"Stop copying me!!"
--OR--
You must be new here... welcome to slashdot.

Re:Bah (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540006)

Don't let mommy brush your hair when she's mad at daddy.

Maybe they can make amends by getting together and doping more civilians up with LSD.

Re:Bah (4, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538108)

More like the left hand and the right hand can't agree on what they need to do (or should be doing).

I'm sure both sides have legitimate reasons for their positions, but it would seem like this type of thing could (and should) be avoided ... and kept quiet too. I'm going to go check out their Facebook pages and see who's got the most Fans.

Re:Bah (2, Interesting)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538902)

Anyone wanna bet they're just shutting down this one, which may have been "leaked" already somehow and that they're really pretending to stop a monitored honeypot when in fact, they terrorists "leaving for other sites" are leaving for the new, improved honeypots?

Kind of like how the US was happy to let people think Area-51 tests were UFOs since the Rooskies, who wouldn't believe it, would nevertheless think the US had built some hot shit?

Re:Bah (1)

228e2 (934443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539382)

Who told you about Area-52????

Re:Bah (2, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538912)

Army, of course.

The Marines are looking for a few good men.
The Navy is an adventure.
Those who don't make the cut, just be all that they can be, in the Army.

No mention of the CIA in any recruiting posters I've seen.

Re:Bah (-1, Troll)

MoralHazard (447833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539038)

Join the CIA!
Be the first kid on your block to blow away a real-life brown dude with an XBox controller hooked up to a Predator drone!

Re:Bah (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538514)

For some reason the first thing that came to mind was this [wd8das.net] famous battle scene.

Re:Bah (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539078)

Sadly this is history repeating itself. In WWII German intelligence efforts were grossly ineffective primarily due to the infighting between the SS, Gestapo and the military intelligence agencies. Great Britain's intelligence work on the other hand was extremely effective, for example every single German agent in the UK was either executed or turned. The terrific achievements of British intelligence were largely due to the fact that the intelligence agencies leaders all came from a small ruling class who were closely tied together by bonds of shared educational experiences, family ties and perhaps even homosexual liaisons.
Now the US is big country and our intelligence leaders come from a variety of backgrounds so the British approach can never work here. What we need is strong DOD leadership so that the incessant rivalries between the CIA, FBI, NSA and military intelligence agencies are at least made less harmful I am not optimistic however.

Did I read this right? (4, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537934)

The US military mounted a cyberattack against the CIA? (disclaimer: did not read TFA)

At least they weren't desperate enough to resort to sending a DMCA take down notice.

Re:Did I read this right? (1)

bemenaker (852000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538050)

Basically yes. CIA ran a forum that the terrorist were using to communicate. The DOD decided it was a security risk and shut it down. Was good intel point, but now is gone.

Re:Did I read this right? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538172)

Maybe they should have just found a way to shut them down with a DMCA Takedown Notice. No one in government cares when those things are used inappropriately.

Re:Did I read this right? (1, Interesting)

Spritzer (950539) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538410)

It sounds to me like the DoD and NSA just violated a slew of laws under 18 USC. While I don't think it would help matters at all I thin it would be interesting to see the CIA seek prosecution of the offenders.

Re:Did I read this right? (2, Insightful)

The Moof (859402) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539512)

DoD and NSA just violated a slew of laws [...] CIA seek prosecution

If there was ever a jury I'd never want to be on, that's it.

A government organization with a recent history of torture presses charges against another government organization with a recent history of abusing its power and another with a recent history of illegally spying on citizens...

However you rule, I don't think you're making it out of this unscathed.

Re:Did I read this right? (2, Interesting)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539306)

Basically yes. CIA ran a forum that the terrorist were using to communicate. The DOD decided it was a security risk and shut it down.

Given the former's history of supporting terrorism the latter could probbaly say they made an "honest mistake".
It's easy to suspect the intentions of a "poacher turned gamekeeper" when they still behave like a "poacher" at times :)

Re:Did I read this right? (4, Funny)

longacre (1090157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539834)

How many infidels did you have to kill to become a mod on that board?

Re:Did I read this right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539910)

Basically yes. CIA ran a forum that the terrorist were using to communicate.

I see no evidence in TFA that the CIA actually operated the forum.

  It seems like the Saudis may have, but not the CIA. Or it may have been an independent site that the CIA and Saudis encouraged.

Re:Did I read this right? (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538056)

Cyber civil war has come before cyberwar.

Go Cyberwar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31537936)

We can have snacks, live TV coverage and perhaps even some interactive challenges, all from the comfort of our homes while the contestants battle it out in a cyberwar tournament! It's gonna be great!

Re:Go Cyberwar! (1, Insightful)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539166)

You make a good point.

This "report" registers a 9.7 on the bullshit scale.

Forget "TSA physical terrorist security theater", which is costly and unpopular... at least among the non-Fox-News crowd... it turns out that some people don't think it is a good idea to send other peoples' kids to get killed in the name of oil and heroin.

Think "cyberwar terrorist drama" which is MUCH less costly, and in fact does not even really need to happen in order to reap the benefits.

Just drone on about how the "bad guys" have all sort of kiddieporn devilworship muslim terror-commie websites set up, and the United States government is riding to the rescue on the backs of cyber-soldiers protecting the cyber-borders from cyber-attacks using cyber-defense cyber-strategies.

The fake-churchy Fox News trash will eat it up and beg for more.

Re:Go Cyberwar! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539302)

I prefer the phrase, 'eWarrior'. Or maybe iWarrior, but only if they have an overabundance of rounded corners.

DHS (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31537958)

I thought DHS was created for a purpose of streamlining the defense to avoid this kind of crap between different agencies. Don't they have some kind of procedure regulating clashing interdepartmental opinions?

Re:DHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31538048)

Weren't they hit with an EMP in the last episode?

Re:DHS (3, Informative)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538154)

DHS has nothing to do with DOD and CIA. You may be thinking of Director of National Intelligence, who is meant to head up the cooperative efforts of NSA, CIA, DIA, FBI counter intelligence, etc. However, the current DNI is a former Naval officer and is, of course, going to be more sympathetic to the arguments of the NSA (formerly known as Army Signals Intelligence) and DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) than the CIA.

Re:DHS (2, Funny)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538452)

DHS has nothing to do with DOD and CIA. You may be thinking of Director of National Intelligence, who is meant to head up the cooperative efforts of NSA, CIA, DIA, FBI counter intelligence, etc. However, the current DNI is a former Naval officer and is, of course, going to be more sympathetic to the arguments of the NSA (formerly known as Army Signals Intelligence) and DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) than the CIA.

OTT with the TLAs ;p

Re:DHS (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538574)

Take it up with the government; I didn't name that crap.

Re:DHS (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538678)

Yep. NSA is more oriented towards military operations, think John Casey in Chuck, that character is NSA, along with DIA and national Geospatial Mapping Agency (part of DoD and National Reconnaissance Office.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._intelligence_community#Organization [wikipedia.org]

The CIA has been doing its own thing for decades and is very much an outsider when it comes to dealing with NSA, FBI, etc.

Re:DHS (2, Insightful)

Spritzer (950539) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539048)

The CIA has been doing its own thing for decades and is very much an outsider when it comes to dealing with NSA, FBI, etc.

And with good reason. It's hard to run black ops with a bunch of lawyers(FBI) and UCMJ indoctrinated officers(NSA) looking over your shoulder. You could debate the legitimacy, necessity, and legality of such operations all day, but in the end you always need a group of people willing/capable/enabled to take care of issues "behind the scenes" without political and legal interference.

Re:DHS (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539400)

Its also hard to figure out the East German government is going to let the Berlin Wall come down, that Romania is going to kill their dictator, Iraq is going to invade Kuwait or that the Soviet Union is going to have an attempted coup and fall.

I'd be more comfortable with an intelligence directorate that isn't a private club of Ivy League elites and one with more ties to the DoD. More of a Mossad than CIA.

Re:DHS (1)

Spritzer (950539) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539596)

More of a Mossad than CIA.

Me too, given the fact that Mossad has the legal authority (under Israeli law) to plan and conduct assassinations. I'm all for that.

Re:DHS (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539848)

You could debate the legitimacy, necessity, and legality of such operations all day, but in the end you always need a group of people willing/capable/enabled to take care of issues "behind the scenes" without political and legal interference.

"You can debate this but I'm right" isn't exactly a winning argument.

Re:DHS (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540218)

think John Casey in Chuck, that character is NSA, along with DIA and national Geospatial Mapping Agency

That character is not real, or realistic.

Created for a purpose of streamlining the defense (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31538190)

It was actually created to pay wages and pensions. Like most of the rest of the government you have to hope there is enough side-effect left over from the jobs program aspect to actually accomplish the publicly stated mission of the dept. In the case of the DHS, maybe it is better that they just stay confined to the jobs program aspect.

Re:DHS (2, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538952)

There is a procedure. When something gets in the way of DoD, they destroy it. I believe procedure was followed here.

Enough already (-1, Flamebait)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538070)

It's a shame that words like "CyberWar" appear meaningful to the Slashdot community.

Re:Enough already (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538096)

yeah, who would have thought?

Re:Enough already (2, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538330)

Given the sudden rise in the number of times I've seen that stupid phrase in the news I'm thinking soon we're going to see a "war online" moddled after the war on drugs and the war on terrorism any time soon with all the associated losses of freedom and shitting on civil rights.

Re:Enough already (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538362)

Imagine! The gall of people, smashing two innocent and unrelated words together like that to create a third, wholly unauthorized word. That kind of original thinking and insubordination must be punished. Otherwise, people might catch on that language is created by people, not professors. They might realize that it's all arbitrary, and English is not a science, and barely a legitimate academic discipline at all, but rather the preferred refuge of pompous losers who can't make it in any other field.

Re:Enough already (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31538758)

Wow, way to look like an idiot. Language isn't studied by English professors, it's studied by linguists. This is a very legitimate profession, and in fact every single real linguist I've ever met has been a staunch advocate of the fact that language is made by people, and not a pompous loser at all. They don't sit in their offices plotting out how English (or any other language) will progress. They instead research how it has come to be in its current state, and why it has come to be in its current state. In fact, information theory, a field with applications in neuroscience, electrical engineering, and computer science, also plays a very large role in linguistics.

The English professors who you seem to be adamant about bashing generally study literature, and spanish professors study spanish literature or culture or something else. Sure, foreign language professors might teach grammar, but that's not what they do research and such on. By bashing English literature as a field, you essentially bash every other field related to the study of art, and then some. So please remove your head from your ass.

Re:Enough already (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539332)

Wow, way to illustrate your lack of reading comprehension. Where did I say that Language is studied by English professors? Many linguists are fine people, like Noam Chomsky. That's why I bashed English as a field, not linguistics. Honestly, though, I'm really bashing prescriptivists, who could come from any field. And foolish post modern deconstructionists who can't tell computer generated nonsense from a real paper.

But none of it is a science. Hell, biology is more of a science. It's philosophy, a bunch of clever ideas and hypotheses unrelated to the real world and lacking any sort of rigorous logical structure.

Now the real question is, do I really believe any of that, or am I just trolling the soft sciences? I'm not even sure myself.

Re:Enough already (2, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538776)

I love English just because anyone can shove words together and make a new word.

"English is a language that lurks in dark alleys, beats up other languages and rifles through their pockets for spare vocabulary."

Re:Enough already (1)

Flambergius (55153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539762)

Well ... I'll give you that English-speakers are pretty good a coming up with new names and concepts. However, actual compound words are fairly rare in English, relative to many other languages. English-speakers are more likely to use a set phrase than a compound word. Not that it's a bad thing, or a good thing either, it's just the done thing. :)

Re:Enough already (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539904)

Then you should try German sometime.

Re:Enough already (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539262)

The problem here is they are trying to replace a word ('hackers') that already has plenty of mainstream traction with one that sounds patently retarded. I mean seriously, shit like "cyberwarriors"? "cyber" brings to mind a coked out science fiction genre, and "warriors" implies they are doing something a tad more strenuous than sitting at a damned keyboard. How anyone takes this stuff seriously is beyond me...

Re:Enough already (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540268)

Hate to break it to to you, but there isn't a linguist alive who doesn't already agree with your post (rather, those that don't tend to get beat up and have their lunch money stolen by the rest).

You're raging against a nonexistent "man."

Credibility (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538124)

Well, at least the honeypot becomes more credible to real terrorists now...

I have seen these so called honeypot terrorists (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31538236)

Scorched-earth security defeats itself again. (3, Insightful)

jwietelmann (1220240) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538284)

I can't exactly recall, but wasn't there an article or two on Slashdot a while back about how perhaps it was better to allow known terrorist network sites to continue to operate, rather than to shut them down and have us not know where the terrorists communicate anymore?

Re:Scorched-earth security defeats itself again. (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538850)

I can't exactly recall, but wasn't there an article or two on Slashdot a while back about how perhaps it was better to allow known terrorist network sites to continue to operate, rather than to shut them down and have us not know where the terrorists communicate anymore?

Yes, but there is also something to be said for keeping the terrorists on the move even on the internet. It gets in the way of their ability to coordinate. However, if we inflict too much interruption they will find ways that aren't easy to monitor or interrupt. It requires a balance on our part.

Part of me wonders if the CIA is whining because they had this source of information that has been taken away and now they need to find other sources.

Re:Scorched-earth security defeats itself again. (0)

Spritzer (950539) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539206)

Whining? They have a legitimate complaint here. Another government entity destroyed a solid intelligence source and then blabbed to the world about its previous existence. All for a political turf grab someone has potentially damaged the capability of the US to defend itself. Being the hardcore, right-wing, terrorist hater that I am I personally think what we have here is a case of treason.

Re:Scorched-earth security defeats itself again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539870)

Being the hardcore, right-wing, terrorist hater that I am I personally think what we have here is a case of treason.

And this is why you are incapable of seeing in shades of gray.

Re:Scorched-earth security defeats itself again. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539222)

The only case I see where this would be a good strategy is just before a physical military operation. If you shut down one website, they'll manage to resume communication somehow, but it will take a few days. If you shut down the website jointly with other actions, it has the benefit of disorganizing the enemy.

If you don't have an operation planned, it sounds more clever to keep it online and keep the hand on the plug.

There's military intelligence for you (5, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538342)

US military computer specialists, over the objections of the CIA, mounted a cyberattack that dismantled an online 'honey pot' monitored by US and Saudi intelligence agencies to identify extremists before they could strike, after military commanders said that the site was putting Americans at risk.

Reading between the lines, someone in the military had a brilliant idea on how to find people liable to be extremists. "Lets make our own extremist site", they said. "Just to make sure we get them all we'll make it really fan the flames of Jihad, and tell Muslims why they should join in". What happens. A few people who would be terrorists come a long ... fine. A large number of moderates come along and leave comments like "you're a disgrace to Islam" and move on.. fine. But a sizeable number of Muslims who are not extremists hit the site and become radicalised by it. Some continue to use the site, but some inevitably find other "real" sites. Someone does an analysis and says "Look, the number of people being radicalised by us who we lose track of is now larger than the number of people who are already radical who come along and get tracked". The military intelligence guys say "what do you mean doing no good, we have dozens of people here talking about extremist acts, and we only lose track of a quarter of them!", totally missing the point that they now have a dozen untracked extremists, and three dozen who are currently tracked whereas without the site they would have had half a dozen untracked ones!

Re:There's military intelligence for you (4, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538672)

Yeah. One would almost assume it would be easier to switch to alternative sources of energy, bring our troops home, spend a fraction of the military budget on protecting our airliners and ports, and stop sponsoring military dictatorships in the middle east with arms and money.

But, they'd still hate us for our freedom! Or something...

Re:There's military intelligence for you (1)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539052)

Yeah. One would almost assume it would be easier to switch to alternative sources of energy, bring our troops home, spend a fraction of the military budget on protecting our airliners and ports, and stop sponsoring military dictatorships in the middle east with arms and money.

Clearly, you don't understand politics.

Re:There's military intelligence for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539564)

One would almost assume it would be easier to switch to alternative sources of energy

We breathlessly await your comprehensive plan to do so.

Re:There's military intelligence for you (2, Insightful)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539660)

Five words:

Build. Nuclear. Power Plants.

...Bitch.

Re:There's military intelligence for you (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539826)

1. Build more rail, and less road with federal money.
2. Gradually raise the gasoline tax over the next ten years to cover the cost of our middle east deployments.
3. Continue funding solar, geothermal, and wind power research in universities. Keep the patents public property, which can be licensed for large sums of money to foreign powers payable directly to cover the research, or for free for any US company that wants to build power plants with that sort of technology.
4. Freedom!

Re:There's military intelligence for you (2, Insightful)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539730)

It's not about them hating our freedom, its about US hating our own freedom. Corporatocracy is the disease of America. Imperialistic Capitalism is just as evil as Dictatorship. (Capitalism can still work, just take the imperialism out)

Re:There's military intelligence for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539928)

One would almost assume it would be easier to switch to alternative sources of energy

Such as...? Nuclear is about the only thing which will provide enough energy. But Fonda and the NIMBY crowd put an end to that.

bring our troops home

How/When? If we packed up and left all the warlords would battle it out in the region, slaughtering each-other (and quite a few civilians in the crossfire). Then eventually Iran would take over.

stop sponsoring military dictatorships in the middle east with arms and money.

Isn't that what got Bin Laden pissed off at us in the first place?
When we stopped sponsoring his little army as soon as the Soviets were defeated.

Re:There's military intelligence for you (1)

happyjack27 (1219574) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538740)

the only problem with that is that i don't find you statistics credible. show me the raw data and the math. i think some of your hidden assumptions are flawed.

Re:There's military intelligence for you (3, Insightful)

jwietelmann (1220240) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538766)

The entire premise for your argument that the honeypot is a stupid idea rests on an assumption that if the CIA didn't operate a jihadi site, all those same site visitors wouldn't be going to any number of other jihadi sites instead.

That seems pretty far-fetched.

Re:There's military intelligence for you (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538842)

US military computer specialists, over the objections of the CIA, mounted a cyberattack that dismantled an online 'honey pot' monitored by US and Saudi intelligence agencies to identify extremists before they could strike, after military commanders said that the site was putting Americans at risk.

Reading between the lines, someone in the military had a brilliant idea on how to find people liable to be extremists. "Lets make our own extremist site", they said. "Just to make sure we get them all we'll make it really fan the flames of Jihad, and tell Muslims why they should join in". What happens. A few people who would be terrorists come a long ... fine. A large number of moderates come along and leave comments like "you're a disgrace to Islam" and move on.. fine. But a sizeable number of Muslims who are not extremists hit the site and become radicalised by it. Some continue to use the site, but some inevitably find other "real" sites.

Someone does an analysis and says "Look, the number of people being radicalised by us who we lose track of is now larger than the number of people who are already radical who come along and get tracked". The military intelligence guys say "what do you mean doing no good, we have dozens of people here talking about extremist acts, and we only lose track of a quarter of them!", totally missing the point that they now have a dozen untracked extremists, and three dozen who are currently tracked whereas without the site they would have had half a dozen untracked ones!

What impressive baseless speculation!

Re:There's military intelligence for you (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539032)

And totally missing from your argument is that the site is a CIA site, they're, like, civilian.

Re:There's military intelligence for you (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539138)

The military intelligence guys say "what do you mean doing no good, we have dozens of people here talking about extremist acts, and we only lose track of a quarter of them!", totally missing the point that they now have a dozen untracked extremists, and three dozen who are currently tracked whereas without the site they would have had half a dozen untracked ones!

It's quite possible that without the "site" you'd have at least four dozen untracked ones. Since it's not like this honey pot is the only place they could be discussing whatever...

Re:There's military intelligence for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539226)

Well, there is always trade-off between security and intelligence. The enemy constantly probes for leaks by mounting threats to your forces. Sometimes it is worth taking the hit, to score big, sometimes it isn't. This particular enemy is problematic because they have quite shallow and wide organizational structure, so most of the times your nets catch only small fry. Obviously, big fry are radical high clerics, but they are off limits, you can't touch them or all hell breaks loose.

Re:There's military intelligence for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539236)

It's like rounding up a gang of criminals and discovering that half of them are undercover cops.

Come to think of it, how do we know there ARE any real al Qaeda out there? Maybe they're the CIA and the NSA just jerking each other off...

Re:There's military intelligence for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539454)

Because these silly Muslims can't think for themselves and can all be controlled by simple visual stimulus to switch them from your average person living a religious live to a radical would-be killer?

Are you really that devoid of empathy and how did this get upvoted as if it contains intelligent insight into human behaviour?

Re:There's military intelligence for you (2, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539824)

It also makes the assumption that they were fanning the flames of the Jihad in the first place, and not simply providing guides on how to inflict damage.

How to make an IED.
How to create deal with a hostage situation.
How to fly a plane.
Where to purchase a dirty bomb.

All of that is good honeypot material without promoting any radicalized viewpoints.

I think the biggest harm is that now several sources of media are trumpeting that there are honeypots in the first place. If terrorists didn't realize that before, they sure do now.

Re:There's military intelligence for you (1)

davFr (679391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540222)

Generating terrorists yourself : government agencie's smartest idea to avoid budget cuts.

Re:There's military intelligence for you (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540292)

You missed one major point. The CIA isn't doing the radicalizing. They are providing a forum for others who are radical to espouse their views. To make a physical world analogy, it would be like the CIA setting up a "Jihadi Mosque" and hiding cameras and microphones in it. Then they open the doors and see who shows up, who they talk to, and what they talk about.

If anything I'd encourage them to expand the program. I'd encourage them to bring in linguists and psychologists and people with backgrounds in developing memes to counter the memes spread by the radicalizers.

As complex as the problem of radical jihad seems, it comes down to basic human interactions. There is a large group of disenfrancised individuals who don't see any way of getting a better life. Someone comes along and promises them and their families a better if they are willing to do X, Y and Z. At the deepest level it isn't much different than the way American schools indoctrinate students into capitalism, the American dream, college, a house, a wife, and two point five kids. The methods are different. One is suicide bombings and AK-47s, the other is debt slavery and consumerism. The underlying meta-message is the same though. "If you do this, our collective society and way of life will be better off."

Disturbing (4, Funny)

RealErmine (621439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538374)

None of this addresses the need for security of our strategic honey reserves.

Re:Disturbing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31538856)

Maybe we should initiate more research into killer bees so strategic honey resources will have stronger counter measures in the event of an attack.

Re:Disturbing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31540030)

haha! n00bs!

kill4r b33s are still susceptible to simple s0ap-and-w4t3r attaxx0rz!

Re:Disturbing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539876)

No worries, the Hunron Corporation is here to save the day!

This message was sponsored by The Hunron Corporation, the provider of the Honey You Know.
--The Hunron Corporation, bee respecting business practises since they went into law.--

Here's all you need to know (3, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538398)

"Once DoD went to the extent of saying, 'Soldiers are dying,' because that's ultimately what the command in Iraq, what Centcom did, it's hard for anyone to push back," one former official said.

But some experts counter that dismantling Web sites is ineffective -- no sooner does a site come down than a mirror site pops up somewhere else. Because extremist groups store backup copies of forum information in servers around the world, "you can't really shut down this process for more than 24 or 48 hours," said Evan F. Kohlmann, a terrorism researcher and a consultant to the Nine/Eleven Finding Answers Foundation.

Those quotes summarize why they did it and why it was ineffective.
Welcome to the internet, where information never dies.

Re:Here's all you need to know (4, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538710)

"Once DoD went to the extent of saying, 'Soldiers are dying,' because that's ultimately what the command in Iraq, what Centcom did, it's hard for anyone to push back," one former official said.

But some experts counter that dismantling Web sites is ineffective -- no sooner does a site come down than a mirror site pops up somewhere else. Because extremist groups store backup copies of forum information in servers around the world, "you can't really shut down this process for more than 24 or 48 hours," said Evan F. Kohlmann, a terrorism researcher and a consultant to the Nine/Eleven Finding Answers Foundation.

Those quotes summarize why they did it and why it was ineffective.
Welcome to the internet, where information never dies.

It just, you know, pines for the fjords.

Re:Here's all you need to know (2, Insightful)

blueskies (525815) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539570)

"Once DoD went to the extent of saying, 'Soldiers are dying,'

This is such a stupid quote by the DoD. If they don't want soldiers to die, pull them all out of Iraq. They goal has never been to have no soldiers die, because you can't go to war unless you are ready to lose soldiers. The question should always be are those soldiers' deaths being "spent" on achieving the current military goal.

It's never a question of soldiers dying, it's a question of HOW many soldiers are dying to achieve a specific aim. Saving tens of soldiers' lives now might have cost them hundreds of lives later.

Re:Here's all you need to know (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540142)

There's a big difference between soldiers dying because they are accomplishing a dangerous mission, and soldiers dying because they are being ambushed.

"Saving tens of soldiers' lives now might have cost them hundreds of lives later."

More likely it won't work out that way. It will just be more expensive to get to the terrorists who were being tracked by the honeypot site.

But, I expect NSA and CIA argued over the relative casualty cost, couldn't come to a clear consensus as to the relative effect, and NSA ended the argument by pulling the plug.

So really, you and I aren't even going to get into the ballpark on what the numbers really were. Just keep commuting to work, eating junk food, watching televised karaoke, and jacking off in safety while the professionals clean up history's mess.

You can't..... (4, Insightful)

budword (680846) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538446)

You can't fix stupid. Truer words were never said. Explains quite a bit about our fine Government too.

Re:You can't..... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31538588)

There aren't enough mod points :)

Re:You can't..... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540220)

The Taliban are stupid.

We're fixing them pretty good right now.

But then they're just popping up in Texas [google.com] , so maybe we need to fix a little closer to home.

Dear Patriots: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31538616)

If you see suspicious activity, please call
1-800-ALQ-AEDA [huffingtonpost.com]
Your information will be treated confidentially,

Yours In War,
President-VICE Richard B. Cheney [georgewbush.org]

big egos, small brains (0)

happyjack27 (1219574) | more than 4 years ago | (#31538648)

rule #1: don't be a dick. what isn't yours isn't yours. it's none of your business. so shut up. rule #2: use common sense. and if you don't have any, then your best bet is probably just to be completely passive. both rules were egregiously broken here. and by who? military. surprise, surprise.

Domestic equivalent (2, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539194)

This is the domestic equivalent of what Pakistan just did recently when they arrested the 2nd highest man in the Taliban, who had not only been talking with the UN, but was scheduled to meet with Karzai in the next few months. Short term thinking and infighting hurting long term strategic goals. So what if some of the extremists left the website that had been set up? If we know all their information, can we just follow them to their new site? I'm sure the CIA had operatives planted in the website who befriended some of the regular visitors. Just like with any other forum/website, when someone leaves, they generally try to get their friends from the site to move with them to the new site, or at the very least let them know where they are going. Taking down this website only made us lose the potential capability to identify and infiltrate other extremist websites that are growing in popularity and membership.

Jeeze, use your common sense (5, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539748)

With all the collective intellect of slashdot users, hasn't it even occurred to a single one of you geniuses that maybe, just maybe, this news is a bit of disinformation that has been spread deliberately to obscure some kind of real reorganization/shakeup that is taking place? Huh? I doubt in the extreme that the DOD has gone to war with the CIA, or that they are this blatantly making like the Keystone Kops.

White House MIA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31539760)

The DoD and the CIA are both Executive Branch... O.o Why didn't this get handled via the chain of command to the White House?

Mission Accomplished? (1, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539902)

After 9/11, the clear cause of the breakdown in security was determined to be that government agencies had grown insular. The overwhelming impetus for creating the Department of Homeland Security (a name that still creeps out my NaziDar®) was to integrate these agencies, to make them share information and goals.

You mean GW Bush didn't even get the super-spook agencies to cooperate?

Did that fucktard do ANYTHING right?

Re:Mission Accomplished? (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540266)

I'm no fan of BushJr, but this might be something so difficult that even a reasonably competent president would've had a very tough time (and a highly competent one might have to spend a lot of time and effort to pull it off).

It's still boneheaded that "just do it" means of resolving the disagreement won out over "let's discuss this" or "let's go up the chain of command until we find someone with joint authority and they decide". When there's a disagreement between state police and federal police over legal matters, there's are good reasons we take things to courts rather than expect to see two different police forces in a shootout, namely the consideration of the issues is thoughtful, it sets precedent, and the final decision is carried out in an orderly fashion.

And here I thought a "honey pot"... (1)

ebbomega (410207) | more than 4 years ago | (#31539984)

... was seducing an enemy agent.

*sigh* This is why we can't have nice things.

Some people just don't get it (2, Insightful)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31540064)

I'm going to rehash an argument that I used a few months ago when there was a news story about the FBI running a similar operation to monitor and prosecute criminals involved in credit card fraud. In that case, a few people argued that the FBI was aiding the badguys by giving them a forum to swap their k0d3z in. They completely ignored the fact that the bad guys would do it any way. If they weren't using the FBI forum, they'd be using another, unmonitored forum to trade the exact same information.

The same situation is going on with this CIA jihadist "honey pot". The jihadists are going to use the internet to discuss what they want to discuss. Our government has two choices. They can either facilitate the information exchange and by doing so, tap into it.. or they can attempt to take down the sites where the discussions are taking place. In the former case they gain useful intelligence. In the latter case they end up playing whack-a-mole and are constantly one step behind the bad guys.

The biggest challenge that the government faces in the "War on Terror" (and for the record, I'm against it. However I do realize the inescapability of it at the current time.) is gathering good intelligence. There simply aren't enough American citizens, or people friendly to the American government who have the necessary linguistic skills and social connections to infiltrate "terrorist" networks. Given the lack of human resources necessary to engage "the enemy" with, the government needs to come up with other ways to monitor what is going on. The honey pot that was just taken down was one of those monitoring tools.

Whoever authorized the take down of the site should be stripped of authority and questioned. They obviously aren't playing for the right team.

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