News for Public Officials and the People They Serve
Terrorists Access to County Records

"Using public sources openly and without resorting to illegal means, it is possible to gather at least 80 percent of all information required about the enemy."  al Qaeda Training manual recovered in Afghanistan, .

Online access to local county records may save the local public a trip across town. It saves foreign terrorists a trip across the world.

Terrorists may use the County Site to:

Survey: Government Websites Expose Sensitive Infrastructure and Military Data

When a Greensboro, city employee became alarmed after watching a user with an electronic address from Iran download drawings about the city's water supply, the Associated Press uncovered sensitive military documents found unprotected on federal, state and county FTP servers nationwide.

PARAMETERS, US Army War College Quarterly - Spring 2003

Al Qaeda and the Internet: The Danger of “Cyberplanning”


The Internet puts distance between those planning the attack and their targets. Terrorists planning attacks on the United States can do so abroad with limited risk, especially if their command and control sites are located in countries other than their own. Tracing the route of their activity is particularly difficult.

Terrorists have access, like many Americans, to imaging data on potential targets, as well as maps, diagrams, and other crucial data on important facilities or networks.

The Internet can be used to steal information or manipulate data. Ronald Dick, Director of the FBI’s National Infrastructure Protection Center, considers the theft or manipulation of data by terrorist groups as his worst nightmare, especially if the attacks are integrated with a physical attack such as on a US power grid.

 One of the most common ways terrorists obtain money for their cause via the Internet is credit card fraud. Jean-Francois Ricard, one of France’s top anti-terrorism investigators, noted that many Islamist terror plots in Europe and North America were financed through such criminal activity. . . Al Qaeda and Internet


Effective Government in Action

Who Owns This Place?  Al Qaeda’s war rages online

Consider this…

A young car-buyer applies for an auto loan and finds his credit record identifies him as Ramzi Binalshibh, the Yemeni-born coordinator of the 9/11 terror attacks, currently in U.S. custody.  An Arkansas state transportation agency is alerted that one of its FTP servers has been “taken over” by al Qaeda-backed content, with images of beheadings among the 70 different Arabic language files suddenly resident. 

The bandwidth-intensive Paul Johnson beheading video is first uploaded for display on al Qaeda-sympathetic sites worldwide on the hijacked server of a legitimate California geographic information company. Who Owns This Place

Expert: Hijackers likely skilled with fake IDs

(CNN) -- FBI Director Robert Mueller has acknowledged that some of those behind last week's terror attacks may have stolen the identification of other people, and, according to at least one security expert, it may have been "relatively easy" based on their level of sophistication.  . .

According to McGoey, the key information these hijackers would have needed is Social Security numbers (often the unique identifier for business use), driver's license numbers, and date of birth or birth certificates. From there, they could assemble a new identity. Even a person's address or name would help them get started.

The FTC recommends that people regularly check their credit record, keep track of all transactions and follow up with creditors if bills do not arrive on time. Also, they suggest that people be aware of when personal information may be shared over a Web site


How Modern Terrorism Uses the Internet

United States Institute of Peace

Gabriel Weimann

Dan Verton, in his book Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyberterrorism (2003), explains that "al-Qaeda cells now operate with the assistance of large databases containing details of potential targets in the U.S. 

Terrorists, for instance, can learn from the Internet a wide variety of details about targets such as transportation facilities, nuclear power plants, public buildings, defense plants, chemical plants and high pressure gas lines.

One captured al Qaeda computer contained engineering and structural features of a dam, which had been downloaded from the Internet and which would enable al Qaeda engineers and planners to simulate catastrophic failures.

 In a briefing given in late September 2001, Ronald Dick, assistant director of the FBI and head of the United States National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), told reporters that the hijackers of 9/11 had used the Internet, and "used it well."

Modern Terrorism and the Internet

 10-08-04 U.S.A. TODAY

Computer disc found in Iraq contained U.S. school plans

By Ben Feller, Associated Press


WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement authorities notified school districts in six states last month that a computer disc found in Iraq contained photos, floor plans and other information about their schools, two U.S. officials said Thursday.The downloaded data found by the U.S. military in July — all publicly available on the Internet —  . . . US School Plans Found in Iraq

Legal Help

Class action suits have been filed from Alaska to Ohio against state and county governments who publish the community records online. If you feel your security may have been compromised, Click here for legal help and a free evaluation of your possible case An attorney  will evaluate your case. You are under no obligation to accept legal representation from the lawyer that reviews your case. Lawyers are usually paid out of the proceeds of the settlement or verdict rendered. 

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