Library

Welcome to VOX-Pol’s online Library, a research and teaching resource, which collects in one place a large volume of publications related to various aspects of violent online political extremism.

Our searchable database contains material in a variety of different formats including downloadable PDFs, videos, and audio files comprising e-books, book chapters, journal articles, research reports, policy documents and reports, and theses.

All open access material collected in the Library is easy to download. Where the publications are only accessible through subscription, the Library will take you to the publisher’s page from where you can access the material.

We will continue to add more material as it becomes available with the aim of making it the most comprehensive online Library in this field.

If you have any material you think belongs in the Library—whether your own or another authors—please contact us at onlinelibrary@voxpol.eu and we will consider adding it to the Library. It is also our aim to make the Library a truly inclusive multilingual facility and we thus welcome contributions in all languages.

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TitleYearAuthorTypeLinks
MEDIA DECLINE VOX Pol
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A Blueprint for Bypassing Extremism
The Redirect Method Policy
The Redirect Method​ uses Adwords targeting tools and curated YouTube videos uploaded by people all around the world to confront online radicalization. It focuses on the slice of ISIS’ audience that is most susceptible to its messaging, and redirects them towards curated YouTube videos debunking ISIS recruiting themes. This open methodology was developed from interviews with ISIS defectors, respects users’ privacy and can be deployed to tackle other types of violent recruiting discourses online.
Tracking Online Radicalization Using Investigative Data Mining
2013 Wadhwa, P. and Bhatia, M.P.S. Article
The increasing complexity and emergence of Web 2.0 applications have paved way for threats arising out of the use of social networks by cyber extremists (Radical groups). Radicalization (also called cyber extremism and cyber hate propaganda) is a growing concern to the society and also of great pertinence to governments & law enforcement agencies all across the world. Further, the dynamism of these groups adds another level of complexity in the domain, as with time, one may witness a change in members of the group and hence has motivated many researchers towards this field. This proposal presents an investigative data mining approach for detecting the dynamic behavior of these radical groups in online social networks by textual analysis of the messages posted by the members of these groups along with the application of techniques used in social network analysis. Some of the preliminary results obtained through partial implementation of the approach are also discussed.
Cyberterrorism Cyber Prevention Vs Cyber Recovery
1993 DiBiasi, J. R. MA Thesis
The technological age has forced the U.S. to engage a new set of national security challenges. Several potential adversaries have cyberspace capabilities comparable to those of the U.S., and are constantly conducting surveillance, gathering technical information, and mapping critical nodes that could be exploited in future conflicts. How can the U.S. government best defend against future cyber attacks? Recent policy documents set out a strategy for securing all of cyberspace, which experts argue is impossible to implement, but also unnecessary. This thesis seeks to move the discussion beyond this stalemate by undertaking an analysis of the vulnerability of cyberspace to terrorist attacks. The first analysis examines the Code Red Worm and the Slammer Worm. These two worms were selected because they were highly destructive and spread faster than normal worms, making them well suited for assessing the existing security of computers and networks. The next analysis examines a staged cyber attack on critical infrastructure, entitled Attack Aurora. In the staged Aurora attack, researchers from the Department of Energy’s Idaho lab hacked into a replica of a power plant’s control system. This attack is the most recent staged attack and facilitates an analysis of vulnerabilities of critical infrastructures to cyberterrorism.
Information Age Terrorism- Toward Cyberterror
1995 Littleton, M.J. MA Thesis
The growing ubiquity of computers and their associated networks are propelling the world into the information age. Computers may revolutionize terrorism in the same manner that they have revolutionized everyday life. Terrorism in the information age will consist of conventional terrorism, in which classic weapons (explosives, guns, etc.) will be used to destroy property and kill victims in the physical world; techno terrorism, in which classic weapons will be used to destroy infrastructure targets and cause a disruption in cyberspace; and cyberterrorism, where new weapons (malicious software, electromagnetic and microwave weapons) will operate to destroy data in cyberspace to cause a disruption in the physical world. The advent of cyberterrorism may force a shift in the definition of terrorism to include both disruption and violence in cyberspace in the same manner as physical destruction and violence. Through the use of new technology, terrorist groups may have fewer members, yet still, have a global reach. The increasing power of computers may lower the threshold of state sponsorship to a point where poor states can become sponsors and rich states are no longer necessary for terrorist groups to carry out complex attacks. This thesis explores the shift toward information warfare across the conflict spectrum and its implications for terrorism. By examining the similarities and differences with past conventional terrorism, policymakers will be able to place information age terrorism into a known framework and begin to address the problem.
Responding To The Threat Of Cyberterrorism Through Information Assurance
1999 Ogren, J. G. and Langevin, J. R. MA Thesis
The number of people connecting to the Internet is growing at an astounding rate: estimates range from 100% to 400% annually over the next five years. This unprecedented level of interconnectedness has brought with it the specter of a new threat: cyberterrorism. This thesis examines the impact of this threat on the critical infrastructure of the United States specifically focusing on Department of Defense issues and the National Information Infrastructure (NII). A working definition for cyberterrorism is derived, and a description of the Nation's critical infrastructure is provided. A number of possible measures for countering the threat of cyberterrorism are discussed, with particular attention given to the concept of information assurance.

Information assurance demands that trustworthy systems be developed from untrustworthy components within power-generation systems, banking, transportation, emergency services, and telecommunications. The importance of vulnerability testing (or red-teaming) is emphasized as part of the concept of information assurance. To support this, a cyberterrorist 'red team' was formed to participate in the Marine Corps' Urban Warrior Experiment. The objective of t his thesis is to address the impact of these issues from a Systems Management perspective. This includes taking into account the changes that must occur in order to improve the U.S.' ability to detect, protect against, contain, neutralize, mitigate the effects of, and recover from attacks on the Nation's Critical Infrastructure.
Neo‐Nazis and Taliban On‐line: Anti‐Modern Political Movements and Modern Media
2000 Chroust, P. Journal
Usually the Internet is seen as a new medium with great potential for enhancing citizenship and democracy. This essay will try to present and to reflect on some of the less well known sides of the world wide web. In this case the 'dark sides' of the Internet will not refer to web sites of sex and violence, which have attracted more attention, but rather to two political movements with a high presence in the Internet: on the one hand the neoNazis in Germany and elsewhere, and on the other hand the Taliban in Afghanistan. At first glance a topic like the 'neo-Nazis and Taliban on-line' seems to combine very disparate societal movements that are neither new (the Nazis) nor very active in a modern environment (the Taliban). This contribution will show that both the neo-Nazis and the Taliban have important similarities in their structural approaches to society as well as in their presence in the Internet, but there are also of course serious differences. Because of this unusual comparison it will be helpful to sketch some of the context for the activities of the neo-Nazis and Taliban before we turn to the main issue.
Making Friends and Enemies on Social Media: The Case of Gun Policy Organizations
2000 Merry, M. Article
The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of interest groups in the formation of online echo chambers and to determine whether interest groups’ use of social media contributes to political polarization.

This study used a content analysis of nearly 10,000 tweets (from 2009 to 2014) by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the National Rifle Association to examine how groups engage with their political allies and opponents.

The results indicated that both groups engaged primarily with their supporters on Twitter while avoiding confrontation with their opponents. In particular, both groups used hashtags designed to reach their supporters, retweeted messages almost exclusively from other users with whom they agreed, and disproportionately used Twitter handles of their allies, while avoiding the use of Twitter handles of their opponents.


The findings suggest that interest groups’ use of social media accelerates the formation of online echo chambers, but does not lead to an increase in polarization beyond existing levels, given practices that maintain civility between opposing sides.
White Supremacist Networks on the Internet
2000 Burris, V., Smith, E. and Strahm, A. Journal
In this paper we use methods of social network analysis to examine the inter-organizational structure of the white supremacist movement. Treating links between Internet websites as ties of affinity, communication, or potential coordination, we investigate the structural properties of connections among white supremacist groups. White supremacism appears to be a relatively decentralized movement with multiple centers of influence, but without sharp cleavages between factions. Interorganizational links are stronger among groups with a special interest in mutual affirmation of their intellectual legitimacy (Holocaust revisionists) or cultural identity (racist skinheads) and weaker among groups that compete for members (political parties) or customers (commercial enterprises). The network is relatively isolated from both mainstream conservatives and other extremist groups. Christian Identity theology appears ineffective as a unifying creed of the movement, while Nazi sympathies are pervasive. Recruitment is facilitated by links between youth and adult organizations and by the propaganda efforts of more covertly racist groups. Links connect groups in many countries, suggesting the potential of the Internet to facilitate a whitesupremacist “cyber-community” that transcends regional and national boundaries.
The Electronic Starry Plough: The Enationalism of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement (IRSM)
2001 Dartnell, M. Journal
This paper takes the case of the Irish Republican Socialist Movement (IRSM) as the point of departure to discuss how insurgent political movement use Web communications. From mirror sites in Ireland and North America, IRSM supporters regularly use Web technology to relay the group message to a global audience at http://www.irsm.org/irsm.html. The resulting direct media contact gives the IRSM unprecedented access to global civil society. By referring to the IRSM Web site, the types of messages transmitted, the forms of transmission (text, video, audio, e-mail or other), and target audiences (national, global, political elites, media), this paper outlines some of the issues and challenges posed by Web-based anti-government media. The Internet and the Web do not constitute a threat to state power as some analysts suggest but at the same time they significantly alter political communication. The IRSM is a case of "enationalism", that is, the representation of a place as home to a specific group of people. Unlike traditional nationalism, enationalism is not tied to physical space or territory, but to representation of a network of relations based on a common language, historical experience, religion and/or culture. It is about both memory and future projection of a place as the home for a given group. In this light, new media will likely co-exist with other forms of political communication for some time.
Gender and Power in Online Communication
2001 Herring, S.C. Chapter
New communication technologies are often invested with users' hopes for change in the social order. Thus the Internet is said to be inherently democratic, levelling traditional distinctions of social status, and creating opportunities for less powerful individuals and groups to participate on a par with members of more powerful groups. Specifically, the Internet has been claimed to lead to greater gender equality, with women, as the socially, politically, and economically less powerful gender, especially likely to reap its benefits.
Terror in Cyberspace Terrorists Will Exploit and Widen the Gap Between Governing Structures and the Public
2002 Stanton, J.J. Journal
There is an inverse relationship between public access to the Internet and the inability of governments and institutions to control information flow and hence state allegiance, ideology, public opinion, and policy formulation. Increase in public access to the Internet results in an equivalent decrease in government and institutional power. Indeed, after September 11, 2001, Internet traffic statistics show that many millions of Americans have connected to alternative news sources outside the continental United States. The information they consume can be and often is contrary to U.S. government statements and U.S. mainstream media reporting. Recognizing this, terrorists will coordinate their assaults with an adroit use of cyberspace for the purpose of manipulating perceptions, opinion, and the political and socioeconomic direction of many nation-states.
Hackers as Terrorists? Why it Doesn't Compute
2003 Conway, M. Journal
The bulk of this article is concerned with showing why computer hackers
and terrorists are unlikely to form an unholy alliance to engage in so-called
cyberterrorism. The remainder of the paper examines why neither hacktivists nor
crackers fall easily into the cyberterrorist category either.
Code wars: Steganography, Signals Intelligence, and Terrorism
2003 Conway, M. Journal
This paper describes and discusses the process of secret communication known as steganography. The argument advanced here is that terrorists are unlikely to be employing digital steganography to facilitate secret intra-group communication as has been claimed. This is because terrorist use of digital steganography is both technically and operationally implausible. The position adopted in this paper is that terrorists are likely to employ low-tech steganography such as semagrams and null ciphers instead.
Cyberterrorism: the story so far
2003 Conway, M. Journal
This paper is concerned with the origins and development of the concept of cyberterrorism. It seeks to excavate the story of the concept through an analysis of both popular/media renditions of the term and scholarly attempts to define the borders of same. The contention here is not that cyberterrorism cannot happen or will not happen, but that, contrary to popular perception, it has not happened yet.
Terrorism and IT: Cyberterrorism and Terrorist Organisations Online
2003 Conway, M. Chapter
Chapter, "Terrorism and IT: cyberterrorism and terrorist organisations online" in book: Howard, Russell D. and Sawyer, Reid L., (eds.) Terrorism and counterterrorism: understanding the new security environment, readings and interpretations
Hate Online: A Content Analysis of Extremist Internet Sites
2003 Gerstenfeld, P., Grant, D. and Chiang, C. Journal
Extremists, such as hate groups espousing racial supremacy or separation, have established an online presence. A content analysis of 157 extremist web sites selected through purposive sampling was conducted using two raters per site. The sample represented a variety of extremist groups and included both organized groups and sites maintained by apparently unaffiliated individuals. Among the findings were that the majority of sites contained external links to other extremist sites (including international sites), that roughly half the sites included multimedia content, and that half contained racist symbols. A third of the sites disavowed racism or hatred, yet one third contained material from supremacist literature. A small percentage of sites specifically urged violence. These and other findings suggest that the Internet may be an especially powerful tool for extremists as a means of reaching an international audience, recruiting members, linking diverse extremist groups, and allowing maximum image control.
Confronting Cyberterrorism With Cyber Deception
2003 Gregory Tan, K. L. MA Thesis
This thesis concerns the possibility of deceiving cyberterrorists using defensive deception methods. As cyberspace today is a battleground for myriad
cyber attacks and intrusions, it may only be a matter of time before terrorists choose to advance their deadly cause in cyberspace. We explore some of the
questions raised regarding the threat of cyberterrorism by examining different perspectives, motivations, actors, targets, and how they may be confronted. One way is to draw from the lessons of deception and apply them against cyberterrorist attacks. Cyber deception applies in cyberspace just as well as
deception in military battles. From the different categories of attackers that could perpetrate cyberterrorism, we examine the ways in which they may be deceived. Many of the methods and tools that cyberterrorists would use are similar to those used by other less malicious hackers, so we can plan specific deceptions to use against them in advance.
Cyberterrorists - Their Communicative Messages and the Effect on Targets
2003 Minei, E. MA Thesis
This qualitative study provides a semiotic perspective on cyberterrorism and its opportunity to cause maximal damage while using terrorist propaganda. The very definition of cyberterrorism refers to Internet use, technology, and computer-based networks against critical infrastructures. The application of Stamper’s Semiotic Ladder– morphological, empirical, syntactical, semantic, pragmatic and social world –to the various methods of propaganda utilized by cyberterrorists will uncover aspects on the transition from traditional to modern methods of attack, cyberterrorist communication, and the recruitment of new members to their cause. Additionally, this research focused on the role of the media in the equation of planning by propaganda to the fruition of an attack. Interviews were collected from ten participants during 30-60 minute segments.

Based on the data, five themes emerged: (1) Acknowledgement of the Existence of Cyberterrorism, (2) Postmodern Propaganda and Publicity, (3) Detrimental Effects on Targets,
(4) Media Implications , and (5) Communicative Messages. This provides readers with an organized order to the data and provides a way to progressively detail cyberterrorism, with a specific focus on the actual effects of their semiotic intents on targets, on the public, and on the world at large or what is being conveyed. Ultimately, the themes that emerged follow Stamper’s Semiotic Ladder, starting with surface level understanding of cyberterrorism and work up to the global impact of cyberterrorism on various aspects of culture, beliefs, and expectations.
US Department of Defense Anti-Terrorism Handbook 2004
2004 US Department of Defense Policy
US Department of Defense Anti-Terrorism Handbook 2004
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