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Russian MP Demands Ability to Shut Off Internet in Islamic State Regions

Russian MP Oleg Nilov of the Fair Russia Party wants the government to have the ability to shut off the internet in Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) regions across Syria and Iraq.

“I’m asking you to consider the possibility to initiate on the international arena the issue of blocking internet access on the territory controlled by Islamic State,” he wrote to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Nilov believes if the international community can shut off the internet they can destroy the Islamic State.

He also noted that, with the use of ICANN [Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers] with the U.S. government, they can “regulate issues related to domain names, IP addresses and other aspects” of the internet.

In 2009, ICANN received “sovereignty” from the U.S. government.

“It’s a huge moment for the Internet,” explained Paul Levins, ICANN’s executive officer and vice president of corporate affairs. “It really means that this resource is free from control, it’s not being directed by any one entity but will be coordinated by stakeholders for all Internet users everywhere.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce established ICANN to maintain the internet’s traffic by matching “Web addresses to their corresponding addresses.”

Nilov used the messenger app Telegram as an example of why this idea could work. Last November, the messenger app blocked around 78 Islamic State accounts in twelve languages, but militants formed new ones as soon as the service deleted the old ones.

“Use of the Internet not only helps the militants communicate with each other, engage in agitation and propaganda, and recruitment, but also to carry out financial activities, in particular, to carry out transfers through a system of Swift,” continued Nilov.

He claimed the U.S. can do this since the government allegedly shut off the internet in North Korea in 2014, though no one took responsibility for that blackout. Many suspected the United States because of an ongoing feud regarding the film The Interview, which satirized North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

The tech companies in the U.S. who monitor North Korea’s network claimed “it appeared to have suffered a concerted denial-of-service attack, in which a target’s internet equipment is overwhelmed by spurious traffic.”

North Korea only has 1,000 web addresses, which makes it vulnerable. The communist country works off of “a single service provider and one connection to the outside world, via China.”

“Any one of us that was upset because we couldn’t watch the movie, you could do that,” stated Dan Holden, director of security research at Arbor Networks. “Their internet is just not that sophisticated.”

The Islamic State uses social media accounts, mainly Twitter, to promote their “caliphate” across the world. In February, former National Security Council staffer Hillary Mann Leverett claimed the terrorist group sends out 90,000 social media messages a day. Others believe the number is actually double that number.

“My best estimate is something over 200,000 a day, including retweets, but that comes with a lot of caveats,” explained J.M. Berger, a non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution. “It is not entirely possible to break down members vs. fanboys and the bulk of accounts don’t visibly differentiate. But a plurality of the accounts we examined for the study appeared to be based in Iraq and Syria.”

Breitbart News regularly reports how militants use social media to recruit Westerners, especially women. The Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College discovered that the feeling of “sisterhood” was just as much of a draw as finding a mujahid groom for the majority of women from the West.

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