The UK’s Home Office has warned of the increasing use of information technology to support and conduct terrorist activity.
A new counter-terrorism stratagy document published today reports that terrorists are using technology both to spread propaganda and to plan attacks, and that this is likely to increase in future.
"There will be more cyber terrorism," the strategy document says. "Groups will continue to benefit from off-the-shelf technology in planning and conducting attacks, making operations more secure and potentially more lethal.The Internet and virtual space will be strategically vital."
In a speech announcing the report, Home Secretary Theresa May outlined the government’s updated counter-terrorism strategy, with a particular focus on cyber terrorism. "We will work much harder to tackle the particular challenge of radicalisation on the Internet," she said.
May listed a number of technologies that terrorists are using to co-ordinate their activities.
"Software to encrypt mobile phone voice and text functions is widely available and improving," May said. "Peer-to-peer networks can be used to distribute files and information rapidly and securely.’
She also implicated cloud computing, as a potential tool for terrorists. "Cloud computing offers new means for storing, sharing and distributing material on-line. It can be encrypted and configured to work with mobile devices, leaving little or no trace of the data behind."