West is taking fight against terrorism online

In the name of counterterrorism, Western countries are moving to erect online security borders with aggressive proposals to block Web sites and to unleash Trojan e-mails containing spyware that would monitor jihadists.Critics warn that the security measures could lead to censorship and privacy invasion, but governments are pressing for legislation aimed at thwarting attacks and walling off Web sites that espouse illegal activities or are “likely to have the effect of facilitating” crime.In early November, Franco Frattini, the EU justice commissioner, will introduce a package of anti-terrorism proposals that includes the development of technology to block Internet sites offering bomb-making recipes and to make online recruiting of terrorists a punishable offense.Citing the threat of terrorism, the Swedish defense minister has also sought broad powers to monitor e-mail traffic without court orders, while in Australia the government introduced legislation this month to enable the federal police to block and ban Web sites through orders to Internet service providers.

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