I see your perspective, but if Twitter allows the activity to occur, shouldn't they alter the language in their terms? Doesn't Twitter put itself at risk in these situations? If they want to allow these accounts to exist, they should. But what they say in their legalese shouldn't conflict with the content on the site.
Twitter couldn't possibly do that. Don't we really have bigger fish to fry?
As a security professional, I follow these tweets - in fact, the only reason I use Twitter is to follow these. I get a lot of information from these, particularly through the pastebin posts where they post their chats with information on what they did, links to torrents with data they've compromised, etc.
I worked in the military as a linguist. We had the capability to jam communications to prevent the sides from talking and to listen to communications to gather intel. Listening was always preferred. Jamming was only done to disrupt attacks.
If we listen and monitor, we might discover communication paths that are used during attacks and put a stop to them.
Once an enemy figured out we were getting intel from their communications they would change frequencies, or worse, methods of communication.
You make an interesting point that Twitter acts like a billboard for this group and that agencies may want to use it in an attempt to gather evidence and try to deduce future hacks.
But if Twitter's language for users states that they should not use Twitter as a platform for endorsing or conducting illegal activity, then something should be done. If not to those accounts that violate that language, then to the language itself.
Those terms of service are there to protect Twitter from legal action, not to take a moral stand. So many tweets could be considered as threats or endorsement of illegal action that Twitter could never really track them all. And as soon as they actively tried, they would be seen as tacitly endorsing (or at least giving the pass on) any dangerous tweets that slipped through the cracks.
Twitter's general non-regulation of their stream keeps it interesting and full of controversy, which, after all, is what they want anyway.
Well, I agree with the hipocracy of it all, but honestly, think this falls way low on my priority list.
Twitter plays nothing more than a billboard for these hacking groups. The real communication is happening on IRC and is not so simply found.
I wouldn't be surprised if Twitter was asked by certain government agencies to specifically not terminate the account. It is intelligence of a kind, and though it may not necessarily help directly, it might draw links to those on the IRC sites.
It's on the IRC channels that the real intel can be found. It's where the details of the attacks are being discussed and carried out.
I say let them have their billboard. Maybe some newbie in the bunch will tweet something he shouldn't or perhaps the tweeter will forgot to use a proxy or TOR and reveal a useful IP for investigators.
I really don't get it. If this was a gang of bank robbers talking about their recent heists, the FBI would be all over it. Not just because it's objectionable, but because they'd want all the info that Twitter has about this particular user. Quite bizarre that this is being overlooked.
Perhaps law enforcement should also be asked the domain host for the main Lulz site some questions. Someone must be paying bills for this. This all seems so obvious that maybe it's all in hand; there may be reasons to leave the Twitter feed alone; it might, for example, be a useful source of information for law enforcement.
The US government is funding controversial projects to collect daily Internet activity, including Web searches, Twitter messages, Facebook and blog posts, and the digital location trails generated by billions of cellphones. Its goal is to map these interactions to predict social behavior, such as protests.
WikiLeaks' founder says that Facebook is an instrument for government spying. Whether that's true or not, we're sharing too much, and we’re on the edge of compromising the notion of identity, and with it of privacy and commercial protection.
What can users today do to protect their online privacy? The simplest and most obvious option is to not use the Internet – at all. However, once all digital information is consolidated over the Internet, trying to protect digital identity by simply unplugging from the Internet becomes impossible – a fact that has manifest implications for civil liberties, Saunders says.
By 2011 the number of Internet-connected sensors will exceed 1 trillion, making your chances of doing anything or going anywhere unnoticed pretty much zero. Saunders talks about how the 'sensortization' of the Internet is eliminating the traditional divide between online and offline populations.
The 20th Century Internet was characterized by the ability to interact with other people and information on the Internet largely without anyone knowing who you were. The Internet of this century, conversely, will be defined by identity. Saunders explains how Internet users are unwittingly contributing to the demise of the anonymous Internet.
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