Donald Trump Says He'll Turn Off The Internet For Terrorists
from the uh,-how? dept
This isn’t the first time he’s said this, but on Monday, Presidential candidate Donald Trump once again insisted that part of his plan to “Make America Great Again” is to stop bad people from using the internet:
My Administration will aggressively pursue joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS, international cooperation to cutoff their funding, expanded intelligence sharing, and cyberwarfare to disrupt and disable their propaganda and recruiting. We cannot allow the internet to be used as a recruiting tool, and for other purposes, by our enemy – we must shut down their access to this form of communication, and we must do so immediately.
Almost no one covered this because everyone was focused on other stuff in the speech about his new “tests” for letting foreigners into the country. But this still remains a pretty big concern, in part because of just how technically clueless this is. Sure, we’ve seen some others suggest similarly dumb ideas, but no one seems to bother to think through how this might be done and what a mess it would create.
There’s no way you can “disrupt” or block them from using the internet without also cutting off millions of innocent people — many of whom almost certainly rely on the internet for all sorts of important things. And, on top of that, any solution would be of only limited effectiveness in the long run anyway. There are increasingly new ways and new paths to get online — whether through wireless mesh networks or, eventually, from things like drones and satellites. Thinking that you can magically take an entire group of people off the internet is profoundly silly.
At the same time, as we’ve noted, the most ridiculous part in this idea that we should kick terrorists off the internet is the fact that the intelligence community has said that tracking what they’re saying online has been tremendously beneficial in tracking terrorists, their views and their plans. Why would you want to cut off such a source of intelligence gathering?
The whole thing, like so much of this Presidential campaign, seems to be yet another example of a candidate saying what people want to hear with little to no thought about what it actually means, whether it would do any good or how to implement the plan.