Terrorism in the Website: Society 4.0 and Fundamentalism in Scrutiny

Terrorism in the Website: Society 4.0 and Fundamentalism in Scrutiny

Maximiliano Emanuel Korstanje (Department of Economics, University of Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina & CERS, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJCWT.2020010101

Abstract

Without any doubt, terrorism causes higher levels of anxiety and very well enhances our fears as never before. The post 9/11 context witnesses the multiplication of xenophobic expressions, such as Islamophobia or tourist-phobia, only to name a few. These expressions result from a culture of intolerance, which not only was enrooted in the ideological core of western capitalism but was accelerated just after 9/11. Some voices emphasize the needs of employing technology to make this world a safer place. This chapter goes in a contradictory direction. The authors focus on the ethical limitations of technologies when they are subordinated to the ideals of zero-risk society. Echoing Sunstein and Altheide, the authors hold the thesis that the precautionary principle has invariably created a paradoxical condition where “the invented fears” transformed in the basic grounds of a new stage of capitalism.
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1. Introduction

In November of 2018, two young Argentines (Kevin and Axel Avraham Salomon), suspected of taking part of a terrorist cell, are arrested in Buenos Aires city. Just after the G-20 Summit, the so-called terrorists have been accused to exchange images and correspondence associated with Islamism and fundamentalism. Kevin and Axel were formally accused to trigger a terrorist campaign to create political instability and chaos. This event, which woke up the Muslim community from the slumber it was, not only was condemned by some human rights activists but also the Muslim community, which was historically integrated to the society, claimed that Mauricio Macri’s administration started a with-hunting against them. Per the authorities, the Police investigated the website showing one of the suspected had reportedly direct links with Hezbollah. This begs a more than interesting questions: are terrorists real fundamentalists? is the website a perfect platform for these radicalized groups to operate?

This essay-review interrogates furtherly on the connection between terrorism and digital technologies. As Slavoj Zizek (2008) puts it, terrorists or jihadist –to be more exact- are far from being real fundamentalists simply because fundamentalism vindicates for the return to the sacred texts. To some extent, fundamentalists are reluctant to accept the modern (western) lifestyles as well as western customs and tradition. Neither internet nor other digital technologies are used by fundamentalists, as Zizek adheres. By the way, terrorists seem to be educated in the best western universities, they even hate the societies where they were native-born. They are familiar with western technology while showing fluency in the native tongue (Howie, 2012; Korstanje, 2018). Although the social imaginary has created an image of the terrorists as the (Muslims) enemies living within, for example, an archetype easily found in movie plots, novels or video games, no less true is that terrorists are white male citizens or native-born of the society they target. They have access to the Internet and often plan their attacks through affordable digital technologies. This led the authorities to meddle on the websites. Over recent years, security departments, as well as the funding and investment in the field of cyber-terrorism, have been duplicated in the most important nations (Fisogni, 2019; Veerasamy, 2020). Even if the digital technology serves as an efficient instrument to prevent future terrorist attacks which mean saving innocent lives, no less true is that sometimes the precautionary doctrine leads police to unjust arrests or culture of illegal surveillance. This moot point was well-documented by Robert C. Cropf and Timothy Bagwell (2016) in their book Ethical Issues and Citizen Rights in the Era of Digital Government Surveillance. There is an entire generation which lived strictly in an ongoing state of exemption just after 9/11. On behalf of security, some democratic institutions have been undermined. The check and balance powers work only in conditions where the state of exemption is not prolonged in the threshold of time. Doubtless, one of the turning points which evinced the ethical limitations of governments was the Snowden’s scandal. As R. Fiske writes:

The charges –theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act –are serious indeed. But there is no doubt the Snowden’s exposure of PRISM offers an exceptional look at the structure of presidential arcana. Creeping emergencies and a call for security have allowed the United States to exist within a continuous state of exemption, making the emergency coincide with normality. The threat of crisis has become justification for endless, lawless law. Constituent and constituted powers seem to have come to face to face, each threatening the other. (Fiske, 2016, p. 13)

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