ISIL’s Online Safety Guidelines



After the Paris attacks last month, many international counter-terrorism authorities were surprised at the ease of tracking the perpetrators movements after the fact through their use of technology. Over the past years, ISIS operatives have been notoriously hard to track because of their technological proficiency and because of the 34 page handout that all of the new recruits receive. Originally written by a professional security firm to aid journalists and whistleblowers, ISIS has adopted the guide for their own use. The handbook has handy links to tools like Tor, ProtonMail, and other encrypted communication platforms. Alongside this also lie some helpful tips to make tracking harder, like disabling GPS on your cell phone. But the question still remains: if the Paris attackers had access to all of this information, then why was it so easy to track them? Well, that’s simple. Even if someone has access to all of the tools they need, they are useless if not effectively utilized. The attackers communicated thought unencrypted channels and were generally sloppy, making things much easier for the authorities.

-John zumBrunnen