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‘Twitter terrorist’ woman jailed for three years, says was promoting interest of Sunnis in Iran

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terrorismA young woman has been jailed for three-and-half years for openly advocating violent jihad and instigating people on Twitter to indulge in “terrorist activities”.

Alaa Esayed, 22, posted more than 45,000 tweets in Arabic on an open account to her 8,240 followers between June 2013 and May 2014, The Guardian reported. Her Twitter account — with profile picture of a burqa-clad, kalashnikov- wielding woman — was even noticed by al-Qaida, which listed it as among the 66 most important jihadi accounts.

Esayed, from Kennington, south London, was sentenced at the Old Bailey on June 11 after pleading guilty to encouraging terrorism. “This material and its dissemination is an important factor in the encouragement of young men and women to travel abroad and engage in acts of terrorism,” Judge Charles Wide said.

“It is a matter of great and justified public concern. You were disseminating such material on a massive scale over a period of just short of a year. An indication of how busy you were in this activity is that on a site associated with al-Qaida your Twitter account was noted to be one of 66 important jihadi accounts.”

He told her she knew “perfectly well” what she had been doing, despite initially claiming she only wanted to learn about Muslim struggles in Iraq, Syria and Palestine and was merely cutting and pasting from other sources with her limited understanding of written Arabic.

Esayed said she was promoting the interests of the Sunni community in Iraq from Shia military forces. Because of her “blatant untruthfulness” the judge said, he had difficulty accepting anything she said through her lawyer. However, he did accept there was no evidence to suggest she was planning to engage in terrorism herself or had posted anything of a “practical nature”.

Esayed was brought up in Mosul, Iraq, and came to Britain with her family in 2007 after her father, who worked for the military, was forced to flee the country. Most of Esayed’s posts were cut and pasted from other sources and she insisted she did not support violent jihad.

In her statement to the police after her arrest Esayed said she had no intention of being a martyr and she could not even read or write Arabic well. Her lawyer, Tanveer Qureshi, said in mitigation: “Yes, she is a Twitter terrorist, but she is a Twitter terrorist who lacked creativity. She did not have a blog. She was blindly cutting and pasting.” He said her postings were just propaganda and there was no practical advice to any budding terrorists.

– (IANS)

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Twitter Bans Russian Security Firm Kaspersky Lab From Buying Ads

Twitter bans Russia-based Kaspersky Lab from buying ads

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Twitter. Pixabay

Twitter has banned Russia-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab from advertising on its platform, stating that the company “operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices.”

In an open letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Kaspersky Lab’s Founder Eugene Kaspersky has termed the move as “potential political censorship”.

“At the end of January, Twitter unexpectedly informed us about an advertising ban on our official accounts where we announce new posts on our various blogs on cybersecurity (including, for example, Securelist and Kaspersky Daily) and inform users about new cyberthreats and what to do about them,” Eugene wrote on Friday.

Kaspersky Lab
Kaspersky Lab.

“In a short letter from an unnamed Twitter employee, we were told that our company ‘operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices,'” he added.

Kaspersky Lab spent around $93,000 to promote its content on Twitter in 2017 and its India advertising share on Twitter was around $13,580.

“No matter how this situation develops, we won’t be doing any more advertising on Twitter this year.

“The whole of the planned Twitter advertising budget for 2018 will instead be donated to the @EFF. They do a lot to fight censorship online,” Eugene tweeted on Saturday.

Also Read: New algorithm may help locate fake Facebook and Twitter accounts

According to a report in Cyberscoop, a Twitter spokesperson pointed towards the September 2017 decree from US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that ordered federal agencies to remove Kaspersky products from their networks.

“Kaspersky Lab may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Register.

“Twitter is playing into the hands of cybercriminals when it hinders the delivery of important information on protection from cyberthreats,” Eugene said.

“The majority of our promoted content on Twitter has been about cybersafety and research and reports about the information security industry. We believe that this content brings value to a variety of Twitter users.”

Twitter icon.
Twitter icon. Pixabay

“Twitter, if this is a matter of a decision being made in error, please openly admit this; people’d forgive you – everyone makes mistakes! I think that would be the only civilized way to quash any doubts about potential political censorship on Twitter,” Eugene said.

The Kaspersky Lab founder said that more than two months have passed and the only reply he received from Twitter was the copy of the same boilerplate text.

Also Read: Twitter India rolls out sponsored ‘Moments’

“Accordingly, I’m forced to rely on another (less subtle but nevertheless oft and loudly declared) principle of Twitter’s – speaking truth to power – to share details of the matter with interested users and to publicly ask that you, dear Twitter executives, kindly be specific as to the reasoning behind this ban,” he said.  IANS