Intelligence: How Naughty Naked Women Serve ISIL

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September 6, 2016: Since September 11, 2001 the United States has been increasingly successful in capturing documents from Islamic terrorist groups. Early on (Afghanistan in late 2001) most of the documents were on paper. But even then some were on computers and since then Islamic terrorists have been found using a lot more computers (especially tablets, laptops and smart phones) filled with documents. That has caused some unanticipated problems. The one that is talked about is problems finding qualified translators for captured documents. That has been partially solved by better machine translation software. Another problem, that is less talked about openly, is the enormous amount of pornography found on Islamic terrorist computers and the potential problem with the possibility that some of it may contain hidden messages. This is called steganography (hide encrypted text messages in digital JPG, GIF or whatever images). Steganography has been around for a long time but only became really practical with the arrival of cheap and powerful PCs. Inexpensive commercial steganography software began to appear in 2001. These programs, like Camera/Shy in 2002, were basically very easy to use steganography tools that allowed any PC user to hide encrypted text messages in a digital image. Camera/Shy was created to make it easier for people to safely communicate if they lived in nations that censored and monitored the Internet. Camera/Shy was freeware (given away) and terrorists and criminal organizations began using it. That did not work out as intended because other software firms soon created commercial software (for police and intelligence agencies) that would quickly identify images that had messages inserted by Camera/Shy. This led to a software arms race with new and improved software that worked like Camera/Shy but was harder to detect and decrypt.

Intelligence agencies have not revealed how much steganography data showed up in captured Islamic terrorist image files but it was apparently enough to require American military intelligence analysts to spend a lot of time checking out all these captured porn files for hidden (by steganography) data. This has caused some morale problems among Intel personnel assigned to search for ISIL use of steganography in their porn. This takes a lot of effort, gets tiresome after a while (especially if the analyst is female or otherwise not interested).

 


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