(…to now do something having a redeeming social value)

A few days ago a newspaper item caught our eye. Apparently the recent ISIS inspired atrocities in Paris and elsewhere went too far, finally pissing off the Hacker Collective, so, it is now mobilizing to turn its cyber skills against it.

Frankly, it’s about time that Collective did something useful for a change, and if sincere, then we can only applaud its intentions to do something having a redeeming social value by joining the fight against such a vile entity. We can only hope that by applying its collective cyber skills for that purpose that will significantly contribute to an effective crippling and disruption of ISIS’s cyber capabilities.

Leading that effort, WauchulaGhost, GhostSec, and Annonymous are apparently all going to cooperate for that purpose. So far their efforts have publicly exposed some 100 ISIS web sites along with a host of individual social media accounts either related to or affiliated with it. Which is a good start, but we would applaud even more strongly if that Collective went even further, by attacking those core ISIS sites to corrupt and otherwise infect their propaganda files it is streaming to the net in such a way that, whenever any of its sympathizers or potential recruits were dumb enough` to log onto such sites, their digital devices of whatever kind would be…permanently impacted.

While anything of that kind would be a gratifying result, there is an even better means to enhance that Collective’s motivation for radical pro-active effort. There is a little known or even recalled provision under Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 9, of the US Constitution which could do that for it. It allows the right to issue – Letters of Marque and Reprisal – against hostile entities whenever conventional military means are not either appropriate, feasible, or sufficient. Although long internationally accepted and recognized, and while such “privateering” has not been invoked for some 150 years, there is no reason why it could not be invoked as being the most appropriate means for dealing with this situation with ISIS.

We would cheer even louder therefore if our President and the Congress would have the creative smarts to seize this opportunity to invoke that provision by offering it to any members of that Collective (even under pseudonyms), or anyone else for that matter, as a modern cyber version of Letters of Marque and Reprisal. The critical benefit of that “license” being that it would provide immunity from either civil or criminal liabilities to those operating under its provisions. The second one being that any financial benefits deriving from such anti-ISIS hacking activity could be retained entirely…without any form of taxation. Such sanctioned cyber vigilantism combined with conventional military actions, and a well-designed psychological warfare counter to ISIS propaganda, should do more than anything else to not only degrade but ultimately defeat ISIS.

Ideally, however, we would suggest that we broaden that strategy by using the same concept of Letters of Marque and Reprisal to commission “privateers” to also ferret out and seize individual ISIS sympathizers, rank and file operatives, and upper echelon hierarchs of it, wherever these might be, in return for specific bounties for each one turned over to authorities, and, allow them to keep and benefit from any of their assets such privateers were able to seize in the process.

Such a combination of counter-actions would severely destroy ISIS’s ability to operate because none of its operatives could then trust anyone (even their own), and everyone from the lowest rank and file to the highest ranking member would thus be in a constant state of “qui vive”, if not fear, never knowing when, where, or how such “privateer” action might strike against them, their associates, their friends, or even their families. Since the NY Mafia has also indicated it is prepared to apply its “talents” against ISIS perhaps its members are perfect candidates for such Letters of Marque and Reprisal. All in all that could be a much more effective strategy than just using air strikes, drones, or cruise missiles.

Well, since it’s highly unlikely that officialdom anywhere has those kinds of smarts to quickly mobilize itself that way, for the time being we’ll just have to depend on both the Hacker Collective’s and the NY Mafia’s initiative…to do what needs doing.

At least that’s better than nothing.