Terrorism in the Modern World

hods of research do not lend themselves to this study because of the wide scope and nature of the subject being taken up as the focus of this research assignment1. Therefore, this study adopts a theoretical rather than an empirical assumption. Cyber terrorism is a contemporary issue and therefore a greater focus is given to examining issues in the present and the literature that deals with the developments occurring in the electronic medium and the political arena over the last two decades. Both the critical legal studies method and the post-positivist method of inquiry are applied in this study. The application of the post-positivist model2 has produced a process of ongoing reflection throughout the study. After a brief introduction, the development of the Internet and its implications are explored, to lay the groundwork explaining the reasons for the emergence of cyberterrorism. Lawrence Lessig has undertaken an exhaustive analysis of the electronic medium and the potential for its misuse,3 and through the inclusion of the views of such experts, this study incorporates a critical legal studies approach.During the next phase of the project, an examination of the law is undertaken, including the recent legislative developments that are geared towards clamping down on illegal terrorist activity. The process of ongoing reflection uncovers the fact that civil rights violations have occurred in several cases as a result of the harsher legal measures that have been introduced in all democratic countries.This leads to the final phase of the project where the research question is tackled. Benjamin Franklin believed that any measure to curtail the freedom of individuals in the name of security was totally unacceptable4. In the light of his views, how far is a legal intrusion into individual privacy and civil liberties justified in a democratic country, especially when coping with a problem as grave as cyber terrorism that strikes fear and terror into millions of innocent victims?