Pirate? Tracking modern buccaneers through Twitter

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Shipping companies may have found a new tool to fight piracy: It turns out, pirates like to tweet.
Not only that, Somali-based pirates blog and are on Facebook, security experts say. And it is through social media that shipping companies are increasing their understanding of how they operate.
“Somalia is a very sophisticated economy, it has one of the best mobile phone communication systems in the world,” said Jessica Lincoln, director of intelligence at Rubicon Resolution, a risk consultancy.
Lincoln follows pirates’ activities using what she describes as “normal” web tools. She gathers whatever individuals and organizations like al-Qaeda’s Somali affiliate Al-Shabaab post online about attacks. The insurgent organization runs a Twitter account where it publicizes its activities. The Al-Shabaab Twitter account has been a part of the debate over whether terrorist organizations should be allowed to use Twitter.
Twitter does not take responsibility for the accuracy and appropriateness of user content in its terms of service.
Another source for her is the Kenyan army, which Lincoln describes as fully engaged in online exchanges with Al-Shabaab.

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