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Already for the term “terrorism”, more than 100 different definitions
with more than 20 definitional elements have been identified (for further details, see
Record 2003) . The addition of “cyber” to this word already fraught with meanings
does not help to clarify this issue. Consequently, current interpretations of “cyberterrorism”
range from very narrow to very broad. A more narrow view is often
worded close to common terrorism definitions and might include only politically
motivated attacks against information systems and only if they result in violence
against noncombatant targets (Pollitt 1998) . Broader approaches often include
other forms of terrorist use of the Internet and therefore might define cyberterrorism
as almost any use of information technology by terrorists (National Conference of
State Legislatures 2002) . To complicate matters even more, additional terminology is
being introduced into the discussion, e.g. “digital Pearl Harbor”, “electronic
Waterloo”, “Cyber war”, or “electronic Chernobyl”. These terms, however, focus
mainly on the effects of possible future attacks by terrorists. Therefore, they rather
cloud the discussion about a precise terminology on cyberterrorism or a terrorist
use of the Internet.
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