I recently read a couple articles about this Twitter app that the Taliban, and presumably other organizations, are using to support their terrorist agendas. Apparently this app allows people to bypass the publicly facing Twitter content and send content over the more private DM system. In turn these terrorists get their DMs sent to them by text message to the front lines in rural Afghanistan.
Unfortunately the app in question is one I wrote and continue to manage- FeedTwit.
First of all, Twitter recently rendered my app obsolete- something I wrote about in my recent blog post about how Twitter is stealing ideas from independent developers. At this point very few people are using it.
Second of all, with the few people finding my app useful (and it is still useful for things besides communication between terrorists) it is easy for me to monitor. While I cannot see the exact content of every DM my app sends to its users, I can assure you that the RSS feeds people are having sent to their Twitter accounts by DM are all benign. (By the way, if the FBI, NSA, or any other law enforcement entity would like to look at the data people are sharing through my Twitter app, I’d be happy to share it with them. All they have to do is ask- no warrant or subpena necessary.)
Thirdly, you don’t have to take my word for it. In order to use my app you’d have to follow @FeedTwit– basically I couldn’t send an account a DM without them following the account. If these allegedly Taliban twitter accounts are using my app, they would be following @FeedTwit- and the list of accounts following @FeedTwit are publicly available.
Fourth, I think it is laughable that someone would accuse me of supporting terrorism. I am a native citizen of the United States and even an Eagle Scout. I’m not exactly the type who supports the Taliban.
The thing that cheezes me off about this is that these blog posts give nefarious people an idea of how they might use Twitter to avoid detection and communicate malevolently. Right now someone is getting a “good” idea on how to use Twitter for evil.