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Year in review: Terror and technology

The events of Sept. 11 turned the world on its head. Security concerns prompted the government to look at technology for answers.


Terror and technology
How Sept. 11 changed the face of business
Technology's strengths and shortcomings were in the spotlight after Sept. 11.

From cell phones that were used by victims aboard hijacked airplanes to a renewed focus on e-mail following the anthrax incidents, technology was a notable sidebar to the terrorist attacks.

While phone lines were maxed out, millions of people turned to the Internet to communicate with friends and family via instant messaging and e-mail. Many used the Web to research previously little-known organizations such as al-Qaida and the Taliban. And individuals created Web sites to keep track of the missing and dead.

In the aftermath, some foreign workers feared a backlash and privacy advocates were concerned that new law enforcement powers would erode civil rights. And politicians put a renewed focus on technologies such as face-recognition software, bomb-detection equipment and vast databases that could help prevent future attacks.

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 How do you protect your business from terror?
Gartner analysts
October 8, 2001

Net offers lifeline to loved ones
Unable to connect via wireless and landline phones, many people posted Web messages, signed on to instant chat services, and used e-mail to contact friends and family.
September 11, 2001
Did terrorists blow up the recovery?
Economy experts warn that the Sept. 11 attacks will dramatically affect consumer confidence and will have a major impact on industries such as travel and insurance.
September 19, 2001
Spam, misinformation in wake of tragedy
Grieving Americans are flooding the Internet for solace and solidarity after the terrorist attacks, but consumer advocates warn they may also find scams and spam online. Donations are an easy target, and experts ask for vigilance.
September 13, 2001
Computer recovery companies go to work
A relatively unknown niche of the technology industry becomes a local hero, as disaster recovery companies step in to get companies affected by the attacks back on their feet.
September 12, 2001
H-1B workers fear backlash
Once the saviors of tech centers such as Silicon Valley, foreign tech workers find themselves the target of prejudice and hatred. Many tech companies step up to ensure workers are safe; yet long term, many fear restrictions on their rights in America.
October 24, 2001
E-mail offers safe haven from anthrax
Use of e-mail skyrockets as a series of contaminated letters turns "snail mail" into a suspicious and potentially lethal form of communication.
October 16, 2001
Net privacy in the face of terror
Privacy advocates are concerned that companies may have gone too far in handing over complete databases to law enforcement in the immediate aftershocks of the attacks without requiring a court order or a subpoena.
October 2, 2001

• Tech world mourns loss of employees
• Online help spawns hope for victims
• Hackers divided over response to terrorism
• Ellison donates software for U.S. security
• Proposed crypto limits draw broad criticism
• Economic package may thaw tech spending
• eBay charity auction faces uphill climb
• Tracking money trails with technology
• Researchers build Web archive of attacks
• Home videos star in online attack coverage