US reportedly using Skype and email to warn Syrian officials against using chemical weapons

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Control of information networks has been integral to the Syrian conflict, and American officials are now using those same networks to warn off people who might distribute chemical weapons. Eli Lake, national security correspondent for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, reports that after a July suicide bombing in Syria, the US government began looking for the email addresses, phone numbers, Skype names, and social media accounts of mid-level military officials who might be in charge of missiles or sarin and mustard gas. Once they found them, they sent a “message of deterrence,” urging officials not to use or transfer weapons.

The idea isn’t just to ask them to keep arsenals safe in the case of a regime collapse — it’s to drive home that…

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