MUMBAI -- Following the attacks here two weeks ago, much of the coverage on local media looks familiar: red banner stripes and logos with such phrases as "26/11 Fight against Terrorism". But it is not quite the same as US networks' "War on Terror".

There are "Indians of the Year", mini-package profiles of the soldiers and others who died during the fighting that occurred the week before last just down the street from my hotel, and live coverage of vigils and demonstrations. Also, the attack on Mumbai has been framed as attack on modernity. So far, again, it looks quite familiar.

Worldcasting was reminded this week of why the word "labeling" should be used with the greatest of care in the practice of public diplomacy.

One example was the trip to Turkey by Pope Benedict XVI, during which he sought to calm Muslim rage over his earlier quotation from a medieval text that labeled Islam a violent religion. It was also the week that NBC News decided to label the violence in Iraq as a "civil war," not simply a "war."

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The rapid diffusion of decentralized communications technologies is becoming a critical component in the operation and organization of terrorist networks. While security-based concerns regarding the use of the Internet for cyber-terrorism (disruption of critical networks, etc) have somewhat subsided, there is growing recognition that both the Internet’s mass media function and its decentralized infrastructure play a crucial role in modern terrorist organizations.