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Social media turning into 'toolkit' of terrorists

Social media turning into 'toolkit' of terrorists

HARIDHA P 118 12-Dec-2022

In the absence of sufficient regulatory structures, India on Saturday ( October 29) warned the world about the potential repercussions of 'non-state actors' misusing new technology like encrypted texting and crypto-currency. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar called for coordinated international action to address the issue.

Mr. Jaishankar claimed in a speech at a special meeting of the UN Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) that social media platforms have evolved into effective tools in the 'toolkit' of terrorist networks and that terrorist organisations, their 'ideological fellow-travellers,' and 'lone wolf' attacks have greatly improved capabilities by obtaining access to new technology.

In addition to reiterating India's commitment to fighting terrorism, he said that New Delhi would voluntarily contribute $500,000 to the UN Trust Fund for Counter-Terrorism this year.

The external affairs minister added that the UN's anti-terror sanctions framework had been successful in warning nations who had made terrorism into a 'state-funded enterprise,' an apparent reference to Pakistan.

On Saturday, one day after the events of Friday in Mumbai, representatives from all 15 UN Security Council members attended the meeting's second and final day in Delhi.

In a letter to the gathering, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged unified international action to address the problem of different terrorist organisations using modern technologies.

In his statement, which was read aloud at the conference, he said that 'terrorists and those espousing terrible beliefs are misusing new and emerging technology to propagate disinformation, stir dissension, recruit and radicalise (people), mobilise resources, and execute assaults.'

The world community must cooperate in order to 'starve' terrorists of money and cutting-edge technologies, according to British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.

According to Mr. Jaishankar's remarks, technical advancements over the past 20 years have fundamentally changed how the world runs, and new and emerging technologies, such as blockchain and virtual currencies, as well as virtual private networks, encrypted messaging services, and other services, are providing a very bright future for both the social and commercial spheres.

But there is another aspect to it, he claimed, particularly when terrorism is involved.

Due to their potential vulnerability for abuse by non-state actors and the emerging regulatory environment, these technologies have also presented new issues for the governments and regulatory organizations, according to Jaishankar.

By having access to these technology, he continued, 'terrorist organisations, their ideological allies, particularly in open and liberal democracies, and 'lone wolf' attacks have considerably boosted their capabilities.'

The external affairs minister claimed that these forces target freedom, tolerance, and advancement through the use of technology, money, and most crucially, the ethos of open societies.

'Internet and social media platforms have become effective tools in the arsenal of terrorist and militant organisations for spreading propaganda, radicalization, and conspiracy theories intended to destabilise societies,' he stated.

He added, 'The employment of unmanned aerial systems by terrorist groups and organised criminal networks is another add-on to the existing worries for governments throughout the world.'

Mr. Jaishankar stated that the 'misuse' of these unmanned aerial vehicles by terrorist organisations for evil goals, such as the distribution of weapons and explosives and the execution of specific attacks, has turned into a 'imminent risk.'

'Consequently, they present a problem for security organizations all around the world. The member nations must pay considerable attention to the possibility that terrorists could use weaponized drones to attack strategic, infrastructure, and economic assets 'he stated.

The United Nations Security Council is meeting in India for the first time ever, regardless of format.

A passionate writer, blogger, language trainer, co-author of the book 'Irenic' and an enthusiastic learner. Interest includes travelling places and exploring.

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