We must come together now, and we must do it fast, to mitigate this threat and ensure that new technologies remain a force for good rather than a force for evil.
-- United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov in his statement at Side-Event on Countering Terrorism with New and Emerging Technologies
Misuse of information and communications technologies
There is growing concern over the misuse of information and communications technologies (ICT) by terrorists, in particular the Internet and new digital technologies, to commit, incite, recruit for, fund or plan terrorist acts. Member States have stressed the importance of multi-stakeholder cooperation in tackling this threat, including among Member States, international, regional and sub regional organizations, the private sector and civil society.
In resolution 2341 (2017), the Security Council calls upon Member States “to establish or strengthen national, regional and international partnerships with stakeholders, both public and private, as appropriate, to share information and experience in order to prevent, protect, mitigate, investigate, respond to and recover from damage from terrorist attacks on critical infrastructure facilities, including through joint training, and use or establishment of relevant communication or emergency warning networks.”
Counter-terrorism Cybersecurity initiatives
The UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) has several initiatives in the field of new technologies, including a project on the use of social media to gather open source information and digital evidence to counter terrorism and violent extremism while respecting human rights. It has provided expertise in international fora on the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and will develop further programming in this area.
In particular, the Cybersecurity and New Technologies programme aims to enhance capacities of Member States and private organizations in preventing cyber-attacks carried out by terrorist actors against critical infrastructure. The project programme also seeks to mitigate the impact and recover and restore the targeted systems should such cyber-attacks occur.
Solution, selected as part of Cyber Challenge event, addressing online terrorist activities, will be presented at the UN Office at Vienna (UNOV) on 5-6 December. Categories include:
- Kinetic cyber-attacks to critical infrastructure and/or IoT devices
- Spread of terrorist content online
- Online terrorist communications
- Digital terrorist financing
Learn more about the Cyber Challenge event.