UNCCT and INTERPOL jointly launched a new edition of a handbook for law enforcement on counter-terrorism investigations online
New York, 22 November 2021 - The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) hosted an event, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to launch the second edition of the handbook on “Using the Internet and Social Media for Counter-Terrorism Investigations”.
The objective of this Handbook is to support Member States’ national efforts to counter and prevent terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism by sharing good practices with law enforcement officials on how to use the Internet, including social media, for counter-terrorism investigations in full respect of human rights and the rule of law.
“There should be no impunity for terrorism, offline or online, and we must ensure that the digital space becomes a global common good for humanity, and not a safe haven for terrorists and other criminals,” stated the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Counter Terrorism and Executive Director of UNCCT, Mr. Vladimir Voronkov in his opening remarks. “This handbook will assist Member States in building their online investigation capacities following principles of accountability, competency, objectivity, and legality to uphold the rule of law and human rights,” he added.
The revised edition is a joint endeavour of UNOCT/UNCCT and INTERPOL to update law enforcement on the latest developments in the fast-evolving online space and the way terrorist and violent extremist groups misuse the internet to spread violent extremist ideologies, radicalize people and also incite, plan and finance terrorist attacks.
The Special Representative of INTERPOL for the United Nations, Mr. Odd Reidar Humlegård, said that “this Handbook is an excellent demonstration of the strong cooperation between UNOCT and INTERPOL, and our joint commitment to support member countries’ efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism”.
His Excellency, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, Ambassador Mr. Takeshi Osuga, stated that “given the rapidly-evolving and highly technical nature of ICTs, it is not an easy task to comprehend new threats, acquire technical expertise and be well informed about legal and ethical safeguards. Such information should be made easily accessible and digestible. This is why Japan welcomes this handbook as a comprehensive guide for practitioners worldwide to confidently navigate the field of online investigation.”
The handbook is structured in four sections that present:
- Trends in the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes;
- Good practices for conducting online investigations;
- Requesting the preservation and collection of electronic evidence;
- Practical examples of online investigations.
The handbook also includes good practices for mainstreaming gender across counter-terrorism investigations, as well as ensuring respect for international humanitarian law, in particular, human rights, when conducting investigations online.
This edition was developed under the project entitled “Enhancing skills of officials from South Asia and South-East Asia in relation to structured methodologies for the collection of open-source information from the Internet and Social Media for counter-terrorism investigations”. The project is funded by the Government of Japan, and implemented under the UNOCT/UNCCT Global Counter-Terrorism Programme on Cybersecurity and New Technologies.