UN Joins Hands With Microsoft, Google To Tackle Terrorism

by CXOtoday News Desk    May 13, 2016

Image Courtesy www.acfcs.org The United Nations and computer giants, including Microsoft and Google, have come together to combat terrorists organizations from using the technology for terror activities. 

The UN Working Group on Countering the Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes is holding talks with CISCO, Symantec and others in the United States city of Seattle to examine the technical issues involved in the issue.

The Security Council requested on Wednesday a “comprehensive international framework” to counter propaganda by terrorist groups to motivate others to commit terrorist acts.

In a presidential statement adopted here, the Security Council noted the urgent need to understand how these groups, such as the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, recruit others and to develop a counter narrative campaign to amplify active denouncers of these groups.

Since Islamic State emerged in Iraq and Syria, the extremist group has put the Internet and social media at the center of its strategy for recruiting disenchanted youth in Muslim countries and in both Europe and the U.S. The group has promoted its message through Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, in multiple languages. 

Meanwhile, A senior Microsoft executive said Wednesday that technology companies face a daunting challenge in stopping terrorists from accessing online platforms, as they need to respect free-speech rights even as they try to eliminate hate messages.

Steven Crown, vice president of Microsoft Corporation, told the UN Security Council that for the internet industry, the challenge of terrorist propaganda and communication is daunting.

“If there were an elegant solution, industry would have adopted it,” Wall Street Journal qouted Crown as saying at a Security Council debate on counter-terrorism. “But there is no single answer; there is no silver bullet that will stop terrorist use of the internet”, he added. 

According to statistics provided by Crown, within 15 minutes of the Paris attacks last year, there were 7,500 tweets; within two weeks, there were 1 million views of videos on the internet praising the attacks.

Sources at the home ministry in India recently said that the security agencies are keeping a strict vigil on the social media activity of the “potential targets” of terror modules. 

“The terrorist organizations have been using various social media platforms to spread their propaganda and recruit more foot soldiers for their cause. There is no reason to not believe that they may be setting their eyes on India,” said a senior home ministry official.