What are the drivers of violent extremism on-line? What do we know about its impact? How do we engage industry and leverage the potential of modern analytical techniques to create capabilities to monitor for “risk factors” while remaining consistent with important principles as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights? One option is to adopt the WHO public health surveillance model to tracking risk factors in on-line media. Doing so will require developing an OpenData standard for social media data for community security – and buy-in from major social media platforms to participate in such an effort.
Rafal Rohozinski is the CEO and Chief Innovation Officer at SecDev Group and co-founder of the Secdev Foundation. He is also a senior fellow for Future Conflict and CyberSecurity at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. These remarks were delivered at a special meeting of meeting of the United Nations Counter Terrorism Committee, UN Security Council, 1 December 2016, and draw upon a recent Secdev/UNDP study of terrorist use of social media in Bangladesh.
This 2013 study profiles the ideologies, messages, and uses of social media among three types of extremist movements in Sweden: right-wing groups, left-wing “autonomist” groups, and Islamist extremist groups.
Swedish Media Council on behalf of the Swedish Government
Backdoor Plots deals with al-Qaeda’s proliferation on the Internet, particularly on the hidden, Darknet. The Darknet sites and networks cannot be accessed by regular means, allowing them to serve as a platform for Internet users seeking anonymity through encryption.
Yoram Schweitzer, Yotam Rosner, Aviad Mendelboim, and Sean London
This comprehensive 2012 United Nations report provides a thorough review of terrorist organizations’ use of the Internet. While dated prior to the online emergence of ISIS and other groups’ use of social media, it nevertheless provides a wealth of information.