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Terrorists using online spaces to cause mayhem


Terror networks are increasingly exploiting technology to cause harm amid growing concern on the need to regulate online spaces, a meeting in Nairobi was told.

Sponsors, sympathisers and perpetrators of terror activities have turned to communication platforms to carry out their agenda.

Unchallenged and umoderated online spaces are where terrorist propaganda, disinformation, incitement and recruitment is done, according to national security advisor Ambassador Monica Juma.

“The online space is today the world’s largest ungoverned space,” said Dr Juma when she opened the Second Nairobi Caucus that sought to fine-tune a framework that will prevent the exploitation of technology and communication for terror use.

The meeting was told dark web, all social media platforms, digital payment facilities, virtual assets, web hosting, cloud, archiving, sharing and unmanned vehicles are adopted to facilitate terrorist activities. The two-day caucus hosted by the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) was a follow-up to the first one, which laid the groundwork for the framework.

While challenging participants to come up with a watertight framework, Dr Juma stressed the need for measures to moderate terrorist content online. Other than moderating, the measures should offer legal clarity on the obligations of service providers and other technology companies.

“Further, such measures need to provide a common criteria for determining designated, proscribed, dissolved, or banned organisations as well as clarity on what constitutes terrorist content and recommendations on how to adjudicate it,” said Dr Juma. 

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