FM: Pre­vent internet use by ter­ror­ists

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By WANG QINGYUN wangqingyun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Coun­tries should res­o­lutely work to­gether to pre­vent ter­ror­ists from tak­ing ad­van­tage of the internet, a ma­jor tool re­spon­si­ble for the dra­matic in­crease in ter­ror­ism, For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi said in Bei­jing on Fri­day.

Sur­veys show that most of those who car­ried out at­tacks in China had been “se­duced and in­cited” by ter­ror­ist au­dio or video clips on­line, Wang said, adding that coun­tries should fo­cus more on this phe­nom­e­non.

Wang made the re­marks dur­ing a sym­po­sium on coun­ter­ing ter­ror­ists’ use of the internet that was hosted by the For­eign Min­istry un­der the frame­work of the Global Coun­tert­er­ror­ism Fo­rum, a body of 29 coun­tries and the Euro­pean Union.

The sym­po­sium at­tracted about 180 par­tic­i­pants, in­clud­ing of­fi­cials rep­re­sent­ing fo­rum mem­bers, plus schol­ars and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from internet com­pa­nies. It was the min­istry’s se­cond time host­ing the sym­po­sium.

Wang said ter­ror­ist forces of the East Turkestan Is­lamic Move­ment have con­ducted a num­ber of at­tacks both in­side and out­side China. Ac­cord­ing to a doc­u­men­tary by the Cy­berspace Ad­min­is­tra­tion of China, the ex­trem­ists re­leased 73 ter­ror­ist au­dio and video clips in the first six months of 2014. In 2013, they re­leased 109— triple the pre­vi­ous year.

Ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions are abus­ing the de­vel­op­ment of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy to spread vi­o­lence and ex­trem­ist thought, and this “has bro­ken through coun­try and re­gional bor­ders and ac­ti­vated dor­mant ter­ror­ist groups scat­tered in var­i­ous places”, Wang said, adding that coun­tries needed to widen their con­sen­sus and co­op­er­ate more in the fight.

He also called for the de­vel­op­ment of ex­per­tise and tech­nol­ogy to tackle the spread of ex­trem­ism through on­line chan­nels. The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity should con­tinue pro­vid­ing funds and train­ing for de­vel­op­ing coun­tries to help them im­prove their coun­tert­er­ror­ism mea­sures and internet se­cu­rity, he said.

Zhang Ji­adong, a re­searcher at Fu­dan Univer­sity’s Cen­ter for Amer­i­can Stud­ies, said the internet is even used to of­fer train­ing for atroc­i­ties.

Also, so­cial me­dia, “a pri­vate space” on­line, poses a “grave chal­lenge” for ef­forts to con­tain ter­ror­ism, Zhang said, be­cause it can evade mon­i­tor­ing.

Mei Jian­ming, a pro­fes­sor of the Peo­ple’s Pub­lic Se­cu­rity Univer­sity of China, said pre­vent­ing ter­ror­ists from tak­ing ad­van­tage of the internet while guar­an­tee­ing that peo­ple can en­joy fully the con­ve­nience brought by the­mod­ern tech­nol­ogy is an is­sue that needs to be ad­dressed when tack­ling ter­ror­ism.

ZHANG WEI / CHINA DAILY

For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi speaks at an anti-ter­ror­ism sym­po­sium on Fri­day in Bei­jing. It was or­ga­nized as part of the Global Coun­tert­er­ror­ism Fo­rum.

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