2019-08-21 › OSCE facilitates “whole-of-government” and “whole-of-society” approaches in preventing and countering the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes in Tajikistan
A three-day national tabletop exercise on the topic of countering the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes started in Dushanbe on 21 August 2019. The event is organized by the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe, in co-operation with the Action against Terrorism Unit of the OSCE’s Transnational Threats Department.
The exercise centers on a fictional and interactive scenario developed by the Action against Terrorism Unit that serves as a realistic and strategic-level case study based on real-world events and emerging security threats relevant to Central Asia. More than 45 representatives from across national institutions, the national judiciary, civil society, the ICT industry, the media and law enforcement are participating in the event.
The focus of the interactive meeting is on developing and enhancing national capacities to counter terrorist content online by focusing on international co-operation and sharing current initiatives, projects and best practices among participants coming from both the private and public sectors.
“Collaboration between government and civil society in preventing and countering the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes is absolutely crucial,” said Filippo Crivellaro, Acting Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe. “Non-governmental organizations, the media, local communities and every individual as a concerned citizen can play an important role in preventing and countering terrorists’ exploitation of the Internet and ICT.”
Ilhomiddin Atoev, Deputy Head of Tajikistan’s State Service on Communications, said: “The evolution of modern technologies and their accessibility provides terrorists and violent extremists with new opportunities to plan and execute their attacks. If we do not take any measures to counter terrorists in the virtual world, we will put our security and lives at risk in the real world.”
Komron Hidoyatzoda, Deputy Head of the Department for Regional Security Issues of the Center for Strategic Studies under the jurisdiction of the President of Tajikistan, said: “We are confident that this table-top exercise will lay the ground for developing practical measures and recommendations in analysing and solving the problem.”
The exercise will include a number of presentations from international experts from UNODC, Europol’s Internet Referral Unit, the UNCED-led Tech Against Terrorism initiative, the Civil Initiative on Internet Policy, as well as advisers from the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
The tabletop exercise will lead to the creation of a document containing actionable policy responses and recommendations. The document will provide national policymakers with concrete tools and competences to improve their efforts in addressing the threats posed by the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes. These recommendations will be carefully tailored to best fit the local context and also help policymakers formulate pertinent, human-rights compliant and gender mainstreamed policies and frameworks for preventing and countering terrorists’ exploitation of the Internet and ICT.
This is the second national tabletop exercise on countering the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes organized in the OSCE area, with the first one held in Tashkent in January 2019. The Action against Terrorism Unit plans to conduct similar events in Central Asia and South-Eastern Europe in 2019 and 2020.