Speech: Terrorist Use of the Internet

Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, deputy coordinator for counter-terrorism at the U.S. State Department, leaded off the discussion in a security conference in the Philippines on “Terrorist Use of the Internet”.

In her speech, she told delegates that the Internet presents a paradox for law enforcement.

“The challenge for open societies, therefore, is to maintain the free flow of information and respect for freedom of expression, while discouraging those who would exploit it to harm others,” she said.

Because Southeast Asia has one of the fastest growing rates of Internet usage in the word, the coordinator said, the region has a vital role to play in the international effort to monitor the Internet for cyberterrorism and cybercrime.

“Effective counter-terrorism policy requires strong international partnerships, as terrorism is too big a security threat for any one country to face alone,” she said.

She said geospatial imagery, such as that provided by Google Earth or Microsoft Bing, also present challenges.

 “While such geospatial information systems provide amazing opportunities for the general public to view the world, the risk for abuse by bad actors anywhere in the world – whether terrorists or criminals – in planning and executing attacks is extremely high.”

Read the transcript of the speech here.


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