Strategic Foresight


Global Security Pulse: Terrorism in the Age of Tech

25 Oct 2019 - 15:20

The Global Security Pulse (GSP) tracks emerging security trends and risks worldwide, allowing you to stay ahead in new security developments. This month we present novel developments and must-reads on terrorism in the age of modern technology. 

We assess the impact of modern technology as understood in its broadest sense on both terrorism and counterterrorism by looking at the trends in the use of technology in terrorist attacks (e.g., the use of drones), the use of modern communication technology (e.g., for the dissemination of propaganda, or for recruitment purposes), and the use of financial technology for (countering) terrorist financing.
On the one hand, we see that drones are becoming ever more powerful and smarter, which makes them increasingly attractive for legitimate use, but also for hostile acts. Future commercial-off-the-shelf drones will be able to carry heavier payloads, fly and loiter longer, venture farther afield from their controllers and be able to do so via more-secure communications links. On the other hand, we expect that new technologies will significantly enhance states’ ability to counter terrorism. And as it advances further, it is expected to play an even more central role in our counterterrorism efforts. However, the use of new technologies like facial recognition, is putting pressure on human rights, either intentionally or unintentionally. Particularly the application of AI solutions can simultaneously threaten the freedom of expression, drive inequality and discrimination, and provide repressive regimes with powerful tools to control their populations. 
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