Global Research Network on Terrorism and Technology: The inaugural conference

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    As social media and smartphones have spread across the globe, so too have new and more virulent forms of terrorism. From Syria and Sri Lanka to Christchurch and Pittsburgh, jihadists groups and far-right extremists alike have learned to exploit each new innovation online, be it live-streaming apps or encrypted messaging. The resulting attacks have been devastating in their scope and reach.

    On May 15, Brookings will host the inaugural conference of the Global Research Network on Terrorism and Technology, a new independent consortium that aims to better understand the linkages between terrorism and technology. Led by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in the United Kingdom, the Global Research Network seeks to explore how new technologies enable and constrain terrorist activity. How do terrorist networks operate online? What are the ethics of content moderation for technology companies? What is the interplay between online content and offline actions?

    The inaugural symposium of the Global Research Network will showcase original research on these and related issues. Drawing on independent research from think tanks and universities across the world, the full-day conference will feature panels and policy debates from leading experts and analysts on terrorism and technology, and will bring together officials and leaders from academia, civil society, government, and the technology sector. By presenting the latest research on terrorism and technology to a wide array of stakeholders, the event aims to inform policy and technology audiences not just about how terrorist groups exploit technology, but what can be done about it.

    The Global Research Network on Terrorism and Technology has received support from the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), an industry-led initiative comprising Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter.


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