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The convergence of technology and terrorism represents the worst kind of feedback loop between the real and the virtual. States, meanwhile, are struggling to respond to this convergence and to balance the imperatives of national security and the freedoms afforded in cyberspace. Critically Analyse.

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

6. The convergence of technology and terrorism represents the worst kind of feedback loop between the real and the virtual. States, meanwhile, are struggling to respond to this convergence and to balance the imperatives of national security and the freedoms afforded in cyberspace. Critically Analyse. (250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

2021 marks two decades since the attack of 9/11 in USA and it is pertinent to do a fact check on Global preparedness against terrorism especially in the context of fast-growing disruptive technology.

Key Demand of the question: 

To write about the threats posed by the convergence of technology and terrorism and steps that should be taken to prevent it.

Directive word: 

Critically analyze – When asked to analyse, you must examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a balanced judgment on the topic.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by mentioning that terrorist organizations have co-opted technology as a force multiplier in achieving their objectives.

Body:

First, mention about the features of the internet, like end-to-end encryption and virtual private network (VPN), provision of digital currency etc have made it easier than ever for terrorist organizations to find recruits and manage outreach and organization and also launder money for terror financing. Give few instances of terrorist groups using technology to advance their terror activities.

Next, suggest that states to opt for more technology, better technology and skilful deployment of technology against malign actors, need for international co operation and new forums to address the threat of terrorism without borders, need for investments in capacity building, tech firms vigilantism etc all this while maintaining freedom in cyber space.

Conclusion:

Conclude by saying that the new challenges posed by confluence of terrorists and technology needs a new approach by the states to develop a robust counter-terror mechanism.