As the use of the internet and social media spreads throughout the country, ‘bad elements’ or ‘enemies of the state’ find a way to utilize the internet and social media sites as a platform to spread indecent motives against the government.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines conducted a three-day workshop on Counter-Violent Extremism at the Multi-Purpose Hall of Civil Relations Service at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo on April 26-29, 2017 how the terrorists in the Philippines use the internet to spread violence in the world.
On the said workshop, Police Chief Inspector June Paolo Abrazado of Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group discussed how the terrorists in the Philippines use the internet.
The internet is no longer an unfamiliar channel for the people to disseminate their limitless thoughts. As much as how it is massive advantage for the ordinary citizens, users with bad intentions benefit from it as well.
KEEPING UP WITH THE CHALLENGES
Initially, Abrazado tackles on how the terrorists communicate through encrypted online sites or applications. Still, he revealed that just like how a famous foreign terror group uses social media and the internet as a platform for their communication, propaganda, fund, recruitment, training, radicalization, and justification.
Just like every Filipino, they use the internet for as a channel of their communication. And one of the easiest prey out there in the online platform are the children who take their time on the cyberspace.
Abrazado explained that within just a click, the youth can be an easy target for these terrorists groups for their recruitment. One click, and they can reveal their ideologies to young minds that can be easily persuaded to change their perspective.
The cyberspace is an infinite environment which offers both negative and positive effects on the government and its citizens regarding terrorists. In order to help resolve the online issues, cooperation with the international law enforcement and the internet sources are sought.
Despite of these challenges, Abrazado still find the light to avoid such problems. But the said plan will only be attainable if they have the external help that they need.
According to the official, the parents of the youth especially those who live in the suburban areas play a vital role in the success of the protection of these children. As a parent, they should be guiding and guarding their children when it comes to their usage of social media and different websites.
With their proper guidance, browsing ‘dangerous sites’ can be avoided and definitely, these children will not be in-touched with different terror groups.
As an individual, we could help them by reporting malicious content that is linked to terrorism and violence. blocking malicious websites and suspicious profiles in lingering in your child’s social media accounts could really help. That way, they will be protected from these kinds of people.
Aside from that, knowing the etiquette of the cyberspace is an additional protection not only to your children, but to yourself as well.
Another external help that is being sought by the PNP-ACG, is the revision of the country’s Anti-Cybercrime Law for it still has its lapses. But according to the ACG, they always attend sessions in the congress and the senate for them to suggest the loopholes of the said law.
Lastly, Abrazado wrapped up his talk by reiterating that terror groups may have used the internet to their advantage, but in reality, the government has also used the cyberspace to greater heights to put the country’s dilemma in terrorism and crime to an end. – EPJA/MTT