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United Nations, September, 2012
“The use of the Internet for terrorist purposes is a rapidly growing phenomenon, requiring a proactive and coordinated response from Member States.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) plays a key role in providing assistance to Member States, in furtherance of its mandate to strengthen the capacity of national criminal justice systems to implement the provisions of the international legal instruments against terrorism, and does so in compliance with the principles of rule of law and international human rights standards. In particular, in 2011, the General Assembly, in its resolution 66/178, reaffirmed the mandate of UNODC to continue to develop specialized legal knowledge in the area of counter-terrorism and pertinent thematic areas, including the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes. Despite increasing international recognition of the threat posed by terrorists’ use of the Internet in recent years, there is currently no universal instrument specifically addressing this pervasive facet of terrorist activity. Moreover, there is limited specialized training available on the legal and practical aspects of the investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases involving the use of the Internet.
The present publication complements the existing resources developed by UNODC in the areas of counter-terrorism, cybercrime and rule of law. It also addresses the importance of developing integrated, specialized knowledge to respond to the technical assistance needs of Member States in combating this continually evolving threat. UNODC is deeply grateful for the generous support of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which made the publication of that work possible. The publication, which is intended for use both as a stand-alone resource and in support of the capacity-building initiatives of UNODC, is aimed at providing guidance regarding current legal frameworks and practice at the national and international levels relating to the criminalization, investigation and prosecution of terrorist cases involving the Internet.
Terrorism, in all its manifestations, affects us all. The use of the Internet to further terrorist purposes disregards national borders, amplifying the potential impact on victims. By highlighting cases and best practices that respond to this unique challenge, the present publication has two aims: first, to promote a better understanding of the ways in which communications technologies may be misused in furtherance of acts of terrorism and, second, to increase collaboration among Member States, so that effective criminal justice responses to this transnational challenge can be developed.”