8:30 am EDT - 5:45 pm EDT

Past Event

Global Research Network on Terrorism and Technology: The inaugural conference

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

8:30 am - 5:45 pm EDT

Brookings Institution
Saul/Zilkha Room

1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC

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, jihadi 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 hosted 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 showcased original research on these and related issues. Drawing on independent research from think tanks and universities across the world, the full-day conference featured panels and policy debates from leading experts and analysts on terrorism and technology, and brought 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 aimed 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.

Research Panel: Regional Perspectives

Research Panel: Capabilities

The Tech Perspective: What is the Current State of Play on User and Content Moderation?

Research Panel: Regulation, Response, and Partnerships

Policy Panel: The Future of Tech & Terrorism & Closing Remarks