Jacinda Ardern: More Work Needed In Digital Security Space
Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern says that while it is crucial to continue working toward closing the global digital gap, leaders need to balance that work by fighting misinformation and violent extremism and terrorism online.
In a pre-recorded video aired Wednesday during a panel on Global Digital Cooperation on the sidelines of the 75th annual U.N. General Assembly, Ardern said the mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques on March 15, 2019, where a white supremacist killed 51 worshippers, prompted her to work alongside France's President Emmanuel Macron to develop what she called the "Christchurch call."
The initiative brought the tech sector, with NGOs and members of civil society, as well as governments to pledge and work toward eliminating acts of violent extremism from bring shown online, she said.
The gunman livestreamed the attacks on Facebook.
"We need to secure a free, open and secure Internet but we also need to acknowledge that some of the new technologies we're seeing on the world stage also, if misused, can be a place to promote violent extremism and harm," Ardern said.
While a lot of progress has been made in this space, Ardern said, there is still more to be done and the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted many vulnerable areas that need work. These include the exploitation of children online, the use of the Internet for disinformation and misinformation, as well as, cyber-attacks and cybercrime, Ardern added.