BY GABRIELA DEL POZO, THE SUNDAY TIMES (expository)
Delegates of the Russia Federation, China and Yemen
Delegates of Turkey, Hungary and Guyana
Blocs are forming quickly and delegates are ready to defend their proposals as best as they can. The halls outside the Disarmament and International Security committee are full of whispers and the sound of keyboards being pushed. Everyone is anxious to get their proposals on the working paper but time is running out. The Sunday Times had the chance to speak to some delegates as they negotiated proposals and mergers.
Delegates from the Russian Federation, China and Yemen expressed their concerns and opinions regarding this topic. “Cooperation is key to secure international safety while still allowing the people to have the freedom to go about their day.” This is just one of the many solutions proposed in their working paper named INSTA, that stands for the Initiative of Nations Solving Technological attacks. The delegate of Russia was quick to point out that “they are not necessarily saying that freedom of speech shouldn`t be a thing but if this freedom of speech is not free if it is endangering the life of our civilians. We are trying to ensure that terrorist financing and the protection of terrorist groups are being facilitated online.”
Next, we interviewed the delegates from Turkey, Guyana and Hungary. They feel very strongly about censorship and anticipating any possible threat. They feel that “my rights end when yours begging”. They are referring to how terrorist groups use social media to spread propaganda, often by using graphic photos, and how, if they get to anticipate this uses beforehand, the danger would decrease significantly. In other words, they are talking about spying their citizens. The delegate of Hungary was quick to point out that censorship is not the only way to go in this case by saying “you cannot use an eye for an eye”. The delegate also point out that Hungary has developed an algorithm that allows the government to detect dangerous online chatter without having the need to spy on them. This algorithm works permanently and detects threats almost immediately. So far, this delegates have yet to be part of the same block. In response, the delegate of Guyana invited the delegate of Hungary to discuss the use of this algorithm with their block.
During these negotiations, you could see that there is more than one side to this topic. If delegates work together they will manage to pass a resolution that tackles head on the problem of the weaponisation of social media.