Legal Committee passes resolution on virtual terrorism

Ashleigh Pisani for THE GUARDIAN


The SAMUNC Legal committee has passed a resolution on combatting virtual terrorism.

The resolution was proposed by Japan and seconded by Syria.

The new resolution aims to maintain international peace and co-operation by putting in place an international framework for combating cyber terrorism.

The resolution notes that the previous Declaration on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations and also the Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism have been recalled as technology is constantly changing.

Thus requiring an updated charter which is relevant and adaptable so as to be able to address terrorism in all its manifestations in the digital age.

The resolution defines “virtual terrorism” as:

Any intentional act of Cybercrime by a non-state individual or group which seeks to compromise, attack or infect a civil computer system or networked service with the aims of significantly;

  1. Preventing or disrupting a civil computer system or internet service from being used and/or,
  2. Inhibiting a state’s national economic, social or military interests;
  3. Retrieving confidential information to which the individual or group would not normally have access and/or,
  4. Harmfully manipulating a computer service or internet service and
  5. Intentional aim to cause panic, distress, terror or prevent freedom of speech;

The definition also includes the use of computing resources against persons, organisations or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

The resolution enables the International Counter-Terrorism Court to try offences of International Terrorism upon the recommendation of member states.

It also allows Member State, at their own discretion, to domestically censor online materials deemed to intentionally sponsor, encourage or facilitate Terrorism.

The Charter provides, however, that the Member State in question must seek to obtain adequate evidence and agree to retain accountability in an international body. 

The resolution was passed in the final session of day three.


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