UN looks to develop anti-terror Internet surveillance

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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The United Nations is considering spying on social networks, tracking cell phones and pushing Internet Service Providers to retain user information in the name of combating terrorism.

The organization released a 148-page document on Monday at a conference in Vienna. Called “The use of Internet for terrorist purposes,” the document seeks “to provide practical guidance to member states for more effective investigation and prosecution of terrorist cases involving the use of the Internet.”

The document — which uses the word “terrorist” 471 times, although the term is only loosely defined — points out that terrorists use voice-over-IP services, like Skype, and Internet chat rooms to coordinate. It also addresses anonymous use of public WiFi facilities through cybercafes; cell-phone tracking; and video games that depict terrorist violence.

The document was produced as a collaboration between the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the U.N. Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom, UNODC said in a statement, provided the financial support to produce the document.

The U.N. Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force counts the World Bank, Interpol, the World Health Organization and the International Monetary Fund as members, CNET reported.

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