CONTEST, the recently published United Kingdom’s strategy for Countering Terrorism states that new technology creates new challenges, risks and opportunities in fighting terrorism. Terrorists are using new technologies, like digital communications and unmanned aerial vehicles, to plan and execute attacks, and tend to adopt them at the same pace as society as a whole. For terror groups, the internet is now firmly established as a key medium for the distribution of propaganda, radicalisation of sympathisers and preparation of attacks.
This evolving technology, including more widespread use of the internet and ever-more internet-connected devices, stronger encryption and cryptocurrencies, will continue to create challenges in fighting terrorism. Data will be more dispersed, localised and anonymised, and increasingly accessible from anywhere globally. But there will be as great opportunities too.
Developments in artificial intelligence will allow authorities to filter and identify crucial information faster than ever. Virtual or augmented reality gives counter-terrorism teams the opportunity to plan for a wide variety of scenarios in a safe environment. Governments will have new technologies that enhance detection and screening capabilities, for example at borders, airports and crowded places.
Quantum computing has indeed the potential to dramatically change and enhance counter-terror operational capabilities. For example, the power of quantum computing can be combined with artificial intelligence to improve the speed at which large datasets can be sorted and mined for key information that would be of benefit to law enforcement and intelligence agencies. This is just one the applications I will be reviewing at my upcoming seminars on Quantum Computing put together by GLDNAcademy.