DFA, DND join hands to combat cyber security threats

MANILA — Following a workshop dealing with overlay networks utilized for crimes and terrorism, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday said it is planning to develop an interagency action plan with the Department of National Defense (DND) against “Dark Net,” to further prevent the spread of violent extremism in the Philippines.

The two state agencies conducted a workshop entitled “Dealing with the DarkNet: Measures to Prevent Violent Extremism” last Feb. 28, in a bid to develop a culture of security among internet users.

Dark Net is a term often used to describe part of the cyberspace that is beyond reach of law enforcement.

Senior Special Assistant for Civilian Security and Consular Concerns Alex Lamadrid, on behalf of Permanent Delegate of the Philippines to UNESCO Ma. Theresa Lazaro, said the idea of the workshop sprouted when Philippine national and local authorities were confronted with the situation in Marawi City.

He said through the workshop, the country’s military and other law enforcement units would be able to fully grasp the realities of the Dark Net, with the objective of developing comprehensive policy and program responses and interventions to address threats to national security, peace and development.

For his part, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, in a statement, said no single nation could fight cyber crimes alone.

“As cyber crimes increase, we must show our commitment to come up with more efficient and effective security measures to address this grave threat to our collective security,” he has said in a statement.

According to the World Policy Institute, criminals can make “introductions” to each other, acquire experts for financial and commercial transactions involved, and begin the process of laundering the proceeds in the Dark Net with their anonymity intact.

As per the DFA, the development of an interagency action plan is now envisioned to address this and prevent violent extremism from spreading in the Philippines.

The workshop is in consonance with the meeting between Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay recently in Paris, France where the cooperation on prevention of violent extremism (PVE) through education, media literacy and protection of cultural heritage was discussed.

The Philippines is an active member of the Friends of PVE in UNESCO and the UNESCO Executive Board.


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