‘Disinformation poses serious global security challenges’
October 16 2019 01:07 AM
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Dr Ahmad M Hasnah speaking at the event. Left Senator Joe Donnelly addressing the gathering. PICTURES: Thajudheen

The 2019 edition of the Global Security Forum, which opened in Doha yesterday, called for addressing the security challenges posed by disinformation and the serious repercussions of this trend and its impact on the world.
The two-day event also deliberated the crucial role of technology in creating and spreading disinformation and how to counter it.
The Global Security Forum is organised by The Soufan Centre and the Qatar International Academy for Security Studies. The 2019 Global Security Forum has partnerships with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, New America, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Defence One, Alliance for Securing Democracy, Qatar University, and Qatar Airways.
Dr Ahmad M Hasnah, president of Hamad Bin Khalifa University, told the event that modern disinformation poses three major challenges.
“The first one is the magnitude as the fake news can reach a huge number of people in a short time using modern technology. Secondly, it is the ability of the individuals to create disinformation which usually was not very much possible in the past. Lastly, fake news can be made to look genuine using the technology and people cannot distinguish between the right and wrong ones” explained Dr Hasnah. 
Dr Hasnah also pointed out that Qatar has made tremendous efforts to curb false news and also worked to educate the community to react to such news in a positive way by using reason, values and customs while dealing with it.
HBKU president highlighted the efforts on the policies and legal frameworks by Qatar in the field of cybercrime and others. He also pointed to the projects undertaken by Qatar to build a critical thinking to distinguish between fake and gen)uine news.
In his remarks, Senator Joe Donnelly, chairman of the Board, the Soufan Centre, said that the forum is a collaborative effort to bring together key stakeholders to address the security threats posed by disinformation.
“Disinformation threatens the security of individual nations and in a global security  scenario, poses a serious challenge to our collective understanding of concepts like truth. We have about 51 countries represented here, a true testament to the global nature of the challenge. Disinformation is not anything new as it has been there throughout history. But something new has emerged with the modern disinformation as it has been heightened by emerging technologies,” said Donnelly.
He noted that the threat of disinformation is mainly in the field of politics. “However, it also poses a challenge to economic sector as well as other areas. It destroys the reputation of companies and leads to significant economic losses,” he added.



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