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Sunday 15 December 2019
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Social media biggest threat to democracy

Minister Young says

National Security Minister Stuart Young.
National Security Minister Stuart Young.

NEWSDAY REPORTER

National Security Minister Stuart Young said on Monday while some aspects of social media have brought about positive changes in society, he wishes he could “switch off” social media because of its potential to disrupt democratic processes.

A release from the ministry said Young made the remarks during his address at a workshop on regional cybersecurity at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, in which he noted the growing trend of democratic processes being the target of cyber attacks. He said TT was not exempt from such threats and called on stakeholders to do their part in minimising their impact.

“Even in a paper-based electoral system, like the one that exists in TT, these cyber threats to the democratic process are a reality, as they can target voters, political parties, candidates and the elections. If there is one switch in the world that I wish I could turn off, it would be the social media switch. It has warped everything.

“Of course there are also great effects of social media and we can use it for a lot of positive. But in my view, this is the single largest threat we now have to democracy.”

The workshop, which was organised by the government in collaboration with the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism of the Organisation of American States (OAS/CTE) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, sought to present findings for a best practice and framework policy to guide cybersecurity and democratic processes.

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