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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Wars a constant reality in a digital age, says Noura Al Kaabi

She said the digital platforms from which these wars can be waged, or exposed, take form in a variety of ways, with social media being the most dynamic.

Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development. Delores Johnson / The National
Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development. Delores Johnson / The National

Wars of rhetoric have become more pervasive and have the potential of being more destructive than modern warfare, said Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.

In her speech at the Ministry of Defence in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, Ms Al Kaabi said technological advancements have presented a significant challenge and changed the face of war as it is known.

She said “wars are always present in people’s minds,” in an age where almost everyone is online and has access to social media.

"The kind of war created by means of communications at present is much more dangerous than the traditional form of war, especially in light of the presence of a large number of technology users who easily get influenced by such digital types of war," the minister said.

She said the digital platforms from which these wars can be waged, or exposed, take form in a variety of ways, with social media being the most dynamic.

“The first is widely-used social media sites and accounts which are easily accessible to large numbers of people who are almost impossible to trace as they usually don’t reveal their real identity,” she said.

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Other digital platforms include advanced technological applications implemented by more sophisticated communication arms of terror groups, like ISIL, whose ability to appeal to impressionable minds around the world has allowed it to expand its network internationally

The final form of digital platforms the minister referred to was the use of web portals by government departments to effectively disseminate their messages including their political agenda.

"With world governments increasingly relying on information technology in their daily dealings and services, cyber war will take up a leading role in modern warfare and its impact will extend in a way that will be difficult for world governments to contain," the minister noted.

She said the UAE has implemented an in-depth strategic vision for the future and has managed to deal in a sound and strategic way with all forms of challenges.

She said the UAE is keen "ensure the highest level of security and stability for its citizens and residents, a fact which makes us all proud of being part of a country that proves before the whole world every day its distinction and pioneering role across multiple domains."

The minister said digital diplomacy is important in influencing individual opinions, adding that the UAE has made great strides in this field and has secured very active channels of communications with the international community to strengthen its national branding, reported state news agency Wam.

"The past period has witnessed the emergence of certain groups and entities that have wielded technologies to benefit their own agenda, thereby posing new forms of threats that we have not witnessed before."

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