20 March 2016

Radicalisation in Australian Classrooms

Every day, Australians are exposed to a barrage of media reports about terrorist activity or uncovered terrorist plots.

This happens on both a domestic and international front. Alarmingly, some of this activity is now originating in Australian classrooms, where the threat of indoctrination into terrorist causes is not only possible - but has happened.

In late 2015, NSW Deputy Premier and Police Minister Troy Grant warned youths can be radicalised in as little as three days - an alarming figure to say the least. As a parent, I ask myself “What can we do to protect our children from the threat of terrorism and also the potential for grooming?”

While I believe part of the solution is preparing kids through education about potential threats and giving them the ability to recognise red flags, what do you do if there aren't any? Unfortunately, this is often the reality and there are no obvious signs. No criminal record. No behavioral changes picked up by schools. The threat of the Anzac Day terror plot in late 2015 highlighted how this danger is increasing on Australian soil. It also demonstrated how terrorist organisations are increasingly using social media to spread radical views and recruit globally - see article here.

The most common way school children are communicating with the outside world (both in and out of schools) is via social media. As online communication is increasingly used to spread terrorist messages, it's crucial we have technology that can alert us to these types of online conversations, articles or campaigns - particularly where it involves children.

So, is there a way for schools to monitor social media over their networks to alert them to threats of radicalisation (as we do with other issues such as cyberbullying, self-harm and predatory behaviour)? The answer is YES. CyberHound utilises patented technology aimed at protecting children in exactly this way. Technology like ClearView uses advanced pattern-matching technology to identify concerning words, conversation or searches on Google, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Chat and so on. Furthermore, it provides real-time alerts, empowering principals, pastoral carers, counsellors and educators with 'actionable intelligence’ upon which to act. This truly is lifesaving technology.

To find out more, and what else CyberHound technology does in school environments to protect children, call us on 1300 737 060 or email info@cyberhound.com.