Disarmament and International Security Committee


Topic Summary

Topic: Terrorism in the Age of Internet

Terrorists use the internet to acquire weapons, learn how to create weapons, and organize themselves into terrorist organizations. Thus, the internet has created a new type of terrorism that is more present and threatening than ever before. Our topic will be split into three primary parts: the acquiring of weapons via the dark web, the proliferation of information regarding Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other homemade weapons, and the organization of terrorist groups via online platforms. The dark web uses the internet but requires specific software and configurations to access, making it incredibly difficult for governments to police. IEDs, which were used in the 2005 London Bombings and 1996 Olympic Park Bombing are created using many commonly available materials, like fertilizer, gunpowder, and hydrogen peroxide; our primary concern in this committee will be combatting the spread of information regarding the making of IEDs. Terrorist organizations, often via terrorist-specific websites, use the internet to recruit new members, collect and transfer funds, organize terrorists acts, and as a weapon for cyberattacks.

It is simple to understand how the internet has made it much more difficult for government officials to detect and combat terrorist activity. In this committee, we’ll be asking ourselves: how can we police the dark web in a more effective way? How can we detect and take down informational pages about IED creation? How can we track down and limit the use of terrorist-specific websites? And, most importantly, how can all member states in DISEC work together to combat terrorism while protecting the national sovereignty and specific laws of each?

Director’s Letter

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC) at HMUN 2020! My name is Jenna Freidus, and I am so excited to be your director in January!

I am originally from New York City, though I spent high school living in Westchester, NY while commuting to the city for school every day. Currently, I am a sophomore at Harvard living in Lowell House (the building with the pretty blue dome on top), and I am concentrating in English with a secondary in Sociology. That basically means I spend most of my time reading books and writing about them, and I would not want to be doing anything else. At Harvard, aside from HMUN, I am part of our Women in Business organization, where I am running a high school business conference for girls called BOLD; I am a Peer Advising Fellow for freshman, so I guide them through the transition into college and serve as a mentor throughout the year; and I am a part of CIVICS through our Institute of Politics, where I teach civics to 5th graders in Boston public schools and help write the program’s curriculum.

Outside of Harvard, I spend my time working out, eating with my friends in the Square (highly recommend Spicies, &pizza, and Pokeworks if you’re near Harvard’s campus), exploring Boston, and watching true crime documentaries. When I’m not at school, I travel with friends and family (I was most recently in Amsterdam and Israel is up next!), work at a summer day camp, and tell my dogs how cute they are a million times a day – I have an 8-year-old Goldendoodle named Lucky and a 1-year-old Bernedoodle named Shayna, and if you ask me about them, I’ll probably spend all of conference talking about them.

In high school, I LOVED model UN. I was one of three Secretaries-General of my school’s competitive MUN team, and I attended four weekend conferences like HMUN each year of high school (so that’s 16 total!!!). Model UN gave me countless skills that are serving me in college and will continue to serve me in the future – an understanding of the global community, confidence in speaking to large groups of people, and the ability to effectively negotiate and compromise with others, to name a few. I hope that at HMUN 2020, I can give back to the activity that has given me so much by imparting these skills on all of you. My goal is for each and every DISEC delegate to feel that they have gained something valuable from the conference, whether that be in terms of problem solving, public speaking, or simply making friends with people who live across the globe.

I believe this year’s topic is of the most pressing nature to the international community and has the potential to take our discussion in many different directions, depending on what all of you are interested in. Preventing terrorists from acquiring destructive weapons in the age of the internet  serves to protect individuals in all parts of the world, and applies to developed and developing countries alike. As you research, I hope that you will try to learn as much as you can about all aspects of our topic while focusing in on a few particular areas that you will be able to come up with effective, tangible solutions for during committee. My hope is that through discussion and compromise, we can create substantive and effective solutions in order to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons, a major step in combatting terrorism completely.

Once again, welcome to DISEC at HMUN 2020! I am so excited to have you! Please, if you have any questions or concerns about research, writing position papers, how committee works, or anything at all, feel free to reach out to me at any time before or during conference. Happy researching, and I’ll see you in January!


Jenna Freidus

Director, Disarmament and International Security Committee

Harvard Model United Nations 2020