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PODCAST

Drug, crime and terrorism: how they connect to threaten our security

In this “Secure in Mind” podcast episode, we are honoured to welcome Canadian Senator Vernon White, who shares with us his perspective on security, based on his policing, political and strategic expertise

23 Ott 2019

So, the war on drugs is a complete success, isn’t it? Well… all one has to do, if they are not privy to this darker part of our world, is to jump on google, plug in “cartel violence” or “drug seizure record” or “[insert drug here] epidemic” and you’ll likely come to the conclusion that the resounding answer is a big, fat “no”.

A new strategic approach to fight drug trafficking

If you want a reality slap in the face from a guy who has fought to keep his streets safe, this is for you. Make no mistake, if you’re a cop in a city drowning in drugs, the death, pain, violence and other associated ills arising from the chasing of profitable dragons would be downright horrific and dauntingly complex to address.

Killing kingpins – doesn’t work. The cartels splinter and someone is always going to reach for the crown.

Telling kids to not do drugs – doesn’t work. It’s all good and well for politicians with no experience of scraping a teenager off the street because yes, they were dumb, but no, they weren’t a bad person and certainly didn’t deserve to die because the apparent adults in charge were too conservative to give rational thought and reality a go.

Throwing small-time users into the incarceration merry-go-round – doesn’t work. Legalizing everything and leaving it to fate – doesn’t work.

The situation is highly complex and requires less knee-jerk, more multi-layered interventions that will take decades to realize benefits even if they manage to pass the political smell test. So, a massive kudos to people like Senator Vernon White, who is fighting for a more rational approach to success.

My discussion with the Senator highlighted the shortcomings and a feasible, multi-pronged approach aimed at tackling the illegal drug trade and its associated ills; and he should know more than most. His background as a police officer in Canada, an International Fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and now a Senator in Canada lends a lot of weight to his arguments that we aren’t facing the reality of the drugs trade in a successful manner.

We covered a broad range of interrelated topics which, although not being strictly tech- nor cyber-related, have a deep and direct impact on the security and safety of us all, predominantly drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism – and their correlation.

Specifically, Vern shared with us a new vision on Canada’s efforts to fight illegal drug trafficking, an approach focused on helping and reducing the demand rather than focusing merely on the supply side, following globally recognized models in this respect, namely Switzerland and, partially and arguably, Portugal. The final, broader aim encompasses the interest and safety of entire communities, being those strategies targeted at combating organized crime – both national and international -, society degradation, the spreading of terrorism, death and illegality

The rise in violence & crime and its correlation to the lucrative drug market

Canada has progressively witnessed a steady rise in organized crime, gang violence and guerrillas, all vying to gain control over the prosperous drug trafficking market, a situation that prompted the administration to consider an international trade retaliation policy towards offshore countries that illegally introduce drug precursors on their national soil.

As for crime and terrorism, the link is easy to identify, and in this respect, Vern highlights the importance of strengthening the intelligence and policy communities’ ties with international allies and partners, to share field-relevant information and best practices.

Finally, we discuss the relationship between Canada and the EU – supported by some real cooperation cases – on the powers of dark web, the lack – and need – of education among young generations and the blurred line between privacy and security for protection and defense purposes.

The Secure in Mind Project

Our mission is to greatly increase and encourage community discussion about technological and ethical issues that have done, are and will impact society on a global scale.

There is a longstanding and distinct disconnect between the way information is packaged and presented to the public and the effectiveness of this presentation in terms of generating informed, considered debate.

If we can take complex, important topics and present them, as best we can, in a manner that can interests people from outside the speciality, then we have surpassed our expectations.

Nick Kelly Bio

Nick is someone who, in many senses, is just like you: a human being trying to make sense of this existence of ours as we hurtle around a ball of gas in a sea of infinite eternity. More relevant though are his vacillations in the world amongst diverse countries and environments, collaborating, negotiating, elaborating and celebrating with fascinating people from all walks of life including politics, technology, activism, military and intelligence the world over.

He brings this unique breadth of perspective to the table and has a dogged interest in pursuing the human story behind the title or policy, appreciating the fact that underneath all of our bravado, political correctness and dichotomous states of creation and destruction, we are, after all, merely mortals trying to make the best of it.

Credits

The production cost of this episode of ‘Secure in Mind’ was supported by aizoOn Technology Consulting.

aizoOn is a global technology consulting company focused on innovation. Since the digital economy requires new visions, technologies and organisational models, we have taken the eco-system approach. Through this attitude, innovation happens through a co-creation process involving government agencies, individuals, public and private entities.

What this boils down to is that we use data and brains to drastically increase efficiencies, reduce waste, consolidate technology security and cyber postures and train the next generation of the top tech force.

If you want to passively and effectively identify hackers in your network, require project management on your space programme or even need a chemical scientist to solve a supply chain issue in your bottling plant, give us a call!

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