The European Union’s antiterrorism coordinator advocates for greater regulation of video games

Gilles de Kerchove warns of the proliferation of extremist ideologies in online environments.

The European Union's antiterrorism coordinator advocates for greater regulation of video games

The videogames, like any cultural medium and business activity, they have always attracted the attention of official bodies. Especially in recent years, with the proliferation of monetization methods such as the micropayments that have led to judgments against the FIFA saga in the Netherlands, and regulatory measures in various countries, where the Government of Spain itself will include loot boxes within the Gaming Law.

They can be an alternative way of spreading ideologiesGuilles de KerchoveBut monetization, and the risk of addiction, they are not the only dangers to consider. Or, at least, that is what the European coordinator of the fight against terrorism, the Belgian Guilles de Kerchove, in statements for . (collected by RFI) prior to the presentation of the Digital Services Law in December. In them, the officer advocates greater regulation on video games within the territory: “I am not saying that the entire video game sector is problematic. There are two billion people who play online, and all of that is very good,” says the European official.

As you can expect, that first sentence has a “but”. And here, Kerchove warns of the potential dangers of insufficient control over the video games that are published and shared in the territory: “You have to far-right groups in Germany who create games where the goal is shoot people of Arab origin, or [el milmillonario George] Soros, or the Lady [canciller alemana Angela] Merkel for her immigration policies, etc. “

The anti-terrorism coordinator Guilles de Kerchove, Kenzo Tribouillard, AFPThe anti-terrorism coordinator Guilles de Kerchove, Kenzo Tribouillard, .

“Is [los videojuegos] can be an alternative way to spread ideologies, especially on the part of the extreme right but not only them, a way of launder money… There are coins created in games that can be exchanged for legal tender, “he says. the counterterrorism officer of the European Union. Of course, and given its position within continental organizations, de Kerchove also warns about the dangers of videogames on terrorist matters.

The EU is in favor of more encryptionGuilles de Kerchove“They can be used as a means of communication. It’s encrypted. And it can also be used as a form of test attack scenarios“in reference to its possible use to plan terrorist attacks. In general, Guilles de Kerchove considers that there is a need for greater regulation on digital environments and online communication channels. And here, it also puts the spotlight on Facebook and YouTube, pointing out that their algorithms “amplify” extremist and problematic messages to generate interactions.

It also addresses the issue of privacy in networks, where he assures that the European Union “is in favor of more encryption” in citizens’ communications. But, he adds, “is it correct that we are unable to identify who is behind an IP address and is posting images with pedophilia for the rape of children? How is it possible that the police can access an SMS, but cannot access the same content in a WhatsApp message? Does that make sense? “

The European Union's antiterrorism coordinator advocates for greater regulation of video games

Without entering into opinions, the words of Guilles de Kerchove show that online digital environments they are in the crosshairs of the European Union. Not just because of the micropayments issue, as we mentioned at the beginning, with more and more governments looking to regulate loot boxes. But also for the matters that the officer exposes, cause of a growing concern inside and outside the European Union, which will surely play an important role in the next Digital Services Law to be presented on December 9.

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