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MADA Concludes a Training Course in Ramallah “On Protection from Electronic Harassment and Blackmail”

Ramallah – Feb. 28th, 2024. The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) concluded today, Tuesday, a training course entitled “Protection from Electronic Harassment and Blackmail,” in the city of Ramallah, for Palestinian media journalism students from various Palestinian universities, within the “Protection of Journalists through Monitoring and Documentation” funded by the International Program for the Development of Communication of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The training course was held on Monday and Tuesday with the participation of 53 journalists from various governorates, for 6 training hours, with the support of UNESCO. It aimed to introduce students and workers in the media sector to the concept of electronic harassment and blackmail as one of the different forms of violence that may accompany journalistic work.

The session was opened by welcoming the participants by the Acting Director of MADA center, SHERINE AL-KHATIB, who explained that the issue of electronic harassment and blackmail is old in its traditional form known to everyone, but the technological progress we are experiencing has led to a difference in the form through which it is practiced, in terms of the spread of cyberspace and the widespread spread of social media, which has facilitated the possibility of an increase in the number of victims of electronic harassment and blackmail.

Trainer FARAH SALAMI touched on many topics, including the legal and social dimension of the crime of electronic harassment and blackmail, the concept of cyberspace and violence in cyberspace and its forms and risks in general, in addition to sexual harassment, its definition, and electronic blackmail and its various types in particular. She also delved extensively into the concept of digital crime and its intent, and how they are distinguished from traditional crimes. She explained to the participants what the different forms of crimes in the cyber world are.

On the other hand, the trainer addressed the issue of violence against female journalists and its various types as a global scourge facing female journalists online while performing their media work, the foundations of protection and prevention from it, and the formulation of response strategies and response to electronic harassment and blackmail attacks.

The participants expressed their commitment and responsibility to accurately document and report cases of cyber harassment to ensure legal follow-up and provide the necessary support to victims. This means encouraging and strengthening safe and effective reporting mechanisms, including providing legal and psychological support to those affected and encouraging them to take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their rights.

The participants recommended the need to direct awareness and education efforts to all segments of Palestinian society, including conducting public awareness campaigns and creating various educational materials in the field of cybersecurity and its relationship to harassment. They also recommended providing practical training courses that focus on developing technical skills in the field of cybersecurity, such as analyzing security necessities, using protection tools, and detecting intrusions to protect against electronic blackmail. The participants considered that these recommendations aim to enhance awareness and protection in Palestinian society and enhance capabilities to address cyber challenges and social activities in an effective and sustainable manner.

At the conclusion of the training course, certificates were distributed to all trainees.