Pursuant to the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (A/RES/60/288) unanimously adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2006, Member States undertook to work with the United Nations to explore ways and means to coordinate efforts at the international and regional levels to counter terrorism in all its forms and manifestations on the Internet; and specifically, to counter the use of the Internet as a tool for the spread of terrorism.

In March 2012, the General Assembly also adopted resolution 66/178, reaffirming the mandate of UNODC and requesting UNODC "to develop specialized legal knowledge in the area of counter-terrorism […] and to provide assistance to requesting Member States with regard to criminal justice responses to terrorism, including, where appropriate, […] the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes".

In order to support UNODC's implementation of a reinforced programme of activities for fulfilling its enhanced mandates in the area of technical assistance to Member States, on preventing and combating the misuse of the Internet for terrorist purposes, two expert group meetings were held in Vienna, in October 2011 and February 2012. Member States and institutions, as well as individual experts, participated in the elaboration of a publication on the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes, which is intended for use as both a stand-alone resource and in support of UNODC's capacity building initiatives.

The publication, drafted in collaboration with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), aims to provide guidance regarding current legal frameworks and practice at the national and international levels, relating to the criminalization, investigation and prosecution of terrorist cases involving the use of Internet. It supplements existing tools and it will be utilized to deliver technical assistance through specialized training activities in the subject area.

This new technical assistance tool on " The use of the Internet for terrorist purposes", developed with the generous financial support of the United Kingdom, was launched on 22 October 2012 at the Federal Ministry of the Interior of Austria.

The launch event was opened by the Executive Director of UNODC, Mr. Yury Fedotov,H.E., the Austrian Federal Minister of the Interior, Ms. Johanna Mikl-Leitner, and with the participation of Sandor Pinter, Hungarian Interior Minister, James Brokenshire, Security Minister, British Home Office and Georg Maassen President of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and was followed by a press conference.