While the world debates the development and use of dual-use technologies, services and products, Ukraine, which has been exposed to russian aggression, has not hesitated to use such technologies to protect its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. This new experience for the world can be useful in terms of how a responsible state governed by the rule of law can use technology for the common good and security of society. This opinion was expressed by Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine, during the discussion "In the Name of National Security" held at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
"Constitutional law and civil liberties are usually skeptical about the use of technology for security reasons. But in our case, technology, and dual-use technology at that, is essential for Ukraine's security," said Yuliia Svyrydenko.
As an example, the First Deputy Prime Minister /Minister of Economy of Ukraine cited the use of the Diia app, which allows almost 18 million Ukrainians to use electronic versions of their documents - passports, driver's licenses, etc.
"When the war started, Diia became essential for our resilience. We have 7 million IDPs and 4.6 million Ukrainians abroad, and we still have an effective channel for providing public services, including social benefits. I am convinced that Ukraine will win this war, and there will be no more wars. But we have natural disasters, pandemics and other emergencies. For this purpose, a modern state that provides many services to citizens must have a reliable digital channel of communication with citizens," said Yuliia Svyrydenko.
She also emphasized that the "state understands the cyber threats that have significantly increased during the war, so it pays special attention to cyber defense".
Another example is the use of compact remote-controlled quadcopters on the frontline, designed for peaceful purposes.
"These drones are usually used for taking pictures at parties and traveling. But in Ukraine, they have become one of the most effective sources of tactical aerial reconnaissance on the front line. What is especially important in the Ukrainian context is that these quadcopters are supplied to the soldiers by volunteers who buy them all over the world.
When you know that it is being used by the army, you will either consider this equipment as dual-use goods and slow down the supply. Or you will encourage cooperation between volunteers, engineers and defenders to further develop the production of UAVs, IT and reconnaissance equipment. We have chosen the second option. The Government has clarified and simplified the rules of trade in quadcopters. We encourage private entrepreneurship in the development of military technologies," said Yuliia Svyrydenko.
During the discussion, the participants focused on finding a balance between protecting national security and preserving civil liberties (including the use of technology for surveillance and data collection), the impact of technology development on the role of traditional military means and the nature of conflicts, the challenges and opportunities offered by the dual use of technology, etc.