Take Home Final
December 12, 2013
2) It is getting ever easier to record anything, or everything, that you see. This opens fascinating possibilities-and alarming ones.”
The Economist, Nov. 16, 2013
Discuss this statement in the light of the medias recent preoccupation with surveillance and privacy issues. Include government surveillance and social media. For example the young woman who accused Florida state quarterback jameis Winston of rape was identified by football fans on social media and had ugly anonymous things posted about her.
Nearly every major international agreement on human rights protects the right of individuals to be free from unwarranted surveillance. This guarantee has trickled down into national constitutional or legal provisions, protecting the privacy of communications.
Most democratic countries usually have the ability to engage in intercepts of telephone and digital communications, but only after law enforcement or intelligence agencies have approval by a judge, and only during the investigation of serious crimes. However, government agencies, especially in America, continue to lobby for increased surveillance capabilities, particularly as technologies change and move in the direction of social media. Communications surveillance has extended to Internet and digital communications. law enforcement agencies, like the NSA, have required internet providers and telecommunications companies to monitor users’ traffic. Many of these activities are performed under ambiguous legal basis and remain unknown to the general public, although the media’s recent preoccupation with these surveillance and privacy issues is a setting a trending agenda.
Today, we still don’t know how to treat Internet privacy. Legislation is being formulated to protect the public from these online peeping toms, but legislation is surely being written, or not written, to allow government agencies and corporations to gather secret information about the public as well. The Federal Trade Commission issued a report in 2000 asking Congress to pass a new law restricting the collection of personal information about adults on the Internet, outlining provisions including the regulation of how personal information that is gathered online, and only if there is an agreement, is used to prevent abuses. This was never enacted and a comprehensive Internet privacy law is still missing.
As of March 2012, the need for a set of unified privacy policies has been met by the European Union with proposed legislation, but not in America. The Data Protection Regulation is a set of regulations across EU that is meant to protect Internet users from clandestine tracking and unauthorized personal data usage. This regulation is supposed to protect users' privacy by defining the term “personal data” and increasing punishments for those who violate users' online privacy. Apparently, this isn’t congruent with how things are done in America. Look no further...