The internet a dream for government power expansion

We’ve long known that governments like those in China and Iran will use whatever means they have available to them to surveil their residents at any moment possible – including internet use. The idea that ‘Western’ or liberal democracies would engage is such practices has until recently seemed harder to believe. This aricle on Ars Technica comments on a report issued by Wikileaks, detailing the kinds of technology, including malware type applications, which companies are producing and marketing to governments and law enforcement bodies around the world.

It’s not clear from the article which countries are currently using such software, though it’s pretty easy to see how governments will be tempted to use (or perhaps already in the process of acquriring and using) such software, in the wake of things like SOPA, and other encroachments into internet users’ privacy.

We currently lack a strong theory of privacy, liberty and freedom in the online sphere, and it seems that until we can argue that our human rights extend to the online world, governments will be able to continue to undertake the real life equivalent of constant personal surveillance without warrant or cause. With the expansion of the uses and usefulness of the internet comes the expansion of our online ‘self’ – we would not tolerate such government intervention and monitoring into our houses, or brains, and it’s time that this kind of advocacy became commonplace in the area of internet privacy and freedom.

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One response to “The internet a dream for government power expansion

  • clyde1120

    You have my vote on this. Just read this week via Wired that the NSA is building the mother of all internet hubs to monitor ALL internet traffic.

    There are those who would say that this is no problem unless you are doing something that warrants attention. I partly agree with this but still don’t like the idea of being monitored.

    I think I am going to join EFA and maybe start reading a bit more about cryptography.

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