Freedom of speech, internet privacy and national security
// Posted by Tec on 02/21/2014 (4:29 PM)
The recent troubles induced by the publications of secret documents on Wikileaks have generated a new dilemma: Whether liberty is the principal priority or if is the national security.
Recently the webpage Wikileaks have revealed to secret documents of the NSA and the Unites States government about how the administration has been manipulating the European public opinion related to the Afghan war and other confidential information (Greenwald, 2014). This provoked new debates between the citizens and the government.
Analysts and public opinion has gone between if Wikileaks is good or bad for society, o if it is the government. In this sense I, personally, considered the statement of Springer et al (2013) who says that this shouldn’t be the real debate. The real issue is to define what are the merits of wikileaks and the sovereignty and national security role.
In my opinion, I think that both actors have their pros and cons. First, Wikileaks defends itself by saying that it about freedom of speech. Snowden wants to “reform civilization” (Snowden in Greenwald, 2014), I agree that people needs information in order to make decisions, and that a democratic country should work in freedom and press plurality basis. But, I also think a country may hide some information in order to maintain the sovereignty and the stability of the State.
But, what is happening in the United States? , this information revealed that the war against Afghanistan, and other governmental, might not be totally justified. And for me there is a special issue on this debate, the problem besides if this webpage affects national security is that national security is not totally justified.
Another great question that has emerged is the limits of the internet, and how can it be regulated if it needs to be regulated. In this sense, many countries not only U.S. have been having troubles. Many social strikes have been organized by social networks on internet, people has the possibility to be listened around the world. For me, the internet has been an effective civilian “weapon” against the government decisions, but, ¿why should it be a “weapon”? , may be it could be an interlocutor. This goes in the sense that many riots have ended in violence (in other countries) , this makes me think that some people doesn’t know how to react at some news or some information, that would make it difficult for both, the society and for the government .
Yes, I think that freedom of speech is important for a democratic state, but also are the obligations. I support this freedom with the condition that people don’t react with violence. Finally, I think that in the debate between liberty and security, the role of the States is to protect the security of its citizens; in that case security goes first than the liberty. But the problem here is that the “national threat” is, now, not totally justified with the publication of these documents.
Jessika Juárez Rangel