DIGITAL AMERICA

Internet, democracy and national security

// Posted by on 02/21/2014 (8:01 PM)

I agree with the ideas of Edward Snowden concerning the injustices committed by the U.S. authorities. Clearly the secret actions of the American government have violated human rights and national sovereignty of numerous States in several occasions, situation that must be stopped somehow. Additionally, the actions taken by the authorities contradict the principles of freedom and democracy on which the structure of the nation rests.

 

Equally interesting is the fact that one of the major concerns of Edward Snowden would be the international impact exerted by the actions of the United States. It is also important to note that before the exposure of any CIA material, Snowden weighed the benefits and harms caused by the actions committed by the authorities, thus deciding that he was being part of a system that does more harm than good, besides to consider that this structure proved to be a major threat for democracy.

 

On the other hand, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and other whistle-blowers have endangered the national security of the United States. Despite the injustices committed by the U.S. authorities, the movement that Snowden has done is wrong because he didn’t think that the secret information spread endangers the welfare of the American people, who aren’t responsible for the faults and injustices committed by the authorities. The consequences could be severe since the information released by Snowden clearly can be used to meet the national interests of other States, thus endangering the lives of Americans, which invalidates the moral legitimacy that Edward Snowden has given to its decisions and actions.

 

The Snowden and the Assange case, case show that the media, especially Internet, are becoming a strong tool of pressure to the policies and actions of states. I think that the use of technology and information exposure can lead to much more transparent and humanitarian government administrations, however, I think this great flow of secret information can also endanger the national security of any country being exposed. I also consider that control of the Internet by the State itself is necessary, nevertheless, this must be done within the territorial borders of every country, that is, the control of information from other countries violates the concept of sovereignty and runs disadvantage to other states, besides of threaten national security. Moreover, authorities intervention in the private information of cybernauts and the government harassment of “whistle-blowers” contradicts the principle of freedom of expression so characteristic in democratic societies. The phenomenon of the Internet, the vast amount of information and the speed with which it travels, is relatively new and is why it has not been developed a strong regulation of their use; it is necessary that a set of rules regulate the handling of this powerful tool, both for civilians and for government authorities.

 

Claudia Reséndez


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