DIGITAL AMERICA

Passenger 17A, thank you. Our privacy comes first.

// Posted by on 02/21/2014 (8:52 PM)

The United States of America’s government has alleged that not only Wikileaks is an organization that leaks confidential information of governments, including USA’s, and institutions but that it harms sovereignty, integrity, human rights, and national security. I cannot stop thinking that such arguments sound sort of hypocrite since USA is only concerned in eliminating Wikileaks because that would mean that other States won’t be able to read USA’s plans and espionage acts to other countries. Also, the same applies to the arguments against Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, since USA alleges that all the documents that his website filtered damage the lives of those whose names were said, which I think is only a big excuse to make sure that United States’ national interests are not damaged.
On the other side, Edward Snowden has been accused by the United States of espionage acts and betrayal. But… What happens when you discover that people all over the world are being spied against their will? As Snowden said, leadership is about being the first one to act, and I am pretty sure that he did was what he knew and thought was correct. I think it is pretty shameful the fact that he did not leak every single document, but I have to respect his point of view, which is not harming the integrity of any individual but showing what is the government doing against us -and our human rights-.
I always thought that we had internet in order to express ourselves and be able to search and read any topic that was of our personal interest, but nowadays such thing is questionable because not every government admits it’s citizens to enjoy the facilities that internet and its social networks offer. We have territorial borders… Do we also have internet boundaries? I really hope that the answer is NO, but sadly governmental and institutional actions prove me wrong and tell me that we do have them. Internet was born in order to be free and it should remain the same way. I am aware that not every single individual knows to behave and use this tool for our common wealth, therefore the rules for internet should be designed in order to preserve the integrity and human rights of its users. But acts, such as Snowden’s or Assange’s cannot be tagged as incorrect! Because what they did was to communicate people what is really going on with their governments and lives.
I would love to say that if I were Snowden or Assange I would have done the same thing but I am sure that such acts need a lot of strength. Changing the world is a very tough task. There is one thing that I am sure about: we were not born to live in a society such as Orwell’s. The state has the obligation to show us every single movement that it does, remember that it represents us in the international community because we chose it.

 

Lucía Sánchez

A01195196


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Mia said...

You make an interesting observation about the internet being an unlimited tool for self-expression, and how the government seems to be creating boundaries within the internet to control and censor its use. But it makes me wonder how free the internet really is to begin with. There’s a certain amount of societal privilege that is necessary in order to even access the internet in the first place. A person must be able to afford a networking device, and then also have the means to pay a private company for access to the internet. This private company, at least in the US, retains some rights in controlling the internet access it provides to users, imposing yet another layer of control between an individual and the internet. If a person does not have the means for their own personal internet use, there are still public access points such as libraries and schools, but some countries lack even this way of accessing the internet. In these ways, there are some inherent boundaries to the internet. But I do agree with your worry of a further threat to the freedom of the internet as a whole.

However, you mention that there should be rules for the internet, to maintain the integrity and human rights of its users. But if the internet is not bound to one government or nation, and internet users are wary of interference from these entities, how would these rules be implemented and enforced? I agree that in an ideal world the internet would be able to somehow regulate itself without outside interference, but with how it is set up now, I don’t think that’s possible. It’s a catch-22 type of situation that I don’t think we have a definitive answer for yet.

// 02/25/2014 at 1:39 pm