Discussion Forum Assessment 1 - Expert Assignment Help
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Discussion Forum Assessment 1 - Expert Assignment Help


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The technologies of the internet, mobile phones and live streaming intersect to enable a person to send to you directly, or to load to a web site in real time, information specifying the time which she will arrive at an airport awaiting pick-up by you, a short video of them waving “hello” to you and an encrypted file that has details about their passport and bank records as a backup.

Another person may use the same technologies to send or load information specifying the time at which she will arrive at a train station with a backpack filled with explosives, a short video capturing the execution of a hostage and an encrypted file that has multiple images of child sex abuse.

Discuss the tensions that exist between individuals rights to privacy and societies rights for protection against orchestrated violent crimes.

How can society ensure that technologies are applied to enable 'good' usage of communications while also minimising or preventing 'bad' usage?


Currently, we live in the information age, which is created with the development and extensive usage of technology (Caftori & Teicher 2002). Its main features are the open communication channels, international flow of data and the growth in knowledge or technology employment.  This has given rise to ethical and judicial challenges, which are mainly related to the data access, privacy and managing interests of the involved entities.


Individuals Right to Privacy vs Societies’ Rights for Protection

Privacy is concerned with the exclusion of an individual's interests from publicity. It is often regarded as a constitutional right in democratic countries through legal frameworks like the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) in Australia. The Privacy Act is set to protect an individual's right, offering them access to personal information held or recorded (OAIC 2015). However, the data linkage issue creates a loophole, as evident from Privacy Commissioner v Telstra where the Australian court ruled that anonymous data would not be considered personal information only if it associates with other information like subscriber information (Goldenfein 2017). A similar ruling was issued in the European case of Patrick Breyer v Germany. Though metadata retention laws have gained significance, the court's standing offers an opportunity for government agencies to collect IP addresses, URLs (websites) visited and geolocation data for protecting national security or investigating serious crime. This indicates the prevailing tension between people's protection of rights and freedom.

Though information access is adopted as part of national security to protect society, it has negative implications on the freedom of individuals. The concern arises when the national security regulations contradict with privacy legislation questioning the suitability governance practices adopted. It is often contended that the strict checking process has the pretext to suppress differential standpoints in politics or society. Though it assists government and regulatory agencies to curb crime, without any delineation of the data that is deemed personal, mass surveillance and censorship of mobile and online communications would lead to Orwellian dystopia.

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