Sunday, July 22, 2012

Internet Privacy, second part

(Continued form InternetPrivacy)

This is a hot topic. Received some feedback here, via FB and thru other messaging systems. Thanks for taking the time to reply and comment on it. Hope you do it more often.

Apparently, there is some confusion and misunderstanding with regards to what the policing entities would be doing if we allowed them to watch our online activities.

To start, nobody will be fixating their eyes on a lot of monitor screens watching live what every one of us does online. The system would be something similar to those closed-circuit video surveillance cameras that allow recording and therefore can be used to check a particular event after it happened.
It would be similar to the way they analyze the audio and video recordings after a shop break in, or at a corner store or gas station incident; also there would be “black-boxes” like those on trains and planes that keep the main data on events sequences. Such records would be extracted only if and when needed.
Of course, there would be some intelligence attached to the systems too: monitors that would be able to analyze data traffic, identify and single out the origin of certain messages and attitudes to detect sex offenders, for instance; and obviously highlight the activities of spammers and hackers.

To continue, know that police already counts on significant power to search for criminal conduct on the Internet. It wouldn’t be that different than it is right now, only more expeditious and easier for them to manage warrants, for instance.

Now, in terms of everybody’s security, these policing entities would be able to act both proactively and reactively. The main advantage would be that criminal activity could be spotted sooner, evidence would be taken quickly and in a chronologically way; and warnings, tickets and warrants could be created for existing and would-be pornographers, spammers and hackers.
So, in terms of safety for all of us when using the Web, we could experience better peace of mind knowing that our children can be using computers, phones, tablets, game consoles and all those devices without becoming a target. For us, Spam certainly would be decimated too, and hacking activity would be greatly minimized.

Simply put, if we are not involved in any kind of negative activity on the Internet, we’d have nothing to worry about: the scenario could be compared to when we go to a nice beach town we’ve never been to and seeing a police element at every corner. We could certainly feel good about that or not even notice it if our behaviours don’t break the law. However, if we are there with not-so-nice intentions, then perhaps we would feel uncomfortable, nervous, or even threatened.

I’m not saying systems would be perfect or that monitoring us all is a good thing. In this particular article, I’m only pointing to the positive aspects of enhancing the Internet surveillance powers of police for all of us. Most other bloggers and news writers will certainly pen way more than these few paragraphs about how it will negatively affect us: it is simply easier to criticize, condemn and complain than to see the good side of things.
There will be plenty of time and space to cover the negative aspects too. In the meantime, here you have a few reasons to think about why such initiative could bear more good than bad.

Any other good outcomes you can think of?
If passed, which entities should be allowed the privilege to search what you do online?
Would you rather trust a private company instead of the government or police for doing this?

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