The PolicyThinkShop comments on issues impacting emerging trends and the current state of civil society:
The world has become technologically sophisticated, at least in terms of communication technology, and that technology has become relatively affordable, prevalent and one may even say overused. The internet has become an almost imaginary place in which many of us, nevertheless, spend significant time. The internet does not really exist as a tangible, intelligible place we can imagine or easily describe, yet it is very real in our lives in all its micro forms, or tweets, and communicative moments.
It has become almost impossible to comprehend how communication is changing the world we know. It is changing into a world that is being shaped as fast as it is being transformed–changed in ways that we do not yet fully understand or that may yet transform again so rapidly that insights and reactions to what is happening may become passé. What concerns us today may yet again disappear or be superseded by more menacing threats before our thoughts can be validated and social movements or legislative initiatives can mature to address them. Yesterday we were told the NSA is listening to our most private moments and today we hear that the FBI is using drones in our friendly and free skies.
Many of our prior understandings and assumptions about privacy, legality, security, authority and even law are now being challenged by government, private corporations, individuals and social movements that leak, occupy, hack and attempt to protest only to find that their efforts are undermined by their own conspicuous modes of inclusion, sharing, diversity and eventual entropy. Google collects random information and uses analytics to enlighten business decisions, government makes a grab for the Google, Facebook, and Apple analytics and drills down into the data to exercise governmental political goals cloaked in crime and punishment drama that calls into question government’s motives and possible human error and abuses.
Government is made up of real people and as such always carries the risk of error. Greater government power presents the potential for greater error and perhaps abuse. The recent NSA scandal has many of us worried… The London Economist sheds some light from the “European perspective” on our predicament as a freedom loving Democracy that is known for fighting and destroying governments that abuse power, spy on their own people and lie to them. So here we are ….
“The ability to destroy, undermine or …”