This is the class blog for Eng 1102 at GA Tech called "Fiction, Human Rights, and Social Responsibility." The purpose of this blog is to extend our discussion beyond the classroom and to become aware of human rights issues that exist in the world today and how technology has played a role in either solving or aggravating them. Blogs will be a paragraph long (250 words) and students will contribute once every three weeks according to class number. Entries must be posted by Friday midnight.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Blog 2 Andree Curran
As our lives become more digitalized, the pervasiveness of
electronic surveillance has soared—unchecked. In response, governments around
the world have rightfully called for protecting online privacy.
In the pre-Internet age, conventional surveillance
techniques were labor intensive and time consuming, which helped to constrain
abusive practices. Now, in the age of social media, authorities can track
people’s location, associations, and communications, constructing a detailed
portrait of their lives.
To protect the peoples’ rights, the Human Rights Watch has
endorsed a set of International Principles on the Application of Human Rights
to Communications Surveillance, released by a broad group of civil society
organizations in Geneva. The International Principles provide guidance to
governments and make recommendations to ensure communications surveillance
practices are lawful and subject to action against abuse. These principles are essential
to ensure that the rights and privacy of the people are protected now that so
much personal information can be found on the Internet.
The issue of pervasive electronic surveillance started when
concern arose over the excessive amount of monitoring by the US and UK.
Clearly, privacy protections have not kept pace with technology, and the UN
High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has pushed for change. She urges
all countries to ensure that they have protections to defend the right to
privacy and other human rights, even while the national security justify an
unwarranted use of surveillance.
According to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human
Rights, technology companies should demonstrate they are safeguarding their
users and they should work on being more transparent. Otherwise, national
privacy regimes will not report their updates and we will head toward a world
where privacy disappears as soon as we go online.