Electronic Monitoring: The Devil’s Advocate

The debate about online privacy (relative to government monitoring) has been parallel to the progression of the internet. The most famous quote being strewn about by the conspiracy theorists, “Those Who Sacrifice Liberty for Security Deserve Neither”, by Benjamin Franklin. I wonder what the devil’s advocate might say about all this?


keyLet us put this into real world perspective. To function in a society where all our contributions, whether it be economical or social, help progress our civilization, the individual can only be incepted by affording their personal information to the powers that be. Your name, address, work, birth information, and in return we receive a barcode or what we call an Identification Number that makes us part of this ever expanding community. In fact, if you have ever registered for tax or paid for credit, you have made yourself “trackable”. All this and the computer had not even been invented yet. The internet has given people the power to share themselves with others for positive or negative and because the negative exists, precautions have to be met.

The world has been replicated online and like the real world some provisions have to be considered. With all due respect to Ben Franklin, humanity is slightly different now. The security we unfortunately require has evolved as technology has progressed. Yes, they may be monitoring you, but to use it against you, a legal process has to be followed or the evidence is inadmissible (we should note that legal permission must also be sought by law enforcement for physical entry to a person’s property). The government is not cared that you are looking at porn, they are interested if you are looking at porn that breaks the law. The convenience that the 21st century has provided has also provided the same convenience to those who will use it for things other than good. Electronic communication is the fastest and most reliable medium. It would then be logical to monitor it, like the x-ray machine at any airport. Personally, majority of my transactions are e-commerce transactions. I might feel a little better knowing that a deterrent exists to those wanting to intercept my transactions.

Conversely there has been misuse of this information and this usually comes down to an individual, Edward Snowden is an example of this. The rules and people that govern the use of information should be consulted with the people that is what democracy is all about. For those who oppose, the hard question is, do you have something to hide?

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Anesh Sukhnandan
Anesh Sukhnandan
I have travelled the full spectrum of what technology has to offer. The creature that is my career continued its evolution into the Project Management environment, managing major software development for some major players, right up to implementation, roll out and even training. Changing little, but changing often is my strategy for progress.