The Problem of Privacy and the Internet.

As the Internet progressively offers more services in terms of online banking, shopping, and job searches, most people prefer to do these tasks online. The Internet has definitely made it easier to do everyday things in life Fingerprintwith the click of a button in the comfort of a house. However, there are certain risks associated with releasing a lot of personal information on the Internet. Many Internet service providers and private companies track many movements of users using the Internet. Additionally they can sell that information to other companies, who may share this information with law enforcement or the government.

Internet Service Providers.

Various cases have already occurred where the user’s online privacy has been impeded by the government. Techsavvy, an Internet service provider has been ordered to release names of user’s that have downloaded the movies, “The Hurt Locker” and “Dallas Buyers Club”. Voltage, the movie company of these movies states that they intend 2to sue the 2000 users that have illegally downloaded these movies. In my opinion this is very problematic and is comparable to a police officer searching a household without a warrant and pressing charges on illegal acts. Although the illegal act is being committed, it is not right that the Internet service providers can release your information to other companies without a notification or request to search the logs of user’s online.

Issues with Hackers and Privacy.

This is just one aspect of the issues that cause worry about the privacy of Internet users. There is also the fear that intelligent computer hackers may hack into a database of credit card information or other important databases and steal the data for personal gain. This has already happened numerous times, where hackers have taken thousands of credit card numbers and sold them for very cheap to other users on the Internet.  Even though this is very problematic and has to be dealt with, 3many people do not care about the issues with Internet privacy until something happens to them personally and they are already affected by these issues. As a result many of the problems are not being addressed and there is not enough progress in terms of privacy in relation to the progress the Internet has made. Additionally there have been numerous private companies that have logged thousands of users information online in an attempt to sell this information off to some other company. It is very troubling to know that many companies that promise honesty and loyalty towards their customers are turning their backs towards them for more profit.

What Individuals should do.

As privacy becomes a bigger problem in society, many people who realize these huge risks have opted to use programs that hide their identity and minimize the tracking that could be done on the user. Since every identity on the internet leaves a trace, there is no way to completely cover your identity. However, the fear of privacy has increased dramatically from 42009 where 33% of Americans were concerned to about 50% and as more people become aware of the privacy issues, solutions will become apparent. In my opinion, these tools that hide your IP and information should be used by everyone, just like an anti virus is the first thing installed on a computer, people should install programs that minimize tracking. It is just as important to stay hidden from unknown users as it is to defend against viruses from unknown files and websites.

Conclusion.

The quick progression of the Internet has caused many privacy issues that were not worked out as the progression happened. As a result, individuals have to deal with these privacy issues now and take measures to prevent tracking by other people. These are issues that may not even have set resolutions like viruses, however measures to prevent privacy issues with programs should be an essential aspect of computers that utilize the Internet. Additionally, the customers of Internet service providers should demand that their information is encrypted and never released to anyone for any reason just like many companies promise their customers. This is an essential aspect of a company-consumer relation and privacy of their consumers should definitely not be impeded on in any circumstance. For a change to happen, individuals have to come together and voice their concern for internet privacy in terms of hackers, as well as private companies selling their information. Otherwise, these issues will continue and progressively increase with the Internet.

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How Piracy Laws Affect Freedom and Privacy.

The act of piracy has become a massive dilemma which occurs worldwide. Piracy can be done by any individual with a computer, internet and the intent to download software or entertainment. As a result, there are an increasing amount of people who download different types of files online; however the motivations towards this act do not always revolve around money. The RIAA states that piracy greatly affects the income of many people, and detriments the U.S. economy. Overall, it seems like the primary concern of piracy and copyright infringement is the loss in revenue for many of these businesses.fbi

Why do Individuals Commit Piracy?

In many cases, some forms of entertainment may be unavailable in one country resulting in the last resort of downloading the file. Additionally the process of downloading an album or movie is a lot easier than actually going out and seeking the album in store or entering information for online payment, if purchasing the product online. Although downloading files may be a last resort for many individuals, the U.S. government and governments worldwide find piracy to be a very detrimental aspect of the internet. In my opinion being able to download programs or albums online is actually very beneficial to individuals and expands innovation worldwide. For example, if an individual wants to educate themselves on utilizing Photoshop, however do not have the funds or do not live in a country where this product is available, it is very beneficial to download that program and expand your innovative skills rather than disregarding that drive to utilizing this program because of the laws in place.piracy01

Government Laws Attempting to Stop Piracy.

There have been numerous attempts by governments to incorporate stricter copyright laws. Bill-C11 was introduced in Canada in an attempt to stop these piracy acts. The bill, if passed, would limit the reliability of ISP’s, search engines, and an individual’s online privacy in general. There was an attempt to incorporate a similar act called SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) in the U.S., which would also negatively affect an individual’s privacy online since ISP’s would have to notify everyone committing copyright infringement on their network. Both of these bills were not passed because of the amount of people that protested it; however governments worldwide have not stopped in their fight to stop acts of piracy.

File Sharing Websites

File sharing sites have been one of the biggest targets by governments since the beginning of these piracy problems. Sites like the pirate bay, bit torrent and many others allow users to share files with other users, known as the_pirate_bay_logopeer to peer file sharing. Although the owners of these websites do not actually post any illegal content, they often allow it resulting in a huge file sharing website with endless content available for download. File sharing, although found illegal, may actually have many benefits towards societal values. It permits any person from any background to download any types of files through the click of a button. This greatly expands innovation since albums can inspire individuals to become artists as well and allows them to share their message, which may have not happened if the individual was not introduced to a vast variety of music online.

Owners of file sharing websites have faced many charges and court cases if the website is not taken down when requested by the DMCA. The owners of the pirate bay stated that their file sharing website can be used both legally and illegally, similar to how a car is made to drive both under and over the limit. This shows that the site is not intentionally made for illegal files and as a result there should be no reason to file charges against the 1323712752796owners of file sharing websites. Nevertheless, the owners were found guilty despite their future appeal. This court case shows how unfair the copyright cases can be resulting in the sentencing of so called criminals that do not seem like they are breaking any law, but rather offer a service where users can share files. This impedes greatly on freedom of speech since users should have the ability to share files, despite the fact if they are illegal or legal. The fact that the owners got charged without actually posting any illegal content is very surprising and may introduce non-criminals into the court system.

Conclusion

Overall, many copyright infringement laws have many detrimental factors towards society. File sharing promotes innovation and freedom by allowing any individual to educate themselves through software, music and more. Additionally, the laws have put individuals in jail that may not even deserve to be in court, as seen with the pirate bay trial. Governments and corporations have to stop pursuing the integration of these laws into society, and rather focus their effort on finding a way to cope with the new era of downloading and “torrenting”.

Despite the Beneficial Values of the Internet, Censorship is Occurring! Why is this?

       Society has been changing at an increasing pace within the past decades, in terms of industrialization and technological advancement. Through this advancement, the internet has emerged as an everyday necessity for most people, and imagining life without the internet is absurd and even scary. The immense amount of functions that the internet has brought upon greatly benefits; regular citizens, proCensorship Signfessional careers, and provides people with the opportunity to communicate with anyone around the world. Additionally, social media through the internet has helped spread many messages in times of a revolution or civil war, as well as help spread helpful information to those in need, like how to approach the treatment of certain colds or diseases, as well as many other things. Although the free spread of communication between individuals is now made possible with the click of a button, the government and many persons in power find
this spread of information to have many downfalls and negative effects.

But what outcome from the internet is so negative, that it forces numerous governments in countries to censor it from its people? We will examine this question by analysing places in which censorship is occurring.

-” The Great Firewall of China”

     Let’s examine what is known as “The Great Firewall of China” to further understand why internet censorship is considered in the first place. According to an article on CBS News, the most frequently banned or censored websites in China are those which contain information on democracy, Tibet, Taiwan, as well as word searches containing terms like “equality”. The result is that the government in China is attempting to control its citizens, and find the internet to be a serious threat to the security of the country. Despite the countless beneficial values that societies gain Great-Firewall21by allowing free communication and opinions through the internet, there are many governments around the world that censor content found to be threatening. The benefits of the internet should give enough reason for governments to allow its use, and actually promote it, however this is not the case in many countries.

-“Internet Censorship in Syria”

     “The Great Firewall of China” is not the only case of internet censorship occurring around the world. Syria’s recent uprising has shown how social media, specifically through the internet can put more power into the citizens and allows the outside world to have several sources to examine when checking on news from Syria. syria-630x400Many residents in Syria created videos and communicated with the rest of the world which may have greatly helped. However, the Syrian government found the internet to be a threat, and caused the rebel’s to have too much power therefore bans and arrests were made on people accessing politically sensitive websites. The internet censorship in Syria was another government attempt at controlling its people and removing any threats to the government.

-Is this censorship good, or bad?

        It is evident that governments in countries that have incorporated the act of censoring parts of the internet to the general public, like China and Syria, are using this act of censorship as a method of control over the people, and recognize the grand powers of social media as being a security threat to the nation. There are many sources against government censorship for various reasons, it goes against human rights of having freedom of opinion and, people should be recognized as the foundation of a nation therefore giving theme the fundamental right to freedom. Although censorship may be deemed immoral and wrong by many people, there are some opinions stating that censorship has in fact helped or could aid several countries. For example, social media in Syria was not banned before it already had the effect on the world and the rebels were supported in the overthrowing of Assad and his government. However, the rebels were also accompanying corrupt values while at the same time stating that those the_worst_thing_about_censorship-4ea871c-introcorrupt values have to be eliminated from society. If the internet were censored sooner, the rebels would have not gained as much support as quickly. Nevertheless, it is not evident that censoring the internet in an attempt to ameliorate control over the people would have helped in that situation therefore it may have been for the better that the rebels are being supported, as there is an essence of freedom involved with the internet not being censored.

      In conclusion it comes down to determining whether the countries security is more important than the possible security threats the country receives by allowing the freedom to access any content on the internet. In my opinion, freedom is an important part of a nation and its development towards a sustained developed nation. The internet has many useful functions that help many individuals learn and seek the truth, and even if there are some security threats, this is something that could be handled by the government.