Strategies To Counter Internet Shutdowns
While there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to combating government internet shutdowns, a combination of approaches can make a big difference in helping both citizens within countries affected by internet shutdowns or blockages and outside actors, like concerned democratic governments and technology companies, push back against restrictions. This section will discuss the following concepts: preparing in advance for internet shutdowns, prioritizing user accessibility to facilitate scaling up, employing nontechnological strategies to complement digital solutions, and raising the costs for governments and companies to carry out shutdowns.
Preparing in Advance for Internet Shutdowns
Civil society organizations should consider what steps they can take in advance to prepare for internet shutdowns before they occur. By the time a government implements a shutdown, it is often too late to adapt by downloading VPNs, mesh networking apps, or other circumvention measures. Citizens should proactively acquire digital tools ahead of certain windows of risk, such as elections, religious holidays, and planned demonstrations, while it is still possible to connect to the internet. 89
Prioritizing User Accessibility
Employing Nontechnological Strategies to Complement Digital Solutions
Raising the Costs for Governments and Companies to Continue Implementing Shutdowns
Establishing Human Rights Funds
First, foundations that support human rights should establish human rights and technology funds. Activists are already harnessing new technologies to monitor and document abuses. Amnesty International is working with a data analysis company to quantify levels of . This type of innovation should be encouraged and resourced.
Second, states should negotiate new norms and laws for the digital age. The Montreal Declaration on the Responsible Use of Artificial Intelligence offers a powerful statement on the need for the ethical development of new technologies. Similarly, the UN Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy is leading efforts to develop whats been called a Draft Legal Instrument on Government-led Surveillance and Privacy. These initiatives, and others like them, should be supported.
Third, states must reaffirm the principle of the right to asylum. States that use technology to violate human rights will displace people. Those with a well-founded fear of persecution will need protection.
Finally, states that believe in a rules-based international order must redouble efforts to tackle impunity. Human rights abuses occur because those who commit the violations are rarely held to account. This needs to change.
Analyze: A Role For Government As Regulator
This is not to say that there is no role for government in its capacity as a regulator. The IoTs expanding implementation means more and more data being generated about things and people. Companies aim to combine and analyze all of this data to create new insights and provide services to consumers. The catch: In the process, IoT technology may expose individuals privacy in new ways. Research shows that it can take as few as four data points from mobile communications to individually identify an individual.22 In analyzing data such as purchasing history or speed patterns of your connected car, an IoT system can unintentionally reveal sensitive private information such as attendance at a particular church or movements of a competitors sales force. Apart from obvious security concerns from such data attracting criminals and identity thieves, breaches may leave users justifiably uneasy.23
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Twitter Facebook Whatsapp Young People Activists And Protest Movements Using The Internet And Mobiles These Are The Images That Usually Come To Mind When Technology Is Discussed As A Catalyst Of Social Change This Was Only The Beginning: In The Next 1020 Years Emerging Technologies Will Fundamentally Change Societies It Will Be Nothing Short Of Revolutionary
The internet and mobiles have forever changed how people communicate, spread information and organize. Wherever the internet has spread, it has introduced a new reality, with fundamentally different human interaction to anything thats gone before. Half of the worlds population is now connected to the internet and initiatives like Googles Project Loon and Facebooks internet drones could bring connectivity to everyone on the planet.
At the same time, exponential technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and synthetic biology will become mainstream and their effect on peoples lives and rights will be tremendous. Here are 5 areas where these technologies will reshape human rights in the future:
Examining How Technological Advancements Affect The Future Of Human Rights
While recognizing the enormous progress that societies have made since the establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, technological advancements have inevitably profound implications for the human rights framework.
From a practical perspective, technology can help move the human rights agenda forward. For instance, the use of satellite data can monitor the flow of displaced people artificial intelligence can assist with image recognition to gather data on rights abuses and the use of forensic technology can reconstruct crime scenes and hold perpetrators accountable. Yet for the multitude of areas in which emerging technologies advance the human rights agenda, technological developments have equal capacity to undermine efforts. From authoritarian states monitoring political dissidents by way of surveillance technologies, to the phenomenon of deepfakes destabilizing the democratic public sphere, ethical and policy-oriented implications must be taken into consideration with the development of technological innovations.
Technological advancements also introduce new actors to the human rights framework. The movement has historically focused on the role of the state in ensuring rights and justice. Today, technological advancements and the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, in particular, necessitate interaction, collaboration, and coordination with leaders from business and technology in addition to government.
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Understanding Harms From Online Services
The growth of the internet has produced significant social, cultural, and economic benefits for the United States. Providers of online services have helped shepherd the internet from its infancy into a more accessible digital layer that interweaves with most Americans lives on a daily basis. With the exponential growth of online services and their attendant benefits, however, a number of harms have also emerged, enacted or enabled by online services providers. While many Americans have grown up accepting these harms as a cost of engaging online, the harms generated by online services are not inevitable. Current problems are not necessary evils for the sake of digital innovation, and improved regulation has a dual role to play in promoting beneficial development and curbing predatory practices.
American small businesses face a high degree of platform precarity: increased risk due to heavy reliance on a handful of dominant platform services over which they have little influence or recourse if problems arise, even when platforms are treating them unfairly.
A persistent lack of transparency and data asymmetry exacerbate these problems. While workers or business users may feel that abuse is occurring, it is difficult to investigate problems without greater data access. These issues are of growing importance to Americans, with 81 percent of voters saying they are concerned about consolidation among Big Tech corporations hurting small businesses and consumers.
Government Regulation Will Make The Conversation Around The Uses And Abuses Of Technology More Public
Too much conversation about how and why we build technology is happening in the wrong places. Well, not the wrong places, just not enough places.
The biggest decisions about technology are largely made by some of the biggest companies on the planet. All the dreams about a new democratized and open world are all but gone, as the innovations around which we build our lives come from a handful of organizations that have both financial and cultural clout.
As Brad Smith argues, tech companies like Microsoft, , and are not the place to be having conversations about the ethical implications of certain technologies. He argues that while its important for private companies to take more responsibility, its an inadequate substitute for decision making by the public and its representatives in a democratic republic.
He notes that the commercial dynamics are always going to twist conversations. Companies, after all, are answerable to shareholders only governments are accountable to the public.
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Government Responses To Future Security Challenges
The scope and complexity of cyberattacks will continue to intensify. Governments will face mounting pressure to act forcefully to protect national security, their citizens and their domestic economies. In fact, our community believes that we are facing a future of increased Internet regulation or legislation.2Future of the Internet Survey 2 – Question 26: To what degree do governments regulate or pass laws regarding the Internet?
Yet, policymaking that is reactive and not long term may further fragment the Internet along nation-state boundaries and also undermine human rights. As the Internet expands into every sector of the economy, the sheer complexity of the security landscape will test even the most sophisticated governments coordination, capacity and effectiveness. The challenge for developing countries will be even more acute: while Internet Society stakeholders in Africa are confident that their governments see the cybersecurity challenge, they are concerned that governments will lack the skills and capacity to tackle the issues effectively.
Respondents from North America predicted future government reactions to the security challenge to be significantly more drastic than their counterparts in Africa, Asia and Latin America.3Future of the Internet Survey 2 – Question 31: How extreme are government responses to security risks, challenges, and crises involving the Internet?
Technology Has Improved Education And Learning Process
Technology has improved education and learning process: Education is the backbone of every economy. People need well and organized educational infrastructures so that they can learn how to interpret information. Many schools have started integrating educational technologies in their schools with a great aim of improving the way students learn. Technologies like smart whiteboards, computers, mobile phones, iPads, projectors, and internet are being used inclassrooms to boost students moral to learn. Visual education is becoming more popular and it has proved to be the best method of learning in many subjects like mathematics, physics, biology, geography, economics and much more. The business community has invested money in various educational technologies which can be used by both teachers and their students. For example, on iTunes, you will find many educational applications which can allow students and teachers exchange academic information at any time, this has made learning mobile. Also, programs like Long distance learning have opened boundaries too so many scholars around the world.
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Presentation Of The Self In The Modern World
Sociologist Erving Goffmans uses the imagery of the theatre to portray how our lives are a performance that manages social expectations. Goffman took the following passage from William Shakespeares As You Like It, very seriously:
All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts
A key assertion in Goffmans work is that our awareness of being watched immediately restricts the range of behaviors we are willing to engage in. Much like a theatre performance, there is a front stage and backstage.
An actor only allows the audience to see his character on stage, but in the privacy of the backstage, his behavior is quite different. In our lives, we reserve for the backstage a range of behaviors we would be embarrassed about others seeing: becoming carried away dancing to a favorite song, using the bathroom, or perhaps an act of masturbation.
Another of Goffmans assertions is that our performance is directed by the expectations of the audience. As we have a range of relationships in our lives, in our lifetime we must accordingly play a range of roles. This is why, for some of us, our language softens around our grandmother.
Research has even suggested that the Chilling Effect not only operates online due to peer-to-peer surveillance on Social Network Sites but has an offline extended chilling effect.
Technology Has Mechanized Agriculture
Technology has mechanized agriculture: Modern agricultural technology allows a small number of people to grow vast quantities of food in a short period of time with less input which results into high yields and RIO return on investment. Through government subsidies, small and medium-sized farmers have managed to acquire plowing, sowing, watering and harvesting machines. Theuse of technology in agriculture has also resulted in the manufacturing of genetic crops which can grow fast and they can be resistant to many pests and diseases. Also, farmers have access to artificial fertilizers which add value to the soil and boost the growth of their crops and enable them to produce high-quality yields. Farmers in dry areas have been in a position to grow healthy crops, they use advanced water pumps and sprinklers which derive water from rivers to the farms, the all process can be automated to save time. A good example is Egypt, this is a desert country which receives little rain, but small and big farmers have used automated sprinklers to irrigate their farms. In Egypt, they grow a lot of rice, yet this crop needs sufficient water to grow well. The water is pumped from River Nile to the rice fields on a daily basis.
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Addressing Content Regulation Challenges
The instantaneous speed, amplification, discovery, and relational nature of speech online are at the heart of the productive and transformative capabilities of the internet. But the rise of gatekeeper platforms means that many of the worlds online interactions are intermediated by a handful of companies whose decisions profoundly affect how people communicate and whose business incentives cut against the public interest. In particular, negligent business models that amplify, promote, and target content to certain users are accelerating societal divisions, compounding existing inequities, and sustaining extractive surveillance business models. These systems have been easily exploited by malicious actors for purposes of harassment, voter suppression, and disinformation, adding even greater urgency to long-standing problems.
For purposes of illustration, concrete uses of these tools might include:
Expertise, investigations, and referrals: As part of their oversight obligations, regulators may conduct investigations into critical issues and, where necessary, serve as an expert partner on efforts by other government entities in understanding and protecting the public interest in their areas of work. These inquiries may touch on various issues related to harmful online content, such as understanding online voter suppression or foreign influence operations, in partnership with relevant agencies such as the DOJ or FEC.
Gartner’s Top Strategic Technology Trends For Government
Gartners list of strategic government technology trends is designed to help CIOs establish the rationale, timing and priority of technology investments. These trends in information and technology were selected in response to pressing public-policy goals and business needs of government organizations in jurisdictions around the globe.Now more than ever, technology priorities must be established in the context of business trends such as digital equity, ethics and privacy, and the need for institutional agility, saysRick Howard, Vice President Analyst, Gartner. CIOs can use these trends to engage stakeholders, demystify concepts, and promote discussion about their value to citizens and society.Implementing adigital government strategy is a journey that will span multiple budget cycles and political administrations, Howard notes.
The technology trends presented here do not represent what government CIOs are spending most of their time or budget on today, Howard says. Rather, it is Gartners list of strategic technology trends that are, should be or soon will be critical areas of focus for government CIOs as they transform public services.These top trends which cover the next 12 to 18 months will vary in importance depending on the tier of government , region and business context. It is for this reason that they are not ranked in numeric order.
Citizen digital identity
Multichannel citizen engagement
Agile by design
Digital product management
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Software Engineers Need Protection Too
One group havent really been talked about when it comes to government regulation the people actually building the software.
This a big problem. If were talking about the ethics of AI, software engineers building software are left in a vulnerable position. This is because the lines of accountability are blurred. Without a government framework that supports ethical software decision making, engineers are left in limbo.
With more support for software engineers from government, they can be more confident in challenging decisions from their employers.
We need to have a debate about whos responsible for the ethics of code thats written into applications today is it the engineer? The product manager? Or the organization itself? That isnt going to be easy to answer, but some government regulation or guidance would be a good place to begin.
Negative Impact Of Technology On Society
The depletion of fossil fuels, the need for more rare-earth elements, the use of rare elements such as gold, coltan and tantalum – which have often helped fuel wars in mineral rich continents and countries – and the burning of fuels potentially impacting Global Warming are all very real issues created by an increasing use of technology.
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Rich Corporations Poor Societies
How particular monopoly rents are being turned into money and further refined can be understood by considering the companies financialisation dynamics that is, their operations in financial markets and through financial instruments. Our empirical findings underscore the notion of a Big Tech model operating as a machine dedicated towards ever-expanding rent extraction that can be properly understood in its contemporary context only, as opposed to an ahistorical and surprising aberration in the socioeconomic landscape.
A New Regulatory Model To Address Gaps
Even in best-case scenarios for critical competition and privacy updates, significant gaps would remain in the U.S. governments ability to anticipate and remedy online services harms. To effectively govern online services, U.S. regulators need to be empowered with proactive rule-making abilities that can curb problems before or as they occur. Such proactive rule-making powerssometimes called ex ante regulationare distinct from reactive or ex post approaches, which are litigated after harms have occurred. Proactive rule-making could identify and prohibit harmful measures prior to significant harm or as harms are occurring. In other words, this report proposes complementing after-the-fact antitrust enforcement by adding new restrictions and regulations that help prevent harm across multiple areas.
To be clear, while the proposals here are designed for online services, they are not all designed to apply to every online service rather, online services are the universe in which common problems arise, and the rules proposed here would enable regulators to target specific problems within that universe.
Online infrastructure services
General online services
For general online servicesall services outside of the online infrastructure tier proposed abovethis section proposes to enhance the following tools and capabilities:
Referral and collaboration powers
Principles for online services rules
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