Reader Letter: Wake up to the dangers of information technology
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
One reader thinks the age of IT presents a major threat to society. Do you agree?
I wonder what is really the worst problem for western democracy. Is it Mr Trump, President Putin, Brexit or perhaps plastic waste?
All of these and others can be seen as major difficulties in our societies. None of them however, is so serious as information technology.
This letter was sent via the internet. My phone/iPad gives me huge power to amongst other things: sext, criticise, make contacts using a false identity, harass and create illegal groups instantly. Yes it confers great advantages too: speaking to friends across the globe without cost, sourcing information and news, sending family pictures, etc.
The downside needs more controls even if as in China, this means restricting personal liberty. The 'dark net' with access to porn, guns, drugs and crime must be contained. This 'Beast' dominates all our lives.
The police, GCHQ and the security services need greater powers enabling them to get information readily from mobile phone companies, Internet providers and the big boys: Apple, Google, Facebook, etc. Some of them more powerful than most government departments.
I'm not advocating some kind of 1984-style Fascist state. Nevertheless, the European democracies including ours, must do more before the law enforcement agencies are swamped by those evils propelled by the rise of social media.
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'The evil men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones,' says Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.
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