Web Surveillance

It is becoming increasingly possible that individuals will have their web history logged under the disguise of law enforcement purposes.  A couple of weeks ago the Attorney-General Nicola Roxon announced “new plans to review national security legislation to ensure our national security capability can evolve to meet emerging threats, while also delivering the right checks and balances for a civil society.”

Potential reforms are to be considered by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security considering the potential reforms through public consultation and hearings. Read more here “Web Snooping Plan A Step Closer to Reality”.

Is this an issue that concerns individuals?  Web monitoring differs from Internet filtering as rather than blocking access to sites; it retains a record of web sites visited by the user.  Although we are in reality a fair way from web surveillance, potentially this could mean that any device connected to the Internet could soon have its web history logged and retained by telecommunications companies.

Web surveillance is something more and more governments around the world are increasingly trying to implement in some way.  In the UK, the Coalition Government is looking at proposals to monitor email and social media raising a number of concerns – “Internet Companies Warn over Government Email Surveillance Plans”. Further with the Olympic Games approaching in London, a vast security presence will be in force.

Governments may have legitimate law enforcement reasons in terms of solving crimes, terrorists, organised criminals who threaten national security and protecting the public, however, it is increasingly becoming an accepted part of society. It raises a number of issues in respect to privacy, data access and protection. It also gives the impression that citizens are all potential criminal suspects who need to monitored.  National security now seems to be used regularly to convince society that governments needs to extend the State’s powers to protect them.  However, does this actually create a safer society, or one that is completely paranoid that it has to keep tabs on its citizens?

Thanks for reading!

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About the Author

Anna Cairo
Anna Cairo is the founder and Director of Anna Cairo Consulting, a boutique communications consultancy with its core focus on the disruptive social media and communication space. She has a passion for educating businesses, executives and leaders about the fragmentation of communication and its impacts on business as well as social media its risks and opportunities in the workplace.

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