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Essay: How Internet of Things is Affecting Society: An Overview

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Ever since the invention of World Wide Web (WWW) technology by a person, Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, Internet of Things (IOT) has been a hot topic for discussions. IOT simply means, intelligent interaction between human and things to exchange information and knowledge for new value creation.

We cannot deny the fact that this solution has helped revive world’s torn economy by improving performances, reduces costs, drive innovation, and create new revenue streams. And, now we have nearly, every best solution to the problem at our fingertips incorporated in the form of smart devices, Thank you Mr. ‘Internet’.

But so much so, benefits are, there are also some disturbing tendencies that come with the information flow. Our smartphone, for instance, have continued to betray us in what is seen as an infringement of individual rights. Today it is easy to transfer fund from anywhere, anytime, without much struggle. While it is a simple task of money transfer, the smart device does more than that by transmitting other details like real-time location, device information etc.

Now, forget about what we share knowingly or visible data like a Facebook post or twits, pictures, and videos, but there are a lot more happening behind without users knowledge. Digital Foot Print is one that is already driving everyone out of their ways and Digital footprint with Geotag and Metadata technology, many people tend to overlook putting other’s interest at stake. Somehow or either way, the right holder has practically zero control over what information have been exchanged online and this is why we are proposing, our society is desperately in need of action to filter the flow of information of a kind government censorship.

Whenever we say the law, what first comes to people’s mind is: Oh! No..No! Now we are not going to have freedom anymore. Actually, it doesn’t mean the way that many do perceive. You have to know what government’s mandate are; Logically, the government is not putting barriers on your way but having said this, if you are to committing crimes, then yes you may feel the difference. What government is for? We don’t have any other separate agenda but the general public, people like you and any other, we have the duty of care, we will work for you. Making our people safe, the modes of communications trustworthy are what government always aspires for.

The Internet is a kind of weapon to gain mileage; it can be either way, negative or positive. Therefore, first, we have to know what is the purpose of its invention. If it doesn’t serve the purposes the way it should, we must bring changes to best fit our purposes. For example, Gun is good for self-defense but what happens when it gets in the hand of the wrong person.

• Terrorism

The proponents are very much clear with our objectives and, sometimes we have to take rational decisions against the will of the general public because we already know what is happening around us now and then. Someone shot dead; another exploded killing dozens are one most prominent headline in international news channels like BBC and CNN. Why is this happening?

The answer to this is as simple as, what we see as the other side of free Internet and information flow.

➢ As per the BBC world news report, Facebook and Twitter, for instance, were number one used pages to recruit and promote such deadliest terror group like so-called ISIS group influencing many young stars to join as the fighter.

➢ Also, publication of United Nations states that the Al Qaeda hasn’t been that successful to get attentions like the modern terrorist group. Reason being, there was a high correlation between the increase in a number of members and free connectivity over the wide geography.

➢ Even in the recent incident of Paris attack, which left more than 124 people dead, the investigators are yet to confirm what they found the group had used Play Station 4 (PS4) network for their attack plan.

• Cybercrimes

An act of hacking, falsifying others by identity theft, online scams and fraud, attacks on computer systems to access illegal or prohibited online content are very much happening now and then, but that is not necessarily for financial reasons. It can be in the form of defamation, and non-consensual distribution of sexual materials especially that concerns children.

➢ Over 39,000 cases were reported to Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) just in 2015. But according to WA police that was just tip of the iceberg, comparing with cases that are uncovered.

➢ At any Instant of time, one in every five is a victim of identity crime with computer hacking, online banking and shopping in Australia. Meaning, out of almost 24 million people, more than 4 million people are victimized. Is it not alarming? Don’t you think its time to react?

• Behavioral Disorder in Child

Especially, teenagers are the ones who don’t know what is right or wrong. They believe what they see and, what will be the consequences of free access to the Internet. Nearly, no one has 24/7 time to monitor what his or her children do. Therefore, unfiltered Internet is also a source of Phonographs, drugs abuse, gang fights, homicides, and thereby exploiting the child.  

• Piracy and Intellectual Property

Piracy and Intellectual Property Rights is one biggest problem we face now.  Internet being the free end, anyone can copy and use others ideas for personal benefit. It will discourage knowledge and creativity, whereby lacking innovations in the society as a whole, therefore, information have to be constantly monitored by the supreme authority.

   

• Culture Depletion

Even at grass root level due to the free availability of information via Televisions, Radios, and Internets, some countries are on the verge of losing its’ cultural values. Bhutan can be one best example; its’ culture is one of the inner core values in the heart of concept called Gross National Happiness (GNH), even preservation of those cultures had become most challenging after the introduction of TV and Internet facilities sometimes back in 1990’s.

Bhutanese culture is all about non-violence but what happened after the release of ‘The Crows-Explode’; young stars started keeping hairs the way the characters in the film portrayed; they divided themselves into small groups and started gang fight, increasing crime rate by 45% in that particular year. This is where Bhutan government passed Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority Act, stating, any audiovisual products should meet eligibility criteria set by the government of Bhutan to get the certificate of public screening.

• Wrong Interpretation

On the other hand, many think, Freedom of speech is Individual Right or Human Right and, they assume that they can do whatever they like. Yes, it is a concept that has made each and everyone almost equal in the eyes of the law. You can do or can talk whatever way you think is the best but it doesn’t mean that you have right to destroy others in the interest of fulfilling your desires or defame others in pursuit of your superiority. That is purely unacceptable on the common ground. Do you think you have got right when you don’t care about others fundamental rights? A country like United Sates of America, where human Rights are given highest priority, they couldn’t withstand the effect of dirty face of development. And, therefore the Xindex.org’s publication states that “The latest Google Transparency report shows that the US requests more user data than any other country and issues the second most court orders for content removal behind Brazil” (Xindex, 2014, p.2).

Moreover, in the first place, your personal life is not in the interest of government. Censorship, it means, the government is not a fool to share all your personal information unnecessarily. Secondly, the government will not blindly appoint someone to take charge of such a sensitive data without a candidate, who is thoroughly tested and well proven. And believe me, we will ensure that our citizens are secure, hold ourselves accountable through transparency.

Nevertheless, with almost all people are now connected to each other, things are getting more and more interdependent and, we can see in the form of experiences, where our future is heading. Information goes online for data is the greatest asset in terms of the business environment in particular. The artificial intelligence system based on data asset have a capability of catastrophic destruction within split second, which is why; the world is in continues fear of cyber war than a nightmare of nuclear weapons. Therefore, if we don’t monitor what is going around, it will come other another way around us.

Furthermore, Water is very much precious for survival but dirty water cannot be consumed to quench thrust, so is the Internet. It doesn’t serve the purpose if the content is all junk. Therefore, by means of government intervention through censorship, the Internet should be made safe to be used for good and constructive purposes and yes, everyone should be able to trust the medium that they are using.

In conclusion, for the fact that we share this planet earth, we are so interdependent; rights of yours’ are other’s right too. Therefore, to make our world a better place for present day society and dream world for generations to come, we have the responsibility in common. While benefits of Internet and the free flow of Information are immense, it is even more important that people have access to more filtered information. That can be only achieved by means of government censorship and as a government, we would play the front role that is what is within our power to protect each and every one of you and we demand we must enforce it.

References:

• ABC News (2015) Relationship Fraud Feature. Available from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-14/relationship-fraud-feature/4519758 [Accessed 20 April 2016].

• BBC News (2014) How ISIS is spreading its message online. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27912569 [Accessed 20 April 2016]

• Butler, B. (2013) Network World, 4 Internet laws you should know about, 2(1), pp. 7-11.

• Cohen, J and Schmidt, E (2013) The New Digital age. 338 Euston Road: London NWI 3BH

• Gross National Happiness (2016) International Conference on Gross National Happiness. Available from: http://www.grossnationalhappiness.com/2015GNHConference/HPMSpeech_2015GNHConference.pdf [Accessed 24 March 2016]

• Xindex (2014) United States: Free expression constrained by cultural and political factors. Available from: https://www.indexoncensorship.org/2013/08/united-states-free-expression-constrained-by-cultural-and-political-factors/ [Accessed 18 April 2016]

• United Nations (1948) Declaration of Human Rights. Available from: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Documents/UDHR_Translations/eng.pdf [Accessed 24 March 2016].

• UNODC (2012) Use of Internet for Terrorist Purposes. Available from: https://www.unodc.org/documents/frontpage/Use_of_Internet_for_Terrorist_Purposes.pdf [Accessed 19 April 2016].

Appendices:

Metadata*: Data of data or information of data.

Geotag**, this is the practice of providing extra information especially about person’s location through Global Positioning System coordinates to different media types like pictures. It works by embedding information that is invisible through the user's browser plug-ins and other software programs.

Gross National Happiness (GNH)***: It is a holistic sustainable development approach adopted by Bhutan where its socio-economic development will be carried out without depleting its cultural values and natural environment in the paradigm of good governance.

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