Increased threat of cybercrime over recent years has lead to an increase in cyber policing with an imminent threat of complete clamp down on peoples internet freedom in some jurisdiction.
Never before in the human history has the information been shared so freely and thanks to advances in communication technology society has converted on the internet to share both ideas and some many other things. All this is however at the risk of being backtracked as cyber policing grows to try and arrest the menace of cyber crime.
Internet security is increasingly getting more personal and is not just a worry for governments, businesses and law enforcers. The man on the street is under attack and authorizes are taking upon themselves to cushion them from these malice through cyber policing.
But how much cyber policing is too much? Do we really need all this checks and balances or are we sacrificing our internet privacy on a pedestal of cyber security?
There are already efforts by international governing bodies like the United Nations and the International Telecommunications Union to encourage governments across the world to institute laws and regulations concerning internet use in their jurisdiction.
In the UK such powers by police to access everybody’s search history without needing to get a warrant from the court are now known legislated on the “Snooper’s Charter”. It provides sweeping legal grounds for law enforcers to check on what sites anyone is looking at and who they are communicating with, essentially stripping every single British person of their internet privacy.
While the internet seems broken in this error of Presidents tweeting like 16-year-olds, there is still need to protect the privacy of individuals on the internet and over policing would not be the best way to do this.
Furthermore, not all governments have the best interest of the people at hand. A good example is authoritarian states in Africa and the Middle East that would use such laws and powers in the guise of checking cyber security to clampdown on any dissident or opposition. And this is already happening in countries like Ethiopia and Turkey. “It’s a fine rope walk trying to balance between just enough cyber security and needing policing, we need to constantly be on the look out for that threshold, because internet policing would fundamentally shift the way the internet has been run for well over two decades, and people won’t happily roll over” – said Peter of Secure Links
By allowing internet policing to be a norm we are in essence allowing state sponsored hacking on their citizen legally. That might be good in ensuring safety of the masses, but not very good in allowing the spirit by which the internet was developed; to enable free and easy flow of information and liberate people from the confines of state imposed borders.
The world’s cyber security industry is expected to grow by at least 10 percent every year and reach $200 billion by 2021, according to research firm Markets and Markets. Probably this is the main reason government want to keep an check on it and increase their tax revenues while at the same time snooping on peoples affairs.
For them (governments) this is a double edged sword, but for the people this is a step back from the progress made in terms of communication and freedom of doing what they want on the internet without being monitors and over policed.
While the risks are there for less unsolicited checks from the internet police, a world without cyber policing is much better than having snoopers checking your search history every single day.
Conclusively we can do everything within out power to protect ourselves with an online presence yet, as it goes with everything else, people and technologies evolve and the measures currently available will not protect us forever, even in their updated formats. It is inevitable, then, that internet policing will come about and, given recent hacking events across the globe, most probably will be invoked in the not too distant future.