Tuesday, August 16, 2011

On or Off; asset or threat?

The riots in London last week have stirred controversy about the role of social media and modern network communication tools.

Earlier this year we heard the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, preaching on the value of social media to empower those revolting in the 'Arab Spring.'

Now, in Britain, there is debate about whether to continue to allow social media/network communications because they provide such a valuable intelligence monitoring asset; or whether to restrict or disable access at times, as the BART did in San Francisco last week. Or as the former USSR members are doing:

 Evgeny Morozov 


What do you think?
Are the tools we use like a knife that can be used to prepare a meal or stab a victim?
In other words, are the tools morally neutral?
Or do we say that only responsible adults (or chefs) can use knives?
In which case, who makes that call?
Who gets to decide who is the parent here?
And what do we do if we disagree?
Is it true that 'everyone has something to hide?'
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