Consumer surveys have suggested that many Internet users are concerned about losing bits of their privacy when they are engaged in online activities. In fact, many Internet users identify privacy as their number one concern, ahead of concerns about ease of use, security, cost, spam, and so forth. (a) Do only individuals who elect to use the Internet have reason to be concerned about losing their privacy? (b) Should those who have never even used a computer also worry? (c) Lastly, are issues of privacy a major concern in Canada (you must provide an appropriate reference that supports your answer to this question, i.e., url, news article, etc.)? Please elaborate (beyond a yes or no answer) and provide your “theoretical” rationale in support of your responses. (knowledge)
In the days and weeks immediately following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, some political leaders claimed that “extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures”; in times of war, basic civil liberties and freedoms, such as privacy, need to be severely restricted for the sake of national security and safety. Perhaps, as a nation, the value that we have traditionally attached to privacy has diminished significantly since then. Consider that the majority of American citizens strongly supported the USA (United and Strengthening America) PATRIOT (Provide Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Act, which passed by an overwhelming margin in both houses of Congress and was enacted into law on October 21, 2001. Privacy advocates have since expressed their concerns about this act, noting that it might have gone too far in eroding basic civil liberties. Some critics also fear that certain provisions included in the act could easily be abused; for example, those in power could use those provisions to achieve controversial political ends under the convenient guise of national defense. Examine some of the details of USA PATRIOT Act (go to http://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/hr3162.html). (a) Determine whether its measures are as extreme as its critics suggest. (b) Are those measures consistent with the value of privacy, which Americans claim to embrace? (c) Do privacy interests need to be reassessed, and possibly recalibrated, in light of recent attacks by and ongoing threats from terrorists? (d) What similar acts or laws exist in the United Kingdom? Please elaborate (beyond a yes or no answer) and provide your “theoretical” rationale in support of your responses. (comprehension)
Through the use of currently available online tools and search facilities, ordinary users can easily acquire personal information about others. In fact, anyone who has Internet access can, via a search engine such as Google, find information about us that we ourselves might have had no idea is publicly available there. (a) Is it true that individual privacy is threatened by the use of search engines? (b) Give some examples how that might occur. (c) Do individuals/hackers from anywhere on the globe access personal information of citizens of other countries? (d) Give some examples illustrating that has occurred. (be specific and provide support for your answer) Please elaborate (beyond a yes or no answer) and provide your “theoretical” rationale in support of your responses. (comprehension)
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