1. Integrating and citing at least 3 resources from this

1.

  • Integrating and citing at least 3 resources from this week, what are some trends that we are likely to see in the future that will partner technology and government/policy?

The enhancement of cyber defenses and technical capabilities is one trend we should expect in the near future. After COVID-19 stretched government systems, such as state unemployment websites, this raised attention (Birnbaum, 2021). Many people were left jobless and looking for work during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, around 6.6 million people applied for unemployment benefits, causing state unemployment websites to collapse (Zakrzewski & Riley, 2020).

Another trend we may anticipate is the US military’s increased focus on cyber security. Baltimore was hit by a ransomware assault in 2019 that cost the city an estimated $18.2 million, including a $6 million ransom paid to hackers personally. These kinds of cyber assaults highlight the necessity for our nation’s cyber security to continually evolve and strengthen to prevent attacks of this magnitude from occurring again. We can predict scenarios in which the U.S. Cyber Command rethinks its strategy for monitoring and protecting against foreign incursion and financial crime in the digital world (Barry, 2020).

We see a trend of The Internet of Things (IoT) allowing us to rethink what privacy means by shedding light on the concept that it will be the standard for any appliance, automobile, or gadget to gather information on its usage and environment, which is related to the need for increased attention on cyber security. This might make it more difficult to keep information that you wish to keep private (Elsayed-Ali, 2016).

References:

Birnbaum, E. (2021, January 2). Tech legislation to watch in 2021. Protocol. https://www.protocol.com/tech-legislation-2021

Zakrzewski, C., & Riley, T. (2020, April 2). The Technology 202: State unemployment websites are crashing amid record number of claims. Retrieved from The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-technology-202/2020/04/02/the-technology-202-state-unemployment-websites-are-crashing-amid-record-number-of-claims/5e84ee3e88e0fa101a758301/

Barry, S. (2020, January 6). 5 ways technology will revolutionize government in the 2020’s. Nextgov. https://www.nextgov.com/ideas/2020/01/5-ways-

technology-will-revolutionize-government-2020s/162236/

Elsayed-Ali, S. (2016, October 11). Five ways technology will shape the future of politics, society and human rights. Medium.

https://medium.com/@sherifea/five-ways-technology-will-shape-the-future-of-politics-society-and-human-rights-8ee0bb12944a

  • Based on what you learned from this week’s resources, what impact has social media had on government, politics, and activism? Where has social media had a positive impact? Where has it had a negative impact? 

The election of 2020 had a record-breaking turnout of young people. A total of 25 million persons under the age of 30 cast votes. When we look at how the 2020 election played out, politicians using social media for outreach proved to be beneficial. Our reach provides benefits in this regard, but we should consider the drawbacks, such as providing misleading information to achieve goals and fit an agenda (Above the Noise, 2020). Another advantage we can see is the increased overall reach you get when you use social media sites. For those on a mission to make a change, such as Lucy Gavaghan’s petition against Tesco, which garnered enough attention through social media and the press to persuade Tesco to pledge to phase out eggs from caged hens by 2025. One of the most important advantages of using social media is that it allows millions of individuals to engage by just inputting their names or clicking a button (Greenpeace UK, 2020).

References:

Above the Noise (2020). Should politicians be on social media? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bc8dmvOrrU&t=26s

Greenpeace UK (2020). Do hashtags and petitions actually work? [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxrrMu9bU-E

2.

Based on the reading I believe that technology will partner with the government in quite a few ways. First, I agree with Shaun Barry, in that “The U.S. military will add a new branch to defend against cyber threats” (2020). As Barry stated in his article, many of our cities and businesses have been hacked and held for ransom, or had sensitive information released. This shows the danger of cybersecurity threats. We recently created the Space Force to help increase our presence in space so it would stand to reason that we do the same for the cyber world. Second, Serif, Elsayed-Ali writes that, “The Internet of Things (IoT) will force us to rethink what privacy means” (2016). Every year we increase the use of technology we use that has ways of monitoring us. Fitbits and cellphones are constantly gathering information from us that we may not want to provide. For instance, most smartphones have an assistant A.I that is always listening, waiting for users to call its name. Calling “Siri” activates the A.I so you can ask it a question to help you out. But while it is waiting to hear its name, Siri is also recording what you are saying to prepare for when it hears its name. What does it do with all the things it hears? Does it automatically delete it or does it store the information in an Apple server somewhere? Technology will only get more invasive and the government will need to draw the line at what privacy really means to protect people. Lastly, I think that online platforms will have to provide more information about their content policies. Emily Birnbaum mentions that the Platform Accountability and Consumer Transparency (PACT) Act will require sites like Google and Facebook to “provide more transparency around their content moderation decisions and policies” (2021). This goes with a previous discussion where I mentioned how Facebook controls what it allows to be posted. This is generally positive but at some point, one has to wonder how the decision to remove a post was made. Was there a guide book that was used or was it the personal opinion of those in charge at Facebook? Facebook can essentially block someone’s free speech and this needs to be addressed so that in the future Facebook and others like it don’t become some type of tyrant.

Social media has played a large part in politics over recent years. A positive impact of social media is simply in getting the word out. Social media reaches all over the world. 30 years ago, people in the U.S would be hard pressed to know what issues are going on in another country like China if they didn’t read a newspaper or watch the news. Even then the newspaper and tv can only tell you so much. With social media we can find out about problems anywhere within a matter of minutes or even seconds. It is then possible to show support for another country by posting videos and hashtags to bring awareness to someone’s issues. A negative could also be in the way misinformation gets out so quickly. Anyone can create a social media account. Typically, you can post almost anything you want. The problem arises in that there are many people who purposely put out false or hurtful information. In many cases it is impossible to stop this flow of information. Accounts can be banned or even deleted, but the malicious users can simply create another account and keep spreading their misinformation. This misinformation can reach many people who could then spread it to even more people. There is a benefit in allowing so many people to communicate, but it also increases the rate in which malicious users can spread false or hurtful information.

References

Barry, S. (2020, January 6). 5 ways technology will revolutionize government in the 2020’s. Nextgov. https://www.nextgov.com/ideas/2020/01/5-ways-technology-will-revolutionize-government-2020s/162236/

Birnbaum, E. (2021, January 2). Tech legislation to watch in 2021. Protocol. https://www.protocol.com/tech-legislation-2021

Elsayed-Ali, S. (2016, October 11). Five ways technology will shape the future of politics, society and human rights. Medium. https://medium.com/@sherifea/five-ways-technology-will-shape-the-future-of-politics-society-and-human-rights-8ee0bb12944a

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