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Online Freedom and the Government

IT Professional and Society Assignment 2 - Presentation
by

Frederick Wong

on 21 October 2012

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Transcript of Online Freedom and the Government

Therefore, what are the most ethical approaches to the dilemma of governments asking for private user information from online services? First Approach The online service should aid the user in keeping his information secure from any third party including the government in a legal way. Second Approach The online service should release information pertaining to what they mean by “criminal cases”. What type of cases justify the release of private information and infringement on the user’s privacy? Third Approach The online service should not resort to “extreme transparency” in the interest of protecting the safety of people linked to the criminal cases. In conclusion.... Online Freedom and
the Government Group Members:
Frederick Ka-Fung Wong 10308575
Dinh Duc Nguyen 11459575
Khalid Altarawneh 11259494
Quek Peiling Rachel 11362530
Chaosong Nie 11458849 Team: Globalisation Subject Name: IT Professional and Society 32563 Tutor: Dr. Roman Danylak 'Online Freedom and Government' Background Governments are increasingly asking online services such as Google for users' private information

Main article: “U.S. Government Requests for Google Users’ Private Data Jump 37% In One Year”

Google received 6,321 requests that it hand over its users’ private data to U.S. government agencies. Google complied with 94% of these requests.

Google has a lower rate of complying with requests for user information from other governments.
U.K. ------------64%
Germany -----45%
Russia ---------0%
Turkey ---------0% Private Information Other requests from other governments around the world to remove or modify specific things posted through Google services.

For example, there have been requests from countries such as Bolivia, Czech Republic, Jordan, Ukraine to take down online content that might be critical of the government.

These requests to take down content have largely been denied Censorship What is this topic about? This topic is about attempts made by governments all over the world in viewing, obtaining, controlling, editing and monitoring online user activity and the associated responses from the online services. Therefore, this report will discuss and analyse the

1) ethical issues,
2) social issues
3) legal issues

related to the news article by Greenberg (2012) called “U.S. Government Requests For Google Users’ Private Data Jump 37% In One Year” in order to come to a well reasoned ethical position and solution. What will this report do? Discussion and Analysis Three main issues/dilemmas:

1) Government requests for private information

2) Government monitoring and collection of private information

3) Government censorship of online activity Each analysed by the custom made,
"3-step Method" Step 1: Analyse the Facts of the Situation What are the relevant facts? The U.S. government has requested information from various popular online services such Google, Twitter and Facebook.

Google complied with 93% of requests, Twitter complied with 75%, Facebook has not released figures

Google and Twitter generally do not release private user information to foreign governments Who are the Stakeholders? U.S. Government

Other Governments

Online Services such as Google, Facebook and Twitter

Private Users Examine the effects Positive effects Aiding Criminal Cases
- For example, Google supplied the IP address of a kidnapper

Protecting the safety of the public Negative effects Public Skeptical of government.

User mistrust of online service

Harming online service profitability

Users' Privacy Violated What is the Ethical dilemma? How should online services respond to governments wishing to procure information related to private user accounts.? Ethical Why is privacy important? Utilitarian approach Lack of Transparency Step 2: Ethical, Social and Legal Analysis “protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we're doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance.”

“Absolute power corrupts absolutely”

"Without Privacy we would feel naked and exposed"

"nothing wrong when we make love or go to the toilet" “Greatest Happiness for the greatest number.”

1) Governments are ethically right in seeking information to prosecute criminals
Google giving over IP address of Kidnapper.

2) Government "Overfishing" for information
Invasion of Privacy?

3) What is a "criminal case"?
Criminals could be people who criticise the government in some countries. What constitutes as a "Criminal Act"?

Exacerbating public anxiety and suspicion of government and online service.

Causing public worry and mistrust goes against Utilitarian principles Social ACS Code of Ethics The Death of Privacy Why has privacy died? “endeavour to preserve the confidentiality and privacy of the information of others.”

“identify those potentially impacted by your work and explicitly consider their interests”

“I must consider and respect people’s privacy which might be affected by my work.” Technologies that are able to monitor, record and store your information

Facebook, Twitter, Google determines whether or no to release your information to government

Society has come to accept that their privacy has become public knowledge
In 2009, 59% happy to give private information to marketers
In 1998, 80% reluctant to use online shopping due to privacy fears “I think privacy is greatly overrated because privacy basically means concealment. People conceal things in order to fool other people about them." --- U.S. Federal Judge Richard Posner

“If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place"
--- Google CEO Eric Schmidt

Future Prediction: ACS Code of Ethics will not mention privacy. Legal Giving over Total Control Lack of Transparency is Legal Total Loss of Control Twitter, Google, and Facebook is legally allowed to release any information that you had submitted to them to whomever they choose.

“a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).”
--- Twitter Terms of Service 2012 “By law, neither online service nor the government is obliged to inform a user when an account is subject to a search by law enforcement"

Twitter and several other social-media sites have formally adopted a policy to notify users when law enforcement asks to search their profile.

Facebook spokesperson would not say whether the company had a similar policy to notify users. “This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing you have added to Google Maps).”
--- Google Terms of Service 2012

Governments have a large repository of information to request from.

Discretion of IT company determines whether private information is released.

Either way, the online service will be acting legally Also... Alternatively... One
idea... Step 3: Ethical Options and Decision Consequentialist Principle:
“The more good consequences an act produces, the better or more right that act.” "Online services should release information about which criminal cases and circumstances justify the release of private information to the government and thus violate the privacy of the user." "Google and Twitter could release even more information and list out detailed information about the the criminal cases they have complied with. I.e. "Extreme Transparency"

Can have severe negative consequences such as jeopardising ongoing criminal cases

Considered wrong according to the consequentialist approach due to the overwhelming number of bad consequences. "Online services should tell users when their information is being requested by the government" Twitter tells users so they have a chance to quash the subpeona from the government

Twitter could be considered as ethical according to the ACS Code of Ethics (2012) which state that IT professionals should, “endeavour to preserve the confidentiality and privacy of the information of others.” References 1. ACS 2012, ACS Code of Professional Conduct, ACS, viewed 6/10/2012, <https://www.acs.org.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/4901/Code-of-Professional-Conduct_Final.pdf>.

2. BBC 2012, Consequentialism, BBC, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/introduction/consequentialism_1.shtml>.

3. Cauley, L. 2006, NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls, USA Today, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-10-nsa_x.htm>.

4. Facebook 2012, Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, Facebook, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://www.facebook.com/legal/terms>.

5. Fried, I. 2009, Mozilla worker touts Bing over Google, citing privacy, Cnet, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10413473-56.html>.

6. Gaudin, S. 2009, Facebook use grows by 700%; maintains top social networking spot, Computer World, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9133841/Facebook_use_grows_by_700_maintains_top_social_networking_spot_>.

7. Google 2012, Google Terms of Service, Google, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://www.google.com.au/intl/en/policies/terms/regional.html>.

8. Google n.d., User Data Requests, Google Transparency Report, <http://www.google.com/transparencyreport/userdatarequests/faq/>.

9. Greenberg, A. 2012, U.S. Government Requests For Google Users' Private Data Jump 37% In One Year, Forbes, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/06/17/u-s-government-requests-for-google-users-private-data-spike-37-in-one-year/>.

10. Helft, M. & Barboza, D. 2010, Google Shuts China Site in Dispute Over Censorship, New York Times, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/23/technology/23google.html?_r=2&>.

11. Hill, K. 2011, How Facebook Secretly Aids Government Searches, Forbes, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2011/07/12/how-facebook-secretly-aids-government-searches/>.

12. Jennings, R. 2009, Google CEO:if you want privacy, do you have something to hide?, Computer World, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://blogs.computerworld.com/15234/google_ceo_if_you_want_privacy_do_you_have_something_to_hide>.

13. Johnson, B. 2010, Privacy no longer a social norm, says Facebook founder, The Guardian, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/jan/11/facebook-privacy>.

14. Lee, E. 2000, An Introduction to Utilitarianism, The Victorian Web, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://www.victorianweb.org/philosophy/utilitarianism.html>.

15. McCullagh, D. 2010, Why no one cares about privacy anymore, Cnet, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20000336-38.html>.

16. McCullagh, D. 2011, How 9/11 attacks reshaped U.S. privacy debate, Cnet, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20103750-281/how-9-11-attacks-reshaped-u.s-privacy-debate/>.

17. Mill, J.S. 2001, Utilitarianism, The Electric Book Company Ltd, <http://site.ebrary.com/lib/utslibrary/docDetail.action?docID=2001606>.

18. Peslak, A.R. 2006, 'Internet Privacy Policies of the Largest International Companies', Journal of Electronic Commerce in Organizations, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 46-62.

19. Pilkington, E. 2012, Twitter releases data on government requests for user information, The Guardian, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jul/02/twitter-transparency-report>.

20. Roberts, J.J. 2011, A new law-enforcement tool: Facebook searches, Thomson Reuters, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Legal/News/2011/07_-_July/A_new_law-enforcement_tool__Facebook_searches/>.

21. Schneier, B. 2006, The Eternal Value of Privacy, Wired, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://www.wired.com/politics/security/commentary/securitymatters/2006/05/70886>.

22. Shaw, J. 2009, Exposed, The erosion of privacy in the Internet era, Harvard Magazine, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://harvardmagazine.com/2009/09/privacy-erosion-in-internet-era>.

23. Singel, R. 2011, Twitter's Response to WikiLeaks Subpoena Should Be the Industry Standard, Wired, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/01/twitter/>.

24. Twitter 2012, Terms of Service, Twitter, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://twitter.com/tos>.

25. UnitedNations n.d., The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml>.

26. Weir, D. 2012, Vietnam jails bloggers for criticizing the government online, Digital Journal, viewed 6/10/2012, <http://digitaljournal.com/article/333449>.
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