The Electronic Frontier Foundation

I think that one of the most important if not the most important non-profit group to support is the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They are a civil liberties group that specializes in the digital world. Although the world has many problems such as refugee crises, starving people and people dying from a lack of medical attention or even running water, it is all the more important that user privacy and free expression are key staples in the world of the near future.

Many people think that because they have a handle on social media and can do a few things on their smartphone that they have a pretty good idea of where technology is. They are mistaken. The scientific world moves quickly when it is motivated to. The majority of both business and political success in the current era relies on information gathering and organizing. This is why this field of science and technology is far more advanced than people know. Unfortunately, the value of the collection of data is very high and people don’t seem to understand why. Their understanding is not required for them to be exploited.

As more groups of people transition from the third world to the first world, we need to ensure that these people are not taken advantage of by corporations or governments who want to gather their data and maybe in the future even gather them. There have already been accusations of certain groups gathering data on minority groups, including biometric data, as a way to fuel the illegal organ-harvesting racket around the world. It is my hope that some of the more basic problems such as food, water and shelter will gradually work themselves out but the matter of your digital rights to privacy has a huge amount of both private and public money behind it and the problems are increasing every day, not decreasing.

A lot of people say that they have nothing to hide because they are not bad people, but they are being selfish. Not everyone is a hero with something to hide or some information that needs to reach the rest of humanity, and not everyone has a message or a warning that must be transmitted and heard in order for justice to take place, but those people do exist. We cannot allow a system that would prevent free expression or anonymity online just because most of us have nothing to hide. This system isn’t for us. This system is for everyone here and for future generations. Even today many countries are lobbying against encryption and live in a fairytale land that goes against math itself where they feel they can have a backdoor to communication networks around the world while still being secure. This isn’t how security works and they are lying to the face of people who don’t know any better, or scaring them with bad images of online crimes or even terrorism. This fear mongering is cowardly.

Societies with limited privacy and free speech exist and have existed in recent history. We already know how the behavior of humans changes. Such a global chilling effect must be avoided at all costs if democratic systems are to succeed on this planet.

Ivan




Vocabulary

staple (noun) – something that is used widely and often
have a handle on (idiom) – to understand and be able to deal with
exploit (verb) – to use someone or something in a way that helps you unfairly
biometric (adj.) – relating to an individual’s biological information (ex: fingerprints, DNA, etc.)
fear monger (idiom) – the spreading of frightening and exaggerated rumors of an impending danger to spread fear about an issue
chilling effect (idiom) – an undesirable or discouraging outcome, especially when it is the result of a restrictive law or regulation

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