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Ethical Communications-System Development

Y Badal (201379211)
In light of this years massive surveillance disclosures, one begins to mull over the
advancement of surveillance in world. It has become frighteningly apparent that large governmental
entities have begun to invasively monitor people through the use of internet-based communications
systems. The magnitude of such operations is on a global scale and the reasons vary for each
organization. The most notable entity of mass surveillance is the U.S. government, specifically the
National Security Agency (NSA). The proverbial whistle was blown on the U.S. earlier this year;
revealing copious details of numerous accounts of invasive monitoring built into commonly used
internet-based communications systems (Greenwald, 2013). Actions, only justified as a bid against
A disturbing comparison can be made between George Orwells dystopia created in the novel
1984 and the U.S.s actions. Orwell tells of a totalitarian society that is heavily laced with the
governments need for surveillance and control (Orwell, 1949). The novel sheds light on why an
autocratic society is a form of oppression and how technology is used to mine sensitive information.
Furthermore, it tells the world that it is wrong to deny a person of his or her privacy. There is a
distinct notion realised; technology should not be used unethically.
Although, the U.S.s actions are not as disturbing as Orwells dystopia, it is important to
remain cognisant of the result of invasive communications systems in order to avoid a dystopia.
Systems should be developed ethically, to avoid exploits by third parties. Privacy should remain
that of the user, and not something that should be mined by clandestine organisations. It should be
the developers responsibility to thrive to develop systems that are ethical and non-invasive to users.
Laws should be implemented so as to prevent the obtaining of private information through the
infiltration of communications-systems especially internet based ones. Furthermore, organisations
should not allow access to private information based on their affiliations to certain countries.
Privacy should be universal, universal to the all users of the internet.
The near future will be flooded with strongly opinionated internet-activists, whose goal is to
declare the internet free and unoppressed. In light of the above, communications systems are a
major topic in daily society, it is clear that the current trend leans toward a society where
surveillance is not invasive. The actions of this year have brought about a calamity, gone are the
days where communications systems are said to be transparent. A new era of development is to be
ushered in, one that liberates the user from surveillance developed by ethical and philanthropic

Greenwald, G., 2013. XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet'. [Online]
Available at:
Orwell, G., 1949. 1984. United Kingdom: Secker & Warburg.