Week 11: Cyber-Warries

Computers as weapons of mass destruction? If you can’t believe it, you will soon understand.

The rise of the cyber-war is upon us and it is only getting stronger where each day hackers are discovering new ways to observe us, attack us and boycott us by owning and functioning off our personal information. Hacking has seen a shift from exposing social problems and humorous antics to operating as a gargantuan surveillance system, where anyone can be monitored no matter their location (Mitew, T 2015).

We all spend a considerable amount of time creating personal brands for ourselves online, whether it be searching, uploading or following content specific to our interests. In today’s society our sexual, religious and political views place great emphasis on the career path we plan to take, with any wrong connotation on the internet carrying great detriments into our ‘real life’. What is scary is that society will never forget, the internet will not be erased or deleted, one wrong move and that is the end of our lives. But what if others could shape our identity? In extreme cases, this has observed in extremist countries where groups such as the ‘Syrian Electronic Army’ have attacked and overloaded social networking profiles with pro-Assad messages (Keller, J 2011).

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Not only are individuals affected…whole nations are utilising computers as weapons of mass destruction in gaining control over the world, where recently the Prime Minister of Paris expressed concerns over not having access to society’s Snapchat and iMessage content in an attempt to monitor and ‘spy’ on popular chat communications (Griffin, A 2015). Similar events have seen the Thailand government come under attack by hacktivists, by attempting to implement a single internet gateway to monitor information from abroad (Samuth, N 2015). What I initially thought of as fun ways to connect with my friends has now become excess weight put on my shoulders, where I am continuously second guessing every move I make online. This isn’t living, this is prison.

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Computers are weapons of mass destruction. Do you believe it?

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