How far should governments interfere with the virtual world used by their citizens: The rights, requirements and limitation?
The increasing tendency for people’s internet access to exchanging information among four corners of the globe proves how crucial it is functionally in their current lives. The internet changes the ways in which people interact, trade, learn and communicate in their daily life. It is becoming increasingly difficult to imagine life without it. In addition, it offers citizens all kinds of opportunities including exercising human rights both online and offline. Such a necessity has provoked prefunded debates in scientific and political sessions searching ongoing development assisting citizens in managing its inseparable and impressive impacts of the internet conceptually. The development of this phenomenon persuades us to take a closer look at sovereignty, national security issues and accessing the internet as a criterion for human rights. There is a conflict of interest as an obstacle to achieve a balanced stage pushing back the boundary of breaching human rights.
First and foremost, the right for access to free information has provided the spur to further research about how possible it is to meet secure cyber networks more and more. For example, the UN declares that Internet access is recognized as a human right. It is observed in different international instruments like treaties, resolutions issued by General Assembly or Security Council use the variations of the same themes with the words “Internet access” and “human rights”.
On the other hand, this is the right of states to control the space of information generally or by details. Consequently, many governments have tried to regulate the internet in different ways threatening possibly the citizens’ rights. There are many examples indicating that they are limiting it in the whole of regions in order to restrict expression and political participation. As a result, they are harmfully approving laws targeting activities regulating critical expression on social media, detrimental laws in order to limit critical expression and justify arbitrary or even illegitimate surveillance, etc.
Likewise, almost all our online interactions are made through private platforms. The human rights of users are also impacted by the role of private companies, for example. To explain more, private companies have the power to track, trade and sell users’ data. They can also regulate key issues, like online harassment and hate speech according to their own terms of service or community guidelines, which may or may not comply with international human rights law. To put simply, computers with the Internet access, telecommunication equipment, modern technological tools or even technology-based activities would be noteworthy status that their policies and approaches are justified in the field of respectfully performance of individual privacy. For example, checking private emails is located at the top of the civil societies’ lists. Admittedly, this trend is attributed to show some different dimensions of human’s life. However, it is likely to erode the roots of man kind’s achievements collected in the whole of man’s history.
Intellectual technology (IT) is pushing people generally to reshape their life styles in order to put themselves on the proper line designed as a part of post-modern global village. This issue is rooted on such a constantly spine need.
Both states and people have prepared a vast list of consequences suspiciously threatening the rights of humans and restricting governments from defending the rights of people. Despite some possible problems challenging citizens, many factors are listed to justify that both of them concur their ongoing activities expanded much more widespread and complicated than the past. Free internet does not mean using without any restriction. There is various points assisting in clarification of the necessities and musts.
Firstly, data sharing on a mass scale and for many purposes in a digitally connected world means that our personal information is increasingly open to attack and misuse. It has been raised as the first and common concern between citizens and governments. In addition, in our online communications and transactions, we are seriously facing risks exposing details about our lives. The used information is private and people are sensitively attempting to preserve them. This includes not only financial data that must be kept secure, but also it includes the information about our location, friends, families and associates, political beliefs, purchases and even our health data. Therefore, governmental players across the globe are creating digital identity systems connected to our biometric information building as a bridge from our digital activities to our lives and identity offline. It is not possible to hide that such a digital identity may be misused as a target of exploitation, either for commercial or political ends.
Of course, the story is not as simple as written above. But some dictatorial states and their officials interestingly have added politically to prevent their people from understanding everything about their policies. Less information, more power to control their societies. They have put more pressure on their people to achieve these goals exposing on more limitation about free information. On the other hand, the states intended to positively to run their communities in the correct path meted their needs individually or in terms of their political parties. Another reason is presumably related to unprepared social infrastructures. It is obvious that people are not as ready they are expected. To practice Information needs to have necessary capacities for using it. If not, information is likely to make the situation worse.
People and their governments have challenged with each other in order to achieve more targets. Advocates of human rights and the right for free access to the Internet are always located exactly on front of another side concentrating on more restricting policies protected constitutionally by governments in different stages. Meanwhile, a vast range of international instruments are supporting human rights attitudes. Conversely, both constitutional law and political sciences are targeting maximum protection about the necessity of the harnessing activities on the exchange of information among individuals and their societies.