Privacy is a significantly thorny issue especially in the present global age where much attention has shifted to freer media coverage. The democratization procedures advocated by the western civilization brought with it media liberalization which has over the decades established itself as one of the most significant pillars of principal democracies across the globe. The advancing years have equally witnessed the proliferation of Internet Media Services. Presently the online media is experiencing rampart growth fuelled by the emergence and establishment of social networks. Countless numbers of individuals persistently communicate via these sites exchanging plentiful ideas across the globe.
Social networking has afforded individuals a platform for substantial freedoms of expression. In deed, the Internet is a source of all sorts of publication with a variety of bloggers touching on multidisciplinary topics and themes. However, amid these developments questions are emerging concerning the relationship between the innate freedoms and individual and institutional privacy. This essay focuses on the dissimilar media regulations strategies implemented in divergent nations across the globe. The essay puts much emphasis on the specific control constructs existent in two principal global powers. For this analysis, the two nations are considered; they are China and the U.S.
Privacy in the contemporary world is a very prickly issue. Wacks (89) observes that individual privacy is increasingly under scrutiny. Presently, there is countless installation of electronic surveillance system comprising biometric systems, CCTV, radio frequency identifiers, internet security installations, encryption systems and a vast variety of technical monitoring systems that persistently monitor events and generate repots. Over the time, a number of nations have instituted regulations regulating events within the media with the aim of establishing systems that ensure privacy for individuals while respecting the media freedoms.
According to ACLU, there is considerable increment in tracking of individual internet usage by corporations and private enterprises across the globe. Reportedly, these institutions find such information useful and in numerous counts have sold it to respective state agencies. ACLU observes that over the years the technologies employed by these internet trackers have increasingly advanced making it increasingly hard for internet users to maintain any substantive privacy.
DeCew observes that privacy has recurrent usage in ordinary, as well as idealistic, political and permissible applications. Nevertheless, there are dismal attempts of definition in all these proposed sectors of academic discussions. DeCew defines privacy as the state of freedom from watchful or observing disturbances of other individuals. Consequently, Tavani observes that privacy is a term that lacks obvious definition and comprehension amid the varieties of disciplines. However, he proposes that privacy relates to a stipulated interest that individuals have relevant to the protection of individual interests, property and space.
Additionally, Tavani proposes an alternative view of privacy which identifies its relation to fiscal interests. Furthermore, this school of thought identifies information regarding individual privacy as an economic asset that has an associated monetary value. Furthermore, in Tavani's work, it is evident that privacy and its related associate issues are analyzable from the self-interest perspective. Reportedly, this approach entails the protection of information regarding a given individual. Nonetheless, mounting evidence indicates that privacy is a legal right enjoyed by an individual and is closely associated with great philosophical arguments.
There are numerous theories regarding privacy and in particular theories relating to control and restricted access. Tavani is such a theorist and provides an in-depth analysis of these themes. Tavani observes that the standard version of the control theory regarding privacy declares that an individual is capable of attaining a sense of privacy only in circumstances where the individual has absolute control over all sorts of information regarding credited to him. Tavani observes that this theoretical model has considerable benefits. Firstly, it isolates privacy issues from the twin factors of solitude and liberty. Consequently, it recognizes the functionality of choice as a consequent benefit of privacy. Evidently, choice gives an individual the opportunity to permit or deny any form of access to individual information.
Despite these positives, the theory has difficulty in regards to its practicability and conceptualization. It is impractical for anyone to have an absolute control over all information regarding oneself. Theoretically, the concept implies that an individual has the capacity to reveal comprehensive information regarding oneself without infringing on his individual privacy. Evidently, it is impractical for anyone to reveal all information regarding individual self and manage to maintain certain levels of privacy. In regard to this concept, Tavani observes that, apart from its deficient theoretical and conceptual attributes the model similarly lacks clarity as it relates privacy and autonomy. This is evident in its exclusive focus on pertinent attributes of control and choice.
Despite their failures in addressing practicable privacy issues their focus on individual information quantifies their past applications. Moreover, their theoretical model of privacy is superior to the alternate models which emphasize on intrusion and exclusion attributes of privacy. Nonetheless, despite the failure of these theories in addressing the issues of privacy, they outline a comprehensive model of privacy (Tavani).
According to Tavani, Moore offered an advanced model of the control and restricted access aspects of privacy. Reportedly, Moore argued that an individual privacy in regard to others is possible, if the individual enjoys protection from infringements such as intrusion, interference and unpermitted access to the individual's information. According to Tavani, Moore's model is workable in that, it leaves his model open to varied applications. This is possible through the deliberate exclusion of situational attributes in his definition. Evidently, this restricts the definition to limited areas that exclusively defines privacy. According to Tavani, Moore's model discriminates between the definitive conditions of privacy and an individual's absolute right to privacy. Consequently, it discriminates amid the situation of possible infringement of privacy and loss of privacy.
Tavani shows Moore's achievement of this milestone as based on his ability to distinguish between natural situations of privacy and normative situations of privacy. According to Tavani, natural privacy is a situation where an individual privacy is enforceable by natural conditions such as physical demarcations existent in natural settings which prevents intrusive actions by others. In normative model, privacy is enforceable by legal or ethical barriers. Evidently, from these definitions, the violation of natural privacy is possible but it is not practical to lose this form of privacy.
The loss of natural privacy is attributable to the deficiency of guiding norms for practicable enforceability of the model. This shows significant dissimilarity to the normative model which has inherent propositions that ensures the protection and sustenance of individual privacy. Tavani denotes that individual normative privacy is evident in situations where the individual enjoys appropriate protection from interference, intrusion and access of personal information by unpermitted individuals. Evidently, natural privacy is less superior to normative privacy but is significant in deficient situations of normative models.
The surface view of Moore's model Tavani presents as a variant model of the restricted access theory. However, a critical examination of the model reveals marked dissimilarities, especially in regards to considerations of normative situations. Tavani observes that the marked dissimilarity amid the two models is in a case where there is a need for the decision on the possibility of a normative situation establishment. According to Tavani, Moore's arguments are indicative of the need for an individual development of a sense of control or choice in regards to the setup of normative private instances.
Additionally, the enjoyment of privacy entails the capacity of an individual to enjoy an absolute control over information concerning them. In regards to this, control is implementable through the choice. Furthermore, the choice draws its legitimacy on the ability of such individuals to use legal channels to declare the specific situation as private. Tavani observes that such legal channel must have certain characteristics which include explicitness and public. Additionally, the individual must publicly debate and support the factors granting the declaration of such aforesaid situations as normatively private.
Internet and the Internet Usage
Tavani observes that Internet users are increasingly becoming curious of the privacy level enjoyed in the usage of the widely appealing electronic service. Reportedly, numerous users have expressed deeper concerns over the use of the computing network. Tavani reports that amid the varied dangers associated with the use of the service, credible research undertakings have established privacy issues as the leading concern, a head of associated issues like sperms and cost.
Emerging reports indicate that there is possible tracking of individual activities within the Internet by private and public organizations who sale the information to the government. Evidently, the occurrence of such reports is the consequence of the present skepticism amid the countless individuals who persistently solicit assistances from the network. However, it is imperative to have figurative image of the Internet for a complete comprehension of the privacy threat, it presently poses to its patrons.
The explanation given by Tavani regarding the Internet recognizes it as an electronic system that eases the transfer and exchange of information amid dissimilar terminals across the globe. It is discriminated from essential interconnections of computing systems such as LAN and WAN. Tavani reports that the systems have their origins from the U.S. defense system used in the sixties and currently encompass the whole globe. The sharing of information is possible through a system of protocols which include the "Hypertext transfer protocol" and the "Transfer protocol" (Tavani). In my opinion, the systems have developed extensively from its humble beginning and presently comprise a host of dissimilar technologies. Additionally the invention of the wireless interconnectivity incredibly elevated its applications with the inclusion of mobility capabilities.
Kelly & Cook (6) observe that from the preceding decade, the Internet has taken the central stage as the core medium for the spread of information. With such influx in its usage, state agencies have continuously moved in to direct the usage of the novel technology. Reportedly, as newer internet technical capacities advance over the years, government organs have equally tighten their controlling grip on the usage of the technical facility. Presently, the obsession with the interactive Medias has led to the reestablishment of this technology as a critical platform for social, political and economical interaction. Kelly & Cook (6) observe that the present obsession with the Internet evoked advanced control measures by respective state agencies. Reportedly, there are numerous evidences of state control denoted by the numerous counts of website dysfunctions, unpermitted filtering, alterations of blog contents and many more.
Kelly & Cook (6) observe that at its conception, the Internet was devoid of the present stringent regulations that presently characterize its usage. Reportedly, before the discovery of the economical benefits of the Internet, it had dismal regulations. However, with the revelations of its full economic advantages, rapid investments followed culminating into its present significance to the global economy. Evidently, this wide spread applications prompted the present global restrictions. Kelly & Cook (6) observe that China is among the leading nations in the Internet censorship. Reportedly, in reaction to the prevalent usage of the Internet, China developed one of the most sophisticated censorship systems. However, with the rise of insecurity, numerous nations have begun to establish such systems (Kelly & Cook 7). Kelly & Cook’s (6) study reveals numerous attempts by governments to regulate the Internet usage across the globe.
Kelly & Cook (7) reveals that the motivation behind numerous attempts by the government was in numerous occasions politically motivated. Reportedly, most of the restrictions appeared towards or during elections. However, such restrictions were temporary and reported a restoration of the service in the aftermath of such difficulties. However, other nations have over the years developed systems that strictly monitor events over the Internet with authority to influence or block certain sites.
Additionally, Kelly & Cook (7) report of certain nations who are presently advancing their preexistent internet control strategies. Notably, the present attempts by the nations to develop new or strengthen existent censorship systems are principally in reaction to the explosion of social networking systems. Kelly & Cook (6) observe that the present explosion of social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and You tube has afforded individuals an avenue for expressing social political issues. Reportedly, some of those discussions borders on sensitive social political issues that have caused civil unrests.
Media Regulations in China
China is the leading global nation in regards to populace. Kelly & Cook (93) note that it boasts of close to a quarter of the overall global population. Reportedly, over the years the state controlled Communist Party has established fiscal system that has significantly promoted the development of digital technologies. However, in the light of these technological advancements, there is a relatively dismal application of such technological advancements by the Chinese populace. Kelly & Cook (93) note that over the years the Chinese authorities have developed an increasingly sophisticated and multilayered system that restricts the Internet access to the nation. Reportedly, the nation is isolated from the entire globe through this systematic censoring system.
Kelly & Cook (93) observe that since the introduction of the Internet in the mid nineties, the number of Internet users has considerably increased from 20 million to about 400 million by the end of the preceding decade. Despite the restrictive access to the service, a handful of the users have consistently found dismal non-restricted access to the Internet. However, there is a persistent stringent control of international gateways with numerous international websites experiencing permanent blocks.
Additionally, numerous global media giants continue to experience an increasingly stringent scrutiny while global micro bloggers like Twitter and Facebook have continued to experience unending shutdown in China. However, Kelly & Cook (93) observe that despite the isolation from international occurrences, people within China have access to substantial Internet services with focus on Internal events and state manipulated publications.
According to Kelly & Cook (93), access to the Internet has continued to increase following the liberalization of the one state monopolized industry. Reportedly, following the decentralization of the telecom industry, a host of privately run Internet service has emerged. Kelly & Cook (93) observe that the decentralization efforts have received significant support from the government over the past years. Evidently, this is in reaction to stricter control of the principal international gateways which persist to exist.
Kelly & Cook (93) denote that the Chinese Internet system is synonymous to an enormous intranet given its strict control over gateways. Furthermore, Kelly & Cook (93) observe that access to the Internet is via mobile phones and cybercafés. However, there is stricter control over the use and operation of cybercafés. Kelly & Cook (93) observe that the government has managed to enforce these controls through numerous state agencies. Moreover, Internet access through the mobile phone experiences equally stringent control with limited access to international content.
Kelly & Cook (93) observe that the Internet content has over the years experienced some of the strictest evaluation by state employed Internet agents. Reportedly, at the close of the preceding century, the state agencies over 60000 sites with debatable were deleted while they (agencies) deleted over 350 million articles and documents considered to be harmful by the state agents. However, despite the stringent control, Kelly & Cook (93) observe that the Internet remains the largest organ through which citizens air their displeasure with their government.
Kelly & Cook (97) observe that the state control of the Internet is a three-tire procedure. Firstly, all the Internet traffic around China undergoes continued mandatory technical filtering. Additionally, the ISP's under forceful directives from the government monitor all access to the Internet. Furthermore, the Communist Government has instituted a proactive manipulation of all access to the Internet. Despite the implied aim of containing the spread of pornographic materials, gambling and an assortment of similar malpractices, publications with suggestive political intonations face similar treatment and ultimate deletion from the websites. China continues to observe strict control of the Internet usage and control of website contents. Evidently, such numerous attempts aim at dealing with political publications which might influence the political balance of the nation.
Media Regulations in the US
Kelly & Cook (93) observe that the Internet access to the U.S. is relatively free as compared to the rest of the globe. Reportedly, this is attributable to dismal requirements in relation to the publication of online materials. Furthermore, the justice system has persistently supported the use of the Internet as it enhances the right to freedom of speech which is entrenched in the constitution. Moreover, service providers enjoy a statutory immunity from prosecution which has significantly enhanced stable enterprise establishments.
However, the recent activities of terrorism have raised questions on the persistent unrestricted utilization of the Internet. According to Kelly & Cook (93), the nation is presently re-examining its stand on free Internet access. Reportedly, the present government has a reputation for the initiation of events to stricter censorship of the Internet. They cite numerous benefits which include the earlier interception of acts of terrorism, underage pornography and related acts of crime.
The access to the Internet in the U.S. is under the observing eyes of a handful number of cable TV service and telephone companies who guarantee unrestricted access. However, despite these freedoms, the U.S. has over the past years continued to lag behind other well established nations around the globe in terms of speed, the associated cost and accessibility. Kelly & Cook (93) observe that nations like Japan, South Korea Norway and Sweden have better and faster connections as compared to the U.S. Furthermore, the nation has an access close to 78% with about 66% of the adult population adopting the high speed broadband technologies. Kelly & Cook (93) observe that, presently, broadband connection lacks in about 5-10% of the absolute population. Furthermore, a significant number of these people reside in rural locations.
According to Kelly & Cook (93), mobile phone gadgets with the Internet access capacities records the highest levels of penetration of approximately 91%. Reportedly, research has shown a persistent increase in the use of the phone for habitual access to the Internet. Kelly & Cook (93) observe that in countable cases, the sites visited include social networking sites and email services. Evidently, the rampart advancements in the social networks provoked the developments of website views for mobile phone access.
Kelly & Cook (93) observe that there is dismal governance of the Internet within the nation. The government agency, the FCC, is principally concerned with TV and radio broadcasts and interstate communications. Additionally, it has the responsibility with the regulation of international telecommunication services that emanates or terminates into the U.S. Kelly & Cook (93) observe that despite the deficient control of the Internet usage, the FCC and the "Telecommunication and Information Advisory" takes the central stage in the resolution of critical issues regarding telecommunications (Kelly & Cook 93). However, the activities of these organizations are constantly under the scrutiny of the Congress. Additionally, the Congress has the jurisdiction over the creation of laws that governs the conducts of the stakeholders in the telecommunication sector.
According to Kelly & Cook (93), unlike China, the access to information over the Internet remains free. Furthermore, there is no established government content filtering mechanisms in regards to the transmission of contents from one terminal to another. Additionally, the deficient restrictions have led to establishment platforms for people of diverse viewpoints to exchange their views, both political and socio-economic. There are no reported apprehensions over blogged political views and assertions (Kelly & Cook, 93). Despite such levels of freedoms, law prohibits the distribution of any form unlawful compositions like child pornography.
Privacy Issues in the Internet
Tavani observes that privacy issues have existed over the years and long prior to the emergence of the Internet. However, the Internet encapsulates enhanced data gathering techniques and coupled with its magnitude pose substantial privacy issues to its users. There is a variety of privacy issues in regard to the use of the Internet. Tavani observes that one principal way of individual privacy infringement is through data surveillance and assemblage. According to Tavani, countless surveys indicate evident acts of data surveillance. Reportedly, this entails the monitoring of individual actions over the Internet. Tavani believes that the ability of the Internet to record access and details of accessed files qualifies it as principal candidate for the surveillance of individual actions over the Internet.
Tavani observes the countless private and individuals who participate in the data gathering activities. These individuals and organizations obtain such valuable information concerning individual tastes and other related activities that are increasingly significant to corporate for marketing purposes while it's appreciable for the government to possess vital information concerning the given individual. According to Tavani, the persistent exchange of information across the Internet has existed for long durations. Presently, data mining is a source of revenue for a number of business enterprises.
However, it continues to pose numerous privacy issues. Data mining has existed for decades with the previous forms which entailed the examination of huge databases. Tavani observes that, presently, the systems used are intelligent High Tech Systems that gather the information at faster speeds. Tavani observes that such systems borrow heavily from the techniques used buy such engines as Google.
The Internet continues to present significant challenges to individual privacies. From Moore's privacy model, it's evident that privacy infringement exists both in nations like China with such high levels of the Internet restrictions, as well as liberalized systems like the U.S. However, the level of infringements differs. The Chinese system employs such elaborate multilayered systems that inspect individual activities over the Internet. The U.S. is systematic and forms of infringement results from persistent observations of individual Internet activities over time. Data chaining algorithms find use in such incidences of information extractions. However, there is mounting pressure on the Chinese state to provide more flexibility on the Internet usage to facilitate rampart fiscal advancements.