ARTICLE: “IS SOCIAL NETWORKING IS A THREAT TO PRIVACY”???
Social media has become such a pivotal part of our lives that we find it almost impossible to survive without it. The virtual world has replaced the real world to a great degree. What we spoke in get together and drawing room discussions, is spoken via social media now. General observations tell us that this has risen to the extent that people sitting in a group would be less likely to talk to each other and more indulged in conversations on social media.Social media can have a negative impact on those individuals who engage in it too much. It can also lead to problems for society as a whole due to lost productivity and the breakdown of community spirit. The fact that this type of addiction can also trigger mental health problems will also put pressure on the NHS. The worry is that as social media use becomes even more prevalent than drinking, it will lead to increasing problems.Hackers and cyber terrorists misusing such information can lead to not only monetary loss (in case of bank account details), but loss of important information and dignity (in case of personal information and photographs). Such information is picked up from servers, and compromised with to damage a person’s reputation, or an on organisation’s business leading to financial strain.
Broadcast yourself YouTube’s slogan alone could summarize the spirit of the social revolution caused by the tidal wave of social networks. These have emerged as one of the main channels of communication on the web: links of all kinds are being forged, developed and broken almost instantly.Social media has become such a pivotal part of our lives that we find it almost impossible to survive without it. The virtual world has replaced the real world to a great degree. What we spoke in get together and drawing room discussions, is spoken via social media now. General observations tell us that this has risen to the extent that people sitting in a group would be less likely to talk to each other and more indulged in conversations on social media.
One of the most popular songs currently doing the rounds is #selfie by the chainsmokers, and this tune pokes fun at the obsession that many people have of taking pictures of themselves and posting them to Facebook. Social media has had a huge impact on the way people live, and there is little doubt that some engage with this online platform to such an extent that it is causing problems in their life. It can become such an obsession that it could be considered as much of an addiction as alcoholism.
There are definitely some drawbacks to social media. One of the ironies with this new form of communication is that it can actually lead to loneliness and isolation. Individuals can become so focused on online friends that they neglect friendships in the real world. This is problematic because engaging with people via and computer would mean missing out on some important elements of human contact.
The Signs of Social Media Addiction-
An easy way to define an addiction would be to say that the person is continuing to engage in a behaviour even though it is having obvious negative effects in his or her life. Some of the other symptoms of this type of addiction would include:
- Attempting to hide the amount of time spent on social media
- Failing to take care of work, home, or social responsibilities due to the behaviour
- Finding it hard to control the amount of time spent on these websites
- Friends and family are concerned about the behaviour
- A feeling of defensive when the subject of social media use is mentioned (this can be due to denial)
- Losing interest in other hobbies and activities
- Withdrawing from people in the real world in order to spend more time online
- Finding it hard to stop using these websites.
Is Social Media Addiction a Threat to Society?
Social media can have a negative impact on those individuals who engage in it too much. It can also lead to problems for society as a whole due to lost productivity and the breakdown of community spirit. The fact that this type of addiction can also trigger mental health problems will also put pressure on the NHS. The worry is that as social media use becomes even more prevalent than drinking, it will lead to increasing problems.
India has recorded the highest social networking growth of around 37.4% in 2013. The social media also possess a serious threat to the national security of a nation.Cyber Terrorism is one of the most ignored and under estimated activities in India. Indian Youth which is the third highest number of Internet and social media users after China and the U.S. with an estimated over 381 million mobile phone subscriptions with internet connectivity. Cyber Terrorism has now become a gruesome activity, it leads to killing someone financially and India is becoming its latest victim. Everyday various newspapers are filled with the stories of cybercrimes. It is not a future threat or a prospective threat; it is an ongoing, current threat. With increasing dependence on cyber space and the Internet, vulnerability to aggressors — whether it is terrorists, criminals or hostile countries, is also increasing is study, the habits of teenagers all around India shows the compulsive type of behaviour of text messages but very less knowledge and awareness about the threat of cyber terrorism. These facts not only outline in clear terms the immense popularity of the internet and the use of social media but are also indicative of the fact that Indian youth is very less concerned about the threat of cyber terrorism.
Used by Terrorists –
The studies under review suggest that with the use of media, cyber terrorism operation can be undertaken from miles away. Cyber terrorism attacks have an equal capacity of inflicting serious damage. When cyber terrorists attack, they attack on infrastructures, monetary systems, power grids and other sensitive information.
Another study with a rather contradictory view states that Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT) is known to have constantly conducting Web sit-ins since December 1997 against varied sites in support of the Mexican Zapatistas. The findings of this study reveal that at a stipulated time thousands of protestors point their browsers to a target site using the software and this leads to a flooding of download requests at the target. However, this is believed to have been used by activists more than by hackers or terrorist.
Communal Violence –
With the help of social media, people have started attacking each other’s religion on this platform. Sensitive tweets regarding religion are becoming a common phenomenon. Circulation of certain pictures through social media also creates a panic among the masses. This is a threat to the internal security of the nation as it disturbs the communal harmony.
Threat to Internal Security –
According to Computer Crime Research Centre (CCRC), “there is a lot of misinterpretation in the definition cyber-terrorism, the word consisting of familiar ‘cyber’ and less familiar ‘terrorism’. While ‘cyber’ is anything related to our tool of trade, terrorism by nature is difficult to define. The ambiguity in the definition brings indistinctness in action, as D. Denning pointed in her work Activism, Hacktivism and Cyber terrorism, ‘an e-mail bomb may be considered hacktivism by some and cyber-terrorism by others (Krasavin, Serge). Cyber terrorism can thus be understood as unauthorized internet activity or attack on computer networks that may threaten the private internet space of an individual, organisation, entity or a nation.
Examples of banning–
The Social Networking Sites are banned in few counties, either wholly or partially. It is simply a kind of censorship which is taking place around the globe.
1-Matusitz J (2005) cyber terrorism. American foreign policy interest 137-147
2-Petroth N, sanger DE (2013) corporate cyber attacks, possibly state- backed, Now seek to destroy data. The new York Times.
North Korea – The networking sites are blocked in this country since the advent of Internet in order to prevent the access to any communication which has not been provided by the government.
Pakistan – It has blocked the You Tube since 2002, when the trailer of a controversial film appeared on the site. The name of the film was “The innocence of Muslims”.
Turkey – Twitter was banned in Turkey for two weeks in 2014 and You Tube is banned since March 2014. These sites were banned to decrease the portrayal of government corruption. There were certain evidence related to the corruption of government after the 2014 election.
Facts and Figures–
- In 2011 – 2012, Twitter saw a heavy growth among the other social networking sites.
- Around 1.11 billion Facebook users existed in the world in March 2013.
- Countries like Syria, Sudan and China have completely cut off the Internet during the times of turmoil.
- Though Iran has given a complete ban on social media, the President of the country is active on Facebook.
The study reveals that people relate media and cyber terrorism and understand that with the rise of the usage of media in general and the internet in particular, cyber terrorism has escalated as a phenomenon too. Nonetheless, youngsters utilizing the internet facilities are not much aware of cyber laws, and the ways they can be safe from hackers and cyber terrorists. The internet usage is increasing by the day, and the number of people shopping online, sharing content, photographs, videos and links is rising too.
During these activities, many a time not much attention is paid on the fact that sharing sensitive information online (bank account PINs, social security codes, personal information like photographs etc.) can prove detrimental. Hackers and cyber terrorists misusing such information can lead to not only monetary loss (in case of bank account details), but loss of important information and dignity (in case of personal information and photographs). Such information is picked up from servers, and compromised with to damage a person’s reputation, or an on organisation’s business leading to financial strain.
The response also revealed a need of better technology and cyber security measures to deal with the plague of cyber terrorism. A majority agreed that we lacked in cyber security measures and the issue is not addressed very appropriately in the Indian media. There was more attention required to address the problem of cyber terrorism overall.
Ritu Pandey, B.A.LL.B, 3rd year from
City Academy Law College.