United Nations releases report addressing Internet surveillance

By ELIZABETH DE ARMAS

As I was browsing through the Internet this afternoon, I came across an article that explains why the United Nations wants to crack down on Internet surveillance.

Apparently terrorists are using social networks and open networks that are easily accessible (unlocked Wi-Fi is a perfect example), which is a problem for the U.S. that needs to resolved quickly.

According to the article, potential terrorists use “advanced communications technology often involving the Internet to reach a worldwide audience with relative anonymity and at a low cost.”

The social networks and sites these potential terrorists are targeting – Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox and YouTube.

The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released a 148-page report Monday titled “The Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes”  calling for more security when it comes to monitoring Internet users.

One of the major problems with Internet surveillance is that there is a lack of an “internationally agreed framework for retention of data held by ISPs,” the UNODC said.

The report is encouraging chat room providers such as Tango, Skype and Google Voice to “keep a record of Internet communication such as chat room postings.”

The Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes” also addresses other issues such as terror video games, open Wi-Fi networks (like those at Starbucks, McDonald’s and Panera Bread), cell phone tracking and paying companies for surveillance.

Unfortunately, this has to be done in order to protect the country and its citizens. Though the Internet is an amazing tool that provides access to information some once thought was impossible to get their hands on, it also provides criminals and terrorists with a portal to the world around them.

And, that can lead to destruction.

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