Recently I was conducting a seminar on public speaking and debating and one of the topics discussed really got my attention. Seeing that I am a strong supporter of rights of bloggers and the content that we would put in our blogs but the question is right now, would something that was meant to be a social tool to express our thoughts has escalated to a level that we would now consider as a threat? What I can do here is to put out several arguments that might be of interest of many out there, regardless supporting or against the topic itself.
[Button of mass destruction?]
To begin with, the question of "national threat" should really focus whether the aforementioned "threat" must be at the level where there are reasonable grounds to be believe that the content of blogs today can bring reasonable threats towards the security of a nation and the people that live in it.
The question is, have we as bloggers reached to that level? Have we leaked that much information about our country?
If we were to look at it into the perspective of most people online, majority would disagree with the notion. Most would cite that it is to the right of freedom for bloggers to choose what they would want to speak and it should not be limited on unproven possibilities that "there might be a leak of information" whenever a post is posted. Problem is, there is no specific proof as to how it would link between the level of information spread between the two parties and for this, logically it is rather absurd as for people to use this as a blame for bloggers to be cencored.
Of course that one biggest concerned cited would be the level of security and control over the content that a blogger would post on their blogs. Google has been cited to have address this issue on their own terms, with campaigns that focuses on generating the awareness and responsibilities of bloggers and their right of freedom of speech. Citing the article on Google, they mentioned that they have stepped up their own efforts of observing the security of the posts being posted on their platform and measures to ensure that the ideas of "security threats" are ideally tackled.
Apart from that, there are also a general argument that by restricting the usage of blogs are merely the "easy way out" of tackling the main problem. Even if we were to restrict the use of blogs to tackle the issue of national security, people would still find ways for them to commit the crime regardless with or without the means. My best analogy for this situation would be "if there would be a crime of murder, would it be reasonable to blame the knife for the crime rather than the person using the knife to commit the murder itself?"
Take the situation and play the devil's advocate for a while.
At this day an age, where the are so many uncertainties with security, the word of the day would always be "preventive measures". Issues of terrorism that comes from angles that you would never even imagine 20 years ago is now happening and there is a growing need for initiatives that would recognize dangers before it could even come anywhere near us. Call it unnecessary fear but in reality, anyone would prefer to have measures being put to pre-determine dangers before it comes and shoves itself high up our ass.
Therefore if this is now the norm of security these days, with the advent of random airport searches, phone screenings and others, how would identifying bloggers a possible threat any different than these? Even in fact that some may argue by screening and censoring the content of blogs around the world may be the least radical approach in comparison to the rest of the security measure that are made available out there.
Apart from that, the exchange of information now is so rampant, with the existence of websites like Wikileaks which created so much problems with information security, there are no certainty on whether blogs would be the next platform that would stir something crazy in the future.
Might be a slightly boring post for the day (understatement of the day of course...) but I figured it would be great to see what you lot out there think about it. Fact of the matter is, this issue is now being questioned and it will affect a whole lot of us...