Election hacking and the rise of cybercrime – Is there a solution that doesn’t compromise on personal privacy?

The result? According to the New York Times on September 20, President Trump authorised new classified orders for the Pentagon’s cyber elites to increase their numbers of offensive attacks against adversaries. Numerous investigations are being done into how online media platforms operate, which has also seen a huge wave of bans coming in for those who promote extreme views.

Individuals such as info wars Alex Jones have seen themselves banned across numerous platforms in an attempt to prevent the breeding of hateful prejudices and malicious discourse. While this seems to be one of but a few viable options, it is doubtful this will have any lasting impact, especially since of the accounts used to influence the election weren’t of individuals with a particularly strong online presence. Cracking down on a handful of the largest and most controversial account holders will only serve to create openings for new accounts to fill their places.

There are so many different case studies that you could examine or discuss that clearly demonstrate the rising prominence of cyber crime being used as a tool to conduct industrial espionage. You could talk about how to defend itself from their numerous enemies Israel heavily invested in cybersecurity and is now one of the leading countries in the industry. You could examine how Russia has hacked numerous American power outlets or how China and Iran are dramatically increasing their cyber arsenals but, that’s not the immediate issue.

The question isn’t if it’s happening or even how to prevent it, so much as how can a government protect its citizens and international interests without compromising on their personal privacy? At what point does the level of threat cross the intersection into territory that warrants a restriction on freedom under the pursuit of defending the public interest?

This is a question that has been hotly debated amongst journalism communities for decades but, the complicated laws of the worldwide web have only seemed to heighten and further complicate matters.

Misha Glenny states “The Internet has fashioned a new and complicated environment for an age-old dilemma that pits the demands of security against the desire for freedom.”

Should the state be allowed powers that shut down any accounts they believe to be acting suspiciously? If the UK government were to increase cybersecurity at the expense of its citizen’s privacy or constitutional freedoms, it would be interesting to see what the response would be like. While it is ultimately something that the UK public has been opposed to on a number of levels, perhaps the ever-growing threat of eastern cyber-attacks might swing national favour towards their own government invading their privacy, rather than that of another country.