慶應SFC 2012年 環境情報学部 英語 大問2 全文(正答済み)

 There are clearly many benefits to living in a well-connected, Internet-enabled society, but some of the benefits bring with them worrying elements of risk to personal privacy and safety. We can now make and sustain wide-ranging, geographically unconstrained friendships and business connections with an ease previously unimaginable. Much of the world’s collected knowledge is now freely accessible at a moment’s notice with simple keyword searches. Powerful web-based forums and social networking databases enable us to find compatible lovers, former classmates, and people with shared interests or problems, in new and exciting ways.

 As indispensable as these social networking tools have become to many of us, they also call up fears of spying, excessive government monitoring, stalking, crooked business dealings, and other illegal, antisocial, unethical, and otherwise destructive behaviors. The fields of law, ethics, sociology, psychology and many others will no doubt be called upon over time to help us better understand the full potential, and manage the risks, of these new modes of technology-based communication. In this article, we will look at one small but central issue currently facing us, namely, the evolution of the concept of surveillance in the Internet age.

 The word “surveillance” comes from the French word surveiller, which translates simply as to “watch over.” This translation suggests the image of a person looking carefully at someone or something from above. But both in ordinary language and academic debate, the word “surveillance” has become the conventional way of describing the activity of monitoring in general. When people use the word “surveillance” in English, it almost always has a negative connotation. One may hear, for example, “the police have a criminal under surveillance” or “the government used a high-tech surveillance system to follow a suspected terrorist.” The image is often that of secretly viewing someone’s activities, suspecting that they are up to something harmful to society. This negative image holds true in the context of online social networking. Online surveillance is frequently associated with spying and privacy invasion, and it has become a prevalent view that everything related to it should be avoided if at all possible.

 There are few who would deny that the development of the Internet has drastically changed the way that we see the world. Perhaps of equal importance for us to note, however, is how the Internet has changed the way that the world sees us―for good and bad. With news stories about hacking, identity theft, online financial scams, as well as other cyber crimes and misdemeanors, it is easy for us to grow anxious that using the Internet constantly puts us at risk of unwanted surveillance. You might feel that you are constantly being watched, that your movements are being logged, and that you may be susceptible to possible attacks from strangers. That feeling is worsened by technologies such as Google Street View or location-tagged photographs, which may reveal information about people’s physical movements from their cyber activities, often without their knowledge or consent.

 Some people fear that the Internet and related forms of interconnected information technology may potentially lead to a complete loss of privacy, in the manner of the writings of George Orwell. In his masterpiece, 1984, he describes a society where the government controls the people by constantly spying on them. This type of round-the-clock surveillance without people’s consent would be totally destructive to a free society.

 However, we should recognize that at least some of the new openness of information on the Internet is self-selected and that people still have a good amount of control over what they reveal to others, through privacy settings, comment moderation, or opting out of certain services. We should not forget that some people are glad to be able to put their personal opinions, talents, oddities, or interests online. They are happy for the whole world to see and judge them, as it gives them an outlet for their creativity, a stage upon which they can perform, a venue and an audience which in previous times would have been unavailable. In some rare cases, such Internet exhibitionism has even led to careers. Justin Bieber, for example, went from being an average suburban kid to being an international music superstar with the help of YouTube. Similarly, Lady Gaga’s fame spread through her incredibly successful Facebook page and other forms of online self-promotion. On the other hand, such online activities can sometimes have negative consequences, as in the case of American politician Anthony Weiner, whose career was ruined when he accidentally sent embarrassing private photos and messages to all of his followers on Twitter. As we can see, this new type of voluntary surveillance is a double-edged sword.

 In his writings on communication, privacy, and web ethics, Anders Albrechtslund of Aarhus University in Denmark refers to this new type of interaction found in online social networking as “participatory surveillance.” He argues that the concept of a hierarchical power relation is opposed to a classical interpretation of the term “surveillance.” From this perspective, the watcher occupies a position metaphorically above the watched. In the new form of surveillance, however, the relation is characterized by a “flat” power structure wherein the watcher and watched are of equal standing.

 He extends this notion as far as including modern online social media, arguing that we are all surveilling each other as well as being surveilled ourselves. Moreover, he argues that this development is largely a positive one.

 According to Albrechtslund, to participate in online social networking is a way to voluntarily engage with other people and construct identities. It is also the act of sharing yourself―or your constructed identity―with others. Accordingly, the role of sharing should not be underestimated, as the personal information people share―profiles, activities, beliefs, whereabouts, status, preferences, etc.―represents a level of communication that is not asked for. It is just “out there”, unasked for, but something that is part of the socializing in certain groups of people. Actually, it has been found that a great majority of teens use online social networking to keep in touch with friends they rarely see in real life. In this case, participatory surveillance is a way of maintaining friendships by checking up on information that other people share. Such a friendship might seem shallow, but it is a convenient way of keeping in touch with a large circle of friends. Thus, modern participatory surveillance allows for individual growth and identity creation, and the possibility of developing rewarding and diverse extended social relationships.

 Albrechtslund’s concept of “participatory surveillance” is so radically different from the standard meaning of surveillance, however, that it may require an entirely new term. As technology develops and culture changes, language cannot always keep pace. New kinds of human interaction require new ways of thinking about them, as well as new words to go along with them. It is, perhaps, a task for this and future generations to invent a new vocabulary for a new world.




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