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The Role of Internet in the War against Terrorism – Threatening Privacy or an Ensuring Mechanism (National) Security – the Slovene Perspective

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Svete, Uroš

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Abstract The use of information-communication technology (ICT) undoubtedly leads towards greater decentralization and individualization of societies. On the other hand, due to the use of ICT, the perception of physical reality has basically changed. When the ICT (security) implications of individual (human) or national security theoretical and empirical perspectives are discussed, a very interesting turning point can be observed. After 11 September 2001, and following the terrorist attacks in Europe, the state has been trying to increase control over ICT and especially the Internet. At the same time, civil society, non-governmental organizations and even individuals have been expressing their own security and other interests, expressed in the fight for privacy and individual human rights. Although the state reactions against particular security challenges are often disproportionate, we can see very different policies, even within the same security communities such as NATO and the European Union. Meanwhile, some countries have developed very strong mechanisms for controlling ICT and data retention; in others individual privacy and human rights are still respected and untouchable. Nevertheless, the terrorist attacks showed very clearly that telecommunication data retention as well as other control mechanisms could not prevent all kinds of such attacks. They could only be used after security incidents occurred as a means for identifying perpetrators. How much liberty society is prepared to sacrifice in exchange for greater, but in no way absolute, security depends on societal, political and cultural standards.
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy
Free Keywords human security; privacy; national security; intelligence; civil society; virtual community; human information security; data retention; terrorism; Slovenia
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 71-82
Journal Politics in Central Europe, 2 (2006) 2
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications