Politics and Technology:
The world has become a very different place over the last couple of decades. Technology has reached a point where it’s influence can be felt worldwide. With the possibility of elections being steered by governments or organisations, and hacks discrediting politicians. Of course, it’s not all bad. The technology being used in government is becoming more and more open. This presents great benefits to the public. But, that’s for later in the post. This post will be going through some of the biggest technological changes found in the world’s governments which are changing the ways countries are run.
There have been a lot of allegations about recent elections, around the world. The biggest of which can be found in the United States. Some believe that the Russian government colluded with the Trump campaign in order to secure a win. This was supposedly done through social media posting and fake articles on the Internet. At the moment, this is being investigated by various organisations. But, if it turns out to be true, the impact could be significant. Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook found themselves overrun by fake articles and adverts slandering various candidates. With these websites connecting more people together than ever before, it’s the perfect place for propaganda to be spread. Of course, people don’t just follow blindly. But, this still seems to have had an impact.
It’s not all bad, though. In efforts to thwart future attempts at foul play during voting processes, a lot of governments are thinking about ways to improve the security of their voting systems. In a lot of countries, paper is still used for this. But, very soon, you could find yourself using a selfie to cast your vote. Companies like Smartmatic are creating new methods to vote using secure messaging-like systems along with the camera on a smartphone. This would allow people to vote from home, from a polling station, or even from overseas. And, it would give instant results. Votes are fed into a secure network capable of counting them very fast. This also eliminates the need for a recount or possible miscounts of votes. In the future, this sort of technology will be used in most countries.
As governments are starting to realise how important technology is becoming, their efforts to control it are growing stronger. Several countries have passed bills and laws forcing ISPs to capture data from their customers. A great example of this is the Snoopers Charter, in the UK. This new legislation was pushed by Theresa May soon after she found herself in the position of Prime Minister. This new ruling allows the government to capture data regarding web activity from the citizens of the UK. Thankfully, currently, the money and resources simply don’t exist to make it a reality. But, very soon, you could find yourself being asked to agree to consent to this. And, if you don’t say yes, you might not be able to access the Internet anymore.
Of course, the way that the internet allows the governments of the world the find data about you also enables you to find information about them. Nowadays, it’s impossible for someone high-profile to hide themselves on the Internet. Fumbles are shared across the internet, showing the world when politicians make mistakes. This sort of accountability was impossible to find before the Internet was in the hands of most of the world. And, it’s a very powerful tool indeed. A large contributing factor to Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 elections is said to be the email scandals surrounding her. The way that she used technology was insecure and poorly managed. Without information like this spreading, the world wouldn’t know about issues that could cause problems later on. The way the internet is built allows more than just governments to roam the web. In fact, there are a lot more cyber criminals and hackers in the world than there are internet security professionals. Accountability is becoming more and more assumed by the public. People want to know what the government and other public services do with their money.
Hopefully, this will give you a good idea of the way technology is changing politics. A lot of people are still under the impression that tech isn’t important enough to be a concern for governments and countries. But, unfortunately, criminals and the public have already started using it in full-force. So, the world’s leaders need to shape up and get ahead fast, if they want to be able to keep in control.