Thursday, May 15, 2014

Information, forgetting, security and Ancient World


“Forget what has already happened, it may be regrettable, but not redone”. This quote by the Roman historian Livy may have inspired the judges from the Court of Justice of the European Union, who decided to give carte blanche to the so-called "right to be forgotten". The case have to do with several issues such as privacy, data analysis and information security.

Among of all the links on this issue, we wanted to draw attention on two considerations. The first one, published by the BBC, places the debate on the cultural and legislative gap between the two sides of the Atlantic; while in the United States mentioning the First Amendment (guaranteeing freedom of expression) blocks any initiative to regulate the flow of information, European legislators understand that citizens should be able to decide on whatever surrounds them... and consider Google’s fault to index the original source.


The second consideration is raise by an “European" who writes for Forbes magazine, who has clearly decided against the judgment of the ECJ. He considers such sentence wrong from every possible point of view, but also warns it is almost impossible to expect a non-biased search on Google nowadays, whether the user is logged in as a Google’s user or he tries to make a neutral search. Therefore the court's decision would add more bias. A wrong one, but just like the ones that already exist.

The main criticism to the #Righttobeforgotten is driven by the fear of constant "rewriting of the past" what recalls some passages from the “1984” novel by George Orwell. If anyone can delete search results that may be harmful for him, and Edward Snowden were European, he might be the first one on trying that. So some people are already thinking about "honor" his memory. Sony has just acquired the intellectual rights of the book by journalist Glenn Greenwald and has plans to put James Bond saga producers to work to bring the whistleblower / contractor / etc. to the big screen.

Another one who would take advantage of the European rule is hacker Matthew Flannery, but he is Australian. Flannery, aka Aush0k, is a self-proclaimed leader of Lulzsec group, a cybercrime scheme; Nevertheless, in March 2014, it was decided he would be judge by a local court taking into consideration the type of charges. It could even be acquitted of the charges against him in the trial that will take place in July.

In any case, we are speaking about the slippery issue of the rights and guarantees of the Information Society. So any help is always welcome here. Yesterday it was launched the book Security for everyone in the Information Society created by the ICT Security Center of Comunidad Valenciana, which aims to introduce security in people's daily life, beyond their purely professional fields.


Anyway, whether you support or not the "right to be forgotten", do not forget you can vote and comment our post, and follow our social profiles. You will find the links at the sidebar.

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