Global safety – can we achieve it?

 7 minute read

When one country improves its security, it could lead to other, less protected, nations getting attacked and threatened instead. To prevent the leakage, António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, proposes governments work together to achieve a safer and more peaceful world. Drones and microchips are examples of technologies that can be utilized to facilitate collaboration between countries. When tools like these are implemented worldwide and used in big networks, authorities will be able to identify every individual and prevent crimes quickly.

through collaboration

According to the World Economic Forum, global peace is likely to be ignored when nations are focusing on improving their own security locally and not thinking globally. This could result in countries isolated from one another, which can be the cause of more conflicts. How can this be avoided? Through cooperation with other nations, according to António Guterres, UN Secretary-General. He states that when it comes to security matters, authorities should focus more on preventing conflicts. Security cameras are an essential component in matters of safety, but Guterres says that they are useless when it comes to avoiding disputes since cameras only record what has already taken place. Governments need new technology to anticipate conflicts and crimes before they happen.

Researchers from Stanford University think drones and Artificial Intelligence combined, could be a solution. In the report “Artificial Intelligence and life in 2030” scientists declare that: “machine learning significantly enhances the ability to predict where and when crimes are more likely to happen and who may commit them.” If the governments were to implement drones with AI to public places, crime rates would get lower, which would lead to a safer population. Nevertheless, drones can get hacked, making the safety questionable.

When a country chooses to increase its surveillance, it could mean a greater security threat to other nations nearby. Countries with less supervision then become easier targets for different types of attacks. Similar is a problem that is already familiar in the environmental sector. Carbon leakage refers to the situation, which arises when a country lowers its carbon dioxide emission due to strict environmental guidelines. Production then moves to other nations with a more flexible policy. Therefore, the carbon dioxide emission has not been lowered when looking from a global perspective, since the manufacturing still releases the same levels of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Also in security matters, governments need to think more globally. António Guterres proposes a plan to increase the role of state institutions, to develop the cooperation between states. He thinks an approach “based on simplification, decentralization, more flexibility and in a culture of transparency and accountability” will be highly beneficial for all countries. Building and maintaining trust plays a great part in collaboration on this scale. It remains to be seen whether nations will be able to trust each other’s intentions and work together for peace.

for intervention

Recent terrorist attacks have played a key role in shifting peoples’ opinion on security and surveillance. According to Chapman University Survey of American Fears 2016, 41% of the asked Americans are afraid of terrorist attacks. 75% of Americans want an increased security at airports, even if the waiting time becomes longer. The results of the study point to the conclusion that more Americans are willing to accept an increased surveillance for the nation’s security than in 2013. Almost 50% of the respondents will allow more surveillance cameras in public, yet only 16% are prepared to have the government follow cellphone and email activities. All-in-all, Americans are willing to sacrifice more of their privacy in hopes for a more secure society.

American fears

social-credit system

In China, the Communist Party has already started working on a new order that is supposed to prevent potential security threats against the Chinese society. Only it does not revolve so much around drones but around keeping track of the citizen’s public opinions. Their idea is to develop a system that can identify persons with potentially harmful attitudes towards the country. The plan includes a social-credit system where “good citizens” will get rewarded with a good scoring while “bad ones,” corrupt officials and others with divergent opinions, will be kept under closer surveillance. According to the Economist, “the party asked China Electronics Technology Group, one of the country’s largest defense contractors, to develop software to predict terrorist risks on the basis of people’s job records, financial backgrounds, consumption habits, hobbies and data from surveillance cameras.“ The Supreme Court of China has a blacklist with almost 7 million peoples’ names on it, listing people that are not allowed to fly because of their unpaid debts. The list has been used since 2013, and it can be accessed by anyone online.

A good way to get to know the public opinion would be to use tools where users freely express themselves, social media for example. However, it is not sure that experiment will be fruitful since citizens probably will be less eager to share their opinions in the surveilled spaces. Instead, they will be finding means of expressing themselves that the party cannot yet control. After all, there must be a value for freedom of speech without losing social-credit score.

The many
uses of microchips

An increased global cooperation is a way to go in decreasing security threats worldwide. New technologies are emerging to improve international collaboration. For example, the microchip is one of these technologies. The chip is a RFID transponder with personal information, medical history or other valuable data. Today, home pets are required to have one, but soon it can be used on humans as well. According to Daily Mail, 10,000 persons already have injected microchips into their bodies. The product is gaining popularity notably when it comes to businesses, offering their employees a microchip to facilitate their entry into the office. The Belgian company NewFusion has implemented the idea of RFID chips inside the hands of some of their employees. The chips comprehend personal information and give access to the company’s systems. Although the microchip has already been around for several years, it could have new implementations to several industries in the future.

Especially when it comes to security, microchips can have a lot of benefits. Governments can use microchips injected into humans to keep track of every citizen. When the chips are implemented on a global scale, it will counterbalance the spillover effect of terrorism that is caused by one country increasing its own surveillance. For instance, the chips can be used to identify every individual, which will make passports unnecessary easily. Through accurate GPS-tracking capabilities, authorities would be able to track former and current locations of its citizens. Also, it would make a significant difference in solving crimes and finding fugitives quickly. Naturally, new regulations must be carried out before implementing microchips universally. Governments must try their best to ensure the citizens right to privacy. For it to work, transparency and trust should be established between authorities and civilians, as well as between nations.

#global security #un #safety #china #social-credit system #microchip usage #surveillance #future trends

Insight Box

To reach a more secure and peaceful world, nations must cooperate with each other. When data is shared over the borders, it will become easier to identify security threats. Drones combined with AI are expected to prevent crimes since they can use data to identify conflicts before they have arisen. The tracking and identification of civilians are another important steps to better global safety. Microchips can be utilized for this purpose. The privacy is still important though and needs to be carefully considered when implementing new tracking technologies. Gathering data about citizens through digital channels is also a way of surveillance. The Communist Party of China with its social-credits system chooses a new take on security by following civilians’ opinions.

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