COMMITTEE: United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)
SCHOOL NAME: Indian School Al Ghubra
DELEGATE NAME: Khushi Shah
TOPIC-A: ADVANCEMENT IN TECHNOLOGY IN GERMANY AND ITS SIDE EFFECTS
“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master”-Christian Lange. Sadly, the misuse of technology has contributed to the violations in human rights. It is time to come together as a team and join hands against the violations that are being caused by the advancement in technology. Germany is said to be a ‘world leader’ in technology and innovations. Some examples are-VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH, a service-providing company and a consulting firm, supports the customers during the analysis, organisation and promotion of innovations and technology. SMErobotics is a project that aims to manufacture robots that is simple and intuitive to use. It is designed to carry out repetitive tasks. e-Brains (Best-Reliable Intelligent Ambient Nanosensor Systems) can be utilized in ambient living systems. M-Eco (Medical Ecosystem) is a project that helps in early detection of health threats by using additional sources of information. With the help of these examples, it becomes clear that Germany holds a distinctive position in the field of Science. But as it is said, “When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.” No one would have expected that the rise of technology in the world would adversely affect us. As part of an increasingly interconnected world, the citizens in Germany depend on the reliable functioning of information and communication technology and the Internet. The advancement in technology has led to various types of violations in human rights. These violations and problems are mostly related to issues such as the right of access to information, the right of privacy which is being violated due to the free flow of information and the protection of the economic interest. While the advancement in technology helps us in our everyday lives, this connectivity increases access to personal information. This information can be used by hackers or agents in inappropriate ways, leading to risks of harm, inequality, loss of resources and discrimination.
The German government had registered approximately 82,649 cases of computer fraud, espionage and cyber-crimes in 2016 and these cases have been increasing all over these years. Phishing is also constantly rising. Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy individual in an electronic communication. A study states that the average financial loss for each phishing incident is about 3,500 euros. This is affecting the financial status of the country as well. Cyber-crime is also constantly increasing. A recent study by the Center for Security and International Studies in the United States estimated that cyber-crime ate up about 0.7 percent of global gross domestic product, but the rate for Germany was around 1.6 percent. Cyber-crime also includes the trafficking of weapons and narcotic drugs, network intrusions, dissemination of child sexual abuse material through the internet etc. German firms in particular are a target for well-resourced nation-state and criminal actors using cyber attacks to steal advanced manufacturing techniques and other intellectual property, as well as being the victims of less sophisticated hacks such as ransom ware. Net neutrality in Germany is also slowly rising. The population of Internet users is strongly biased along certain socio-demographic variables like age, gender, education, and income. This is termed a division between information haves and have-nots, or as a digital divide. To date, only a minor and rather homogeneous share of the German population actively utilizes Internet services in their daily life. This results in an increase in the possibilities of cybercrimes. Certain measures and laws have been formulated to control these violations. The “Social Network Enforcement Law,” presented by Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas in March 2017, aims to limit the circulation of hate speech, terrorist propaganda, and fake news on social media. It established substantial fines against social networking companies for failing to remove flagged criminal content from their platforms. A new law controlling the conduct of the Federal Intelligence Service has raised concerns for attempting to legalize thus-far illegal surveillance practices that could potentially affect German citizens as well as foreign journalists. Parliament approved the Network Enforcement Act, on June 30, 2017, and it took full effect on January 1, 2018.The law requires large social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, to promptly remove “illegal content,” as defined in 22 provisions of the criminal code, ranging widely from insult of public office to actual threats of violence. Faced with fines up to 50 million euro, companies are already removing content to comply with the law. Many countries in the world have also formulated laws based on this principle. The Bundesnetzagentur has published its second report on the enforcement of the provisions on net neutrality in Germany. It aims to establish common rules to safeguard equal and non-discriminatory treatment of traffic in the provision of internet access services and related end-user rights. It aims to protect end-users and simultaneously to guarantee the continued functioning of the internet ecosystem as an engine of innovation. To combat digital divide, many different steppingstones will be required. Systemic examination of the existing data about the socio-demographic structure of the Internet users and non-users and measuring the quantity of the digital divide with respect to applicable socio-demographic dimensions and their development over time, and taking appropriate measures can help reduce digital divide. The UNHRC had passed a resolution that stressed on the protection of human rights online. It stresses that “the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online”.
Technology has the potential to safeguard Human rights. By intensifying the voices of human rights protectors and helping to reveal abuses, these powerful technologies offer the promise of improved enjoyment of human rights. Cloud Computing and Big Data Analysis can Predict and Prevent Human Rights Crises. Proper analysis can help the U.N. to pinpoint the problem and understand what needs to be done. By coming together as a team, we can attain success in making the world a better place to live in and achieve sustainable development. “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”- Babe Ruth
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