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The Impact of Technology on National Security in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (UK) has maintained an impressive level of national security since at least the early 18th century when Admiral Horatio Nelson won the Battle of Trafalgar and stopped Napoleon Bonaparte from conquering Europe. However, the world has changed significantly since then, and technology may be playing an ever-increasing role in the future of national security both in the UK and in other countries around the world. Here are five ways that technology can influence national security in the UK as well as some examples of where this technology already exists or is in development today. [citation needed]

How Technology has Changed Our Lives
Everyone thinks technology has a negative effect. If you Google technology and effects you get an overwhelming number of links that deal with how technology is affecting our lives, especially in terms of security. How can we have both? While it’s not easy, it is possible. Many countries and organizations are finding ways to secure their data using state-of-the-art technology while also embracing its ability to connect us and make everyday life easier. The UK government is looking into updating tech laws so that citizens are protected from privacy issues and other cyber threats, but also take advantage of applications available today such as smartphones, social media and banking apps that allow people to live their daily lives more efficiently. With new developments being made every day, it will be interesting to see what happens next. Here are some things you might want to think about when deciding if technology is for or against your country’s national security:
When considering digital identity management (DIM), governments need to consider three primary aspects: policy, identity infrastructure and service delivery models. The Government Digital Service (GDS) defines digital identity as the information which describes who someone is in online contexts. This information can include any personally identifiable information (PII) such as name, date of birth or address; any non-personally identifiable information (NPI) such as location data or IP addresses; and any derived information created by analysing PII or NPI.

Devices used to Spy On Us
The devices that governments use to spy on people have become smaller and more advanced. It was recently reported that British intelligence is using Internet-connected Samsung TVs as a way to spy on citizens. The TVs come preinstalled with microphones that can record audio from anywhere in a room, even when they are turned off. While Samsung did not release any official statement, it has been noted that these devices have existed for years and were often used by police departments as well. It’s unclear how widespread their use is by MI5 and MI6, but their existence does demonstrate just how much potential there is for technology to be abused by governments to violate our privacy rights. This isn’t an isolated incident either—there are reports that similar devices exist in laptops, mobile phones, and tablets. As time goes on, we will see more and more ways in which our own technology is being used against us. That doesn’t mean you should stop using technology altogether, but it does mean you should be aware of what your government is doing with it. One thing that makes things tricky is that most companies like Apple or Google are American companies, meaning American laws apply to them. These laws make it legal for American companies to hand over user data if requested by US law enforcement or intelligence agencies. Companies can still fight back against requests for information, but doing so could put them at risk of legal repercussions from US authorities.

Ways We Protect Themselves
The UK operates a network of sites across Britain, allowing them to monitor mobile phones and internet traffic. The government has also been open about helping domestic companies such as BT and Vodafone with surveillance programmes. One major project is called Mastering the Internet and aims to allow more efficient monitoring of communications by increasing access to undersea fiber optic cables between countries. Although these programmes have received criticism from civil liberties groups in recent years, Prime Minister David Cameron has continued to support their use for national security purposes, claiming that not only are they safe but that there should be no debate about it because these programmes help protect people from terrorism. It’s clear that new technologies continue to play an important role in modern-day security efforts—but will they always? And how do we ensure our personal information remains private? As technology continues to advance, so too does its ability to help us achieve our goals. In time, it may even become impossible for governments or other entities to maintain control over information. Perhaps instead of fighting against these advances we should embrace them and work together toward achieving greater heights than ever before.
On February 6th 2015 Apple released an operating system update (iOS 8) which contained a bug that prevented some iPhone 6 users from being able to make calls or use data.

Shot of an unrecognisable hacker using a cellphone and laptop in the dark

How they are trying to Balance the Equation
As technology advances, terrorists continue to make strides as well. It is a continuous battle for government officials to stay one step ahead of terrorist networks, which often makes them prone to overreaction when there are incidents that could have been prevented with better technology. In 2016 alone, there were more than 477 deaths related to terrorist attacks—and that’s only counting those related directly to large-scale attacks. In addition, there were 898 people injured and 788 wounded during these events. No matter how you look at it, those are grim statistics. The number of deaths caused by terrorism has increased every year since 2014, according to CNN. If they can’t figure out a way to balance the equation between national security and individual rights soon, they may be facing even higher numbers in 2017. There are two sides to each coin: on one side, individuals want protection from harm; on the other side, governments want power to protect their citizens. But finding a middle ground that satisfies both parties is proving difficult. One major point of contention revolves around encryption—that being whether or not we should keep an open channel between our devices and potential hackers while still protecting user privacy (especially because some say doing so will help fight terrorism).

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