Information, the Internet and Government

One of the primary topics I cover in this blog is the amazing change we can observe in information search and retrieval. We’ve only reached the tip of the iceberg in utilizing the internet for daily activities including studying, finding recipes, purchasing used furniture, contacting a friend in Hong Kong, donating to an orphanage in Moscow, and so on and so forth.

It’s these new advances in technology that are sending ripples throughout factors of our daily lives, simply because we are a society based upon information. The information we place — and have access to — online grows exponentially each year. It is with this surge in the availability of data that entire businesses have been designed to streamline the process: Google AdWords, Facebook, Amazon, etc. With this shift in power from manuscript to “140 characters or less,” even governments are taking action. Just this past summer, the United States Library of Congress announced it would be archiving all Tweets in order to record how our society is maintaining communication and interacting.

Stories such as these do raise some concerns, however. Namely, how much information do government entities have access to? How might this information be used in an unethical manner? These concerns are legitimate, and we need to take a close look at how information search and retrieval is changing in order to understand what troubles might lie ahead.

References:
“Library of Congress to Archive Your Tweets”
http://articles.cnn.com/2010-04-14/tech/library.congress.twitter_1_tweets-micro-blogging-twitter…

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