Modern Communications And The Law Admission Essay Sample
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As the son of parents who use diverse media, I have been lucky enough to have for some time been able to see and use many of the modern communication tools, like the smart phones, computers, tablets and pagers. The world seems so much smaller when it is possible to make virtually instant contact with anyone, anywhere. As a consequence, more and more communication in the business world is conducted without the need to physically be in the same place. Video conferencing is one communication tool that allows “meetings” to be held without the participants having to leave their normal base of operations, saving enormous amounts of both the time and money that would be otherwise expended in travel and accommodation costs. Although these virtual meetings can be somewhat impersonal and require tight discipline to avoid participants talking over each other, they nonetheless allow the participants to spend more of their time on other productive activities.
There is no doubt that the world of communications is an exciting and fast-moving field of technology which is continually developing and innovating. Writing a letter and mailing it to the recipient is a rapidly disappearing technique. Most “letters” nowadays are just emails or attachments to emails, and can be read by the recipient(s) in a matter of seconds after being sent. Then there is Social Media and Twitter, for shorter messages.
However, these ultra-fast and easy to use methods of communication produce their own particular problems, which in many instances have required or will require new legislation. For example, contracts arranged through email communications may require different interpretations of contract law to traditional communication methods.
Following various activities and attacks by terrorist groups, governments are contemplating ways to legally access messages sent over the Internet to foil the terrorists who currently can communicate with each other with relative impunity. One method under consideration is to compel the Internet and telephone companies to store all data relating to their customers and to allow law enforcement agencies free access to it. Part of the problem for any concerted effort to control and monitor Internet use is that the Internet service providers can be located in a different country to the one wanting to legislate against them.
Another aspect of modern communications that has proved to require legislation is in the area of mobile telephones; specifically the ability to illegally tap into conversations between two people – known as “hacking.” There have been a number of cases where famous people including show business celebrities and political figures and others have fallen victim to this practice. Employees of certain national newspapers in Great Britain have been found guilty of the practice in high profile court cases. Because modern communication methods have thrown up specific problems, some laws that applied to traditional communications are no longer appropriate or effective. Hence the present need for legislation to address issues and deal with the crimes unique to high speed communications including the Internet.
Of course, there is always the danger that legislation to prevent potential crimes will at the same time be an infringement of accepted liberties. That is a major ethical difficulty for legislators. For instance, if the law enforcement agencies are given the right to monitor private emails and listen in to mobile phone conversations, that could be considered as spying on private citizens with no clear justification. Care is needed to adequately protect the public without turning countries into police states. (Total of 623 words).
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