There is no doubt that governments, corporations, groups, and individuals use the power of technology for good and evil. Speaking at the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski connected the hardships of those who endured Nazi oppression in Europe during and before World War II to any person alive today. Much like how the Nazis used the latest technology to further their horrible goals, technology can be perverted for evil today.
“The Holocaust proves many sad truths,” Genachowski said, as reported by eWeek. “One is that modernity is not an inoculation against genocide. The pillars of modernity—technology and science—are powerful forces. They were perverted for evil by the Nazis, but technology and science are also sources of unlimited hope, opportunity and transformative change. We must fight so that technology is used to shine a light on oppression and intolerance, to illuminate persecution and dehumanization, to take oppression and mass murder out of the shadows.”
This all comes less than a week after the scandal over Carrier IQ broke, revealing that wireless carriers and smartphone manufacturers could be logging and collecting every key stroke on a phone–an epic and scary violation of privacy, should it be true. It is only the latest in waves of known and unknown evil uses of technology. The more technology powers and connects our world, the more responsibility we all have to prevent it from being perverted for evil purposes. The challenge lies in figuring out what is evil, or will lead to evil in an increasingly complex world. Everyone has their hands in the technology honeypot, making it harder to figure out who committed the crime.
What do you think? Are we mostly using technology for good or are we on a dark path toward the apocalypse?