That the BTRC is planning to establish a network to monitor social media, including Facebook and YouTube, and has already begun acquiring the resources to carry out this plan is alarming and seems to indicate the possibility of more government infringement on the public’s right to privacy on the internet.
As of this time, we are unsure what form of monitoring the BTRC intends to carry out, whether it involves spying on our Facebook pages or any other intrusive measures, and this is a worrying thought.
We also do not know what purpose the monitoring will serve, as there is a likelihood that a measure claimed to be taken in the interest of safeguarding the public may prevent the very same public from speaking up on social media against any government decisions or steps with which they disagree.
That’s not to mention, there is no guarantee that transparency will be maintained during the monitoring process, as may be presumed from recent ruling government actions where there was a failure of transparency.
Bear in mind the public has good reason to be wary of the ruling government, especially when it comes to the issue of controlling social media. Consider the YouTube ban in 2009, and again last year, as well as the Facebook block in 2010.
Not enough information has been given by BTRC. Hence, the BTRC would do well to be more explicit and transparent in informing the public what measures they intend to take so as to prevent violations of their privacy.