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Will instant messaging services be banned?

In recent days we have witnessed the terrible events that have taken place in Paris in which several people have died as a result of a ruthless form of terrorism that wanted to attack directly one of the basic pillars of any democracy that is worthy of the name, nothing more and nothing less, than the right to freedom of expression .

As a result of these events, the debate has been opened on certain questions related to how to prevent this type of attack from happening again , since this terrible event is not an isolated act, but responds to a planned strategy with which instilling terror and trying to restrict, as we said, one of the emblematic freedoms of democratic countries, that of being able to freely express any opinion.

Will instant messaging services be banned?
Will instant messaging services be banned?

Of the ideas to avoid these acts that different organizations are proposing, there is one that has attracted special attention, and that is the British government’s idea of banning the use of instant messaging services such as Whatsapp, Telegram, Snapchat or iMessage among others. This is what we read a few hours ago in The Independent, a British newspaper that reported the statements of David Cameron, British Prime Minister, who said that if these services did not make conversations accessible to the security services, they should not be allowed .

These statements have raised a lot of comments on the web, since it would be a decision that would put security above any person’s basic rights , such as the privacy of their communications. It would be a matter of prohibiting the most popular communication services at present, or if necessary, making the communications established through them no longer private .

Is the ban on such services an appropriate measure? It should be said emphatically not. Other measures could be taken that would affect less the privacy and freedom of any person, since with ideas of this type it is a matter of making anyone suspicious, when this should not be the case, at least in democratic states, where the presumption of innocence is fundamental. Moreover, with services of this type we have reached levels of communication never seen before in history , which have resulted in a number of practically uncountable benefits for users, although not so much for operators.

On the other hand, we have also been witnessing in recent times news such as the espionage of the NSA to millions of people that have caused an almost generalized rejection and denouncement in many countries and even small diplomatic conflicts with the United States. Banning instant messaging services would provoke a worldwide rejection that would be very difficult to sustain for any government , even at times when societies, faced with the commotion of attacks of this type, are willing to release part of the freedom they have conquered in exchange for more effective security .

In conclusion, by changing our way of life, our way of communicating and suppressing some of our freedoms, we would only be doing a great favour to the terrorist strategy , which is none other than instilling the greatest possible fear, a fear so atrocious that it forces us to give up the greatest conquest of any democratic society, the rights and individual freedoms , as it is among others, the right to the privacy of communications .

Do you think that banning services such as Telegram, Whatsapp, Snapchat or iMessage is an appropriate measure to prevent future terrorist attacks? Do you think that our right to privacy of communications would be seriously affected by this? You can express your opinion on this by leaving a comment below .

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