The purpose of this essay is two-fold: (1) to provide an overview of the impact of global communication on international relations in the theoretical discourse, military, diplomatic, economic, scientific, educational, and cultural arenas, and (2) to draw out the implications in each arena for further policy research and development.
Global communication at the turn of the 21st century has brought about many effects. On the one hand, it is blurring technological, economic, political, and cultural boundaries. Print, photography, film, telephone and telegraphy, broadcasting, satellites, and computer technologies, which developed fairly independently, are rapidly merging into a digital stream of zeros and ones in the global telecommunications networks (The Economist, March 10, 1990; October 5, 1991; September 30, 1995). Economically, separate industries that had developed around each of these technologies are combining to service the new multimedia environment through a series of corporate mergers and alliances. Politically, global communication is undermining the traditional boundaries and sovereignties of nations. Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) is violating national borders by broadcasting foreign news, entertainment, educational, and advertising programs with impunity. Similarly, the micro-media of global communication are narrow casting their messages through audio and videocassette recorders, fax machines, computer disks and networks, including the Internet and the World Wide Web. Culturally, the new patterns of global communication are creating a new global Coca-Colonized pop culture of commodity fetishism supported by global advertising and the entertainment industry.
The dilemma of how to reconcile freedom of information with the dictates of national security and rights of privacy seems to be at the center of any democratic national information policy. A telling example of this dilemma is the controversy in the United States on the Clipper Chip and V(iolence) Chip. In 1993, the National Security Agency introduced a new encryption technique to be used for security and privacy on the National Information Infrastructure (NII). This new technique, commonly known as the Clipper Chip, was designed in secret by the NSA and remains classified so that its inner workings are unknown. It also has an additional "feature"--the government keeps the keys for you, so if they want to wiretap anyone, they can. This proposal met with nearly universal opposition from the public and industry. In January 1994, many of the world's top cryptographers and computer security experts wrote to President Clinton asking him to withdraw it. Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR, Internet Memo, February 3, 1994) created a listserv for an Internet Petition to Oppose Clipper. Public concern with pornography and violence has clashed with the First Amendment rights in other arena as well. The U.S. Communication Decency Act of 1995 made the dissemination of pornography on the Internet a criminal act. It also required the installation of Violence-Chips in TV sets allowing parents to control the programs their children can watch. However, in 1996, a few U.S. courts declared any infringement of freedom of speech proscribed in the Act as unconstitutional.
Competing myths and historical memories powerfully shape the cultural configurations of society. They are preserved in national monuments, libraries, national and religious rituals, textbooks, and the literature of a country. Cultural policy decides what myths and historical memories to preserve, which to discard, and what to repress. In monarchical Iran, for instance, the myths and memories of the pre-Islamic Iranian monarchy were glorified, while in Islamic Iran, they are being repressed at the same time that the Shi'a Islamic myths and memories are revived and embellished (Tehranian 1979, 1993). The religious policy of a state thus has profound consequences for its cultural policy. Whether a state adopts a national religion, as in England, or pursues a policy of separation of church and state, as in the United States, has important implications for the type of schooling allowed or subsidized. Similarly, language policies affect educational practice. Since its independence in 1917, Finland has required Swedish language instruction in its schools. However, Finland's entry into the European Union has raised questions about the value of Swedish in contrast to English or French as bridges to the European community. By adopting bilingualism, Canada has attempted to keep Quebec within its federation. But Quebec's refusal to require bilingualism within its borders has undermined Canadian unity. To protect and enhance European identity vis-à-vis American TV programs, the European Union is imposing limits on the proportion of foreign programs on television.
To turn to another policy arena, the question of patent and copyright protection is primarily a commercial issue. However, it has important consequences for a country's international obligations. In recent decades, the United States has been in direct conflict with a number of countries including Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, China, and Singapore for their breach of copyright laws of the United States. Textbooks, computer hardware and software, and musical recordings have been systematically pirated for profit without payment of copyright royalties. However, as long as a country has not signed the Geneva Convention on Copyright, it can continue reproducing intellectual properties without compensation to the authors and publishers. The U.S. has brought considerable pressure on some of the Asian countries to sign and abide by the Geneva Convention. Some have; others continue to refuse to sign on the grounds that their Asian heritage has been pillaged for centuries without compensation and it is now their turn to borrow or steal. In this instance, the interface between national information and foreign policies could not be any closer. Foreign policy can no longer confine itself only to the issues of security; it must also develop positions with respect to cultural identity, media freedom and protection, and information trade.
However, the benefits of video conferencing in this aspect is that it can allow for several students to view procedures and operations.Administrative Duties
Specific Subject Matter
Prisons / Correctional facilities
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The experiences of latecomers to the industrial revolution, such as Japan and China, have abundantly illustrated that the acquisition of modern science and technology is the key to catching up. In this process, the role of information technologies, from print to the Internet, cannot be overemphasized. Since the rate of obsolescence in scientific and technological knowledge is also increasing, information technologies are assuming an additional function aside from transfers of knowledge. They have made lifelong and open learning systems possible (Noam 1995; Tehranian 1996). What are the relationships between traditional educational institutions and new systems- Can scientific internationalism and technological protectionism coexist- Does leapfrogging from low-tech (e. g. typewriters) to high-tech (e. g. global computer networking and DBS) undermine cultural sovereignty and identity- Which is more important in the processes of economic development, financial or human capital- If the latter is more important, as the evidence tends to show (UNDP 1992-1996), what is the place of science and technology policy in an overall development strategy- What are the implications of all of this for a global science and technology policy- These questions have clearly no easy answers. But they present the beginnings of any serious international discussions on information, science, technology, and educational policies.
Libertarian media policies tend to value free speech above politically correct speech. Proponents of a ban on hate speech, however, argue that it is equivalent to crying fire in a crowded theater, thus constituting a "clear and present danger." Hate speech should not be tolerated because it seriously threatens ethnic and racial peace. As the Report of the Project on Ethnic Relations in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union suggests (Internet Memo, August 24, 1994), the problem can be tackled in several different ways: First, through constitutional checks and balances. Second, through intermedia checks and balances. Third, through journalists' own codes of ethics. Fourth, through better historical and cultural education for journalists. Fifth, through better coverage of news contexts in relation to news events. Sixth, through shaming the aggressors by publicizing information about the political persecution of minorities provided by such organizations as Amnesty International. Finally, through bringing international pressure to bear on violators of human rights.