Harris Kamran Media and Film Studies Discussion Paper 16 April 2012 Threats of the future The society has always been exposed to various natural and manmade threats, which have put the civilization at risk. Some of these threats have been beyond the control of man, especially some of the natural threats, or at least beyond the hope of salvation, so that the human population is entirely at the mercy of their luck and the occurrence of the event (Covey)…
However, the antisocial and terrorist groups and agencies play a certain monopoly whereby the solution is only in their grasp, and the victim is left completely defenseless. This is another nature of the manmade terrorist threats; they are targeted, so that a certain section of the population is at risk while the rest are safe or completely unaware of the posing danger (Covey). This makes the threat more dangerous and criminal. With the advancement in technology and the evolution of ideas, the nature of threats has also changed and modified, becoming more sophisticated and complex, and more targeted. The scope of these threats is also becoming more global, and surprisingly, more virtual or transparent, so that they are now very difficult to spot and equally difficult to defend against (Cyber Threats of the Future). The type of threat that society faces at a certain point in time depends upon the framework of that society, and the technical and educational advancement of that era. Whereas there was, not long ago, a very imminent threat of nuclear warfare, and to some extent, still is, it has become more controlled now due to international treatises and the ownership of nuclear technology by many countries worldwide, so that it is no longer an exclusive technology (Covey). The defenses and the weapons have also been modified in lieu of the changes in the offense. Where there were once wars against entire countries and nations, such as the world wars I and II, more recently, the perpetrators are merely a few individuals who organize crime through the use of agencies and networks. Hence, in modern times, the targets are individuals and small organizations. This is due to the concept of organized crime in the recent times (Hoffman). The future threats and the defense against them would be, in the most likelihood, more technological and virtual than physical, and of a nature that few would have thought of or considered a serious threat. Many of these dangers still seem a work of science fiction films and novels, and the masses still refuse to accept them as viable and potent threats. However, there is growing evidence and attitude toward the application and employment of those technologies in a negative and anti-social manner for highly targeted and suspiring attacks and warfare. This paper purports to discus three of such threats: the cyber threats, artificial intelligence, and biomedical threats. The advent of the Internet has radically changed the nature of the global community, in terms of its reach, connectivity, and the speed of transfer of information and data (Cyber Threats of the Future). The world has literally been connected together through wireless and optical technology, shifting the paradigms of social interactions, educational and academic systems, government workings, military and defense mechanisms, private and public sector, and the corporate world (Cyber Threats of the Future). The technology has touched users on individual and personal levels, while the degree of customization and user-friendly interfaces are improving and increasing everyday (Cyber Threats of the Future). There is now more and more centralized collection and storage of sensitive and personal data, which in itself has become ...
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