an International System:
Information Technology And Expansion Of The Europe EssayAN INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM:
AN OVERVIEW OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FOR SECURITY AND SOCIOECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
EXPANSION OF THE EUROPEAN INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM
APRIL 25, 2000
“We are at risk. America depends on computers. They control power delivery, communications, aviation, and financial services. They are used to store vital information, from medical records to business plans, to criminal records.
Although we trust them, they are vulnerable — to the effects of poor design and insufficient quality control, to accident, and perhaps most alarmingly, to deliberate attack. The modern thief can steal more with a computer than with a gun. Tomorrow’s terrorist may be able to do more damage with a keyboard than with a bomb
Computers at Risk, National Research Council, 1991.
“We need to understand the exact nature of the challenges posed by Information and Communication Technologies to existing societies and economies. We need to know what we mean by the information society and the creative economy. Above all, we need to imagine how ICTs may develop not just in rich urban societies but in all societies, in all countries, and in all sectors of these societies and countries.
While the countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are becoming more aware of the haves and have-nots within their own societies, there is a similar but much larger division between haves and have-nots on a global scale. Can ICTs help to close the gap?”
Howkins, John. “Development and the Information Age,” United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development, 1997.
The origins Information Technology can be traced back to the first forms of spoken and written language. However, within the context of the 20th century, IT refers to the development and use of machines, whether they are computers, cameras, or indeed any electronic device, which produces, transmits, receives, deciphers, or in any other way, manipulates data.
That data can be sound, text, numerical, or visual. Since the 1960’s, the world has seen the rapid development of IT via the invention and miniaturization of the transistor, the computer, fiber-optic wire, and development of numerous programming languages that instruct these machines to perform their tasks. There has already been, and no doubt will be extensive discussion of the technical innovations and specific technologies that have emerged in the past few decades. However, far more important than the specific technologies is the manner in which governments, businesses, individuals and groups implement IT to achieve their respective goals. For this exercise, IT will be loosely defined as the amalgamation of technological resources that allows for the flow of information across time and space. This paper will analyze the role of IT in the expansion of the European international system.
Specifically, the analysis will look at the effect of IT on international security and socio-economic development.
Within the realm of international security, several concerns over the role of IT arise. First, what new risks are associated with the development of IT in terms of national security as well as international stability? Second, and conversely, can IT serve as a detriment to conflict? (Both of these questions also raise concerns over territorial sovereignty.) Third, what advantage, if any, does a nation with superior IT have in conflict/war?
In terms of socio-economic development, the development of IT raises new concerns for the Western world as well as Less Developed Countries: What are the benefits and consequences of the development of IT for the developed countries and those for LDC’s? Furthermore, what role has the development of IT played in expanding the European international system to LDC’s, and what are its consequences?
II. IT and Security Issues
In a very real sense, the Information Superhighway has become the economic brace of many developed nations. While leading the world into the Information Age, developed nations have become uniquely dependent on that highway—the computers and the global network that connect them together.
This dependency has become a clear and compelling threat to their economic well being, their citizens’ public safety, and their national security for a number of reasons.
The world’s communication networks, referred to by many as cyberspace, know no physical boundaries. Increasing connectivity to and through cyberspace increases any .