Pandora’s Box – Everything is Possible, Not Everything is Permitted
By Adina Riposan
Director, e&m Global Perspective – Editorial, April 2002
Throughout all development, we’ve been empowered by the unequaled power of human curiosity, resourcefulness and all the challenges we met. Still, where exactly did we get? We can assess now that we’ve built a miracle out of humanity, but we need to keep up with the miracle we have ourselves created. The increased potential in the IT and communication field, as well as the most recent discoveries which tend to revolutionize the entire human culture, make us realize that we have actually opened a “Pandora’s Box”, and – beside the desired benefits – a lot of demons are likely to come out. Worshipping how the new humanity is worldwidely connected by digital media and artificial intelligence, it’s hard to believe we could possibly live our lives without all these miracles. Yet, this shouldn’t make us forget we are still the creators and we need to always hold the rein.
All developments and conquered territories have their reverse sides. More advanced a domain grows, more unexpected issues can arise, more potential dangers or untapped directions to follow. It is historically demonstrated that biggest discoveries give birth to even bigger questions waiting to be answered. Each gate we manage to unlock will definitely reveal new and deeper ways to be searched and discovered, and we’ll never know for sure what’s most likely to appear at the end of the road.
In the Information Society, infringement methods are growing on the basis of the same amazing technology as human progress itself, and Internet seems to provide the perfect medium for their dissemination. No matter how ingenious the technology used for development or protection, equally ingenious ways may be devised for damage or progress circumvention.
The level of insecurity grows with the development of those representing the greatest threat to the Internet culture – the hackers, crackers and persons engaged in circumvention as a business. Unauthorized access to private or confidential information, strategic data theft, have become threats which require an entire industry for prevention. Even the opening of mass media and traditional culture towards adopting electronic means on a large scale gave birth to new infringement methods breaking the ethical and legal norms, ranging from Copyright infringement and unauthorized dissemination to preventing the right-holders from using their works. If we add to all these the direct and indirect ecological effects, genetic changes or dramatic geosystem transformations, we wonder which will be the balance the moment we make a total and assess the results. Even so, it’s human to be happy about unlimited wonders the present give to you every day.
Similar to the ancient legend, facing the fact that we have opened “Pandora’s Box”, enjoying the treasures and trying not to find reasons to feel sorry about it, it still remains THE HOPE that, someday, we will be able to device proper means for making sure that ongoing progress will not turn into some public or private enemy.