Social Networking – Week 7 Reflection

Posted: April 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

Social Networking is a world-wide phenomina where people use social networking sites to collaborate and communication with other social network sites online.

Paricularly interesting are the issues surrounding privacy levels can be set on Facebook and most social networking sites.  Privacy is about protecting the idenity of users, and usually embedded in the features of social networking platform to enable the users to decide how much content others can view and who can view it.

There is a website that shows the terms of conditions of various social newtorking and other online networking sites which provides links to Terms of use. It shows Terms of use for 56 websites and everytime there is a change it is highlighted on this site.

Discussion about use of data, in particular Facebook has raised concerns about how they use our information.  Whether they need to get permission before using that information.

Boyd (2009) mentioned privacy concerns as a major theme in cultural and critical discourse on social networking, and outliend SNS’ as challenging legal perspectives of privacy.  Also, asks “do police officers have the right to access content posted to Facebook without a warrant?” When do you think a social network is private and when is it public?

My personal point of view if someone has broken the law, or under investigation for a serious crime it may be in the best interest to investigate the content on social networking sites.

Law enforcement is genuinely protecting us from bad people, such as the sad story about a 15 year old girl Carly who was murdered in Port Elliot South Australia in 2007.  After forming an online relationship with a man on MySpace she was murdered by the man. On the same day the girl was murdered the man’s MySpace account was deleted.  In case, the police used the man’s MySpace account as evidence in the crime investigation. To read the story see

In this sort of circumstance, if police suspect that someone is murderer or something very severe then there isnt a problem with accessing the information to investigate, and without presenting a warrant would possibly hinder the investigation.

I found this story published in 2004 (it might be a bit old) but wanted to find something about ASIO (Australia Security Intelligence Organisation) who monitor Muslim websites (2004).  In the News, a story about ASIO Scans Muslim Web Surfers states

“ASIO regards the monitoring of these websites as the most effective means of combating homegrown terrorism”.  Interestingly, the artcle states “The practice of monitoring websites is allowed under Australian law because of new laws such as the ASIO Legislation Amendment Act 2003 and the Telecommunications Interception Legislation Amendment Act 2002.” Read more: Im not sure if the websites they monitored were private or open to the public.

Having a look on the ASIO website, according to legislation, ”

ASIO is not subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1982. The Privacy Act 1988 does not apply to the disclosure of personal information to ASIO by other agencies” Read more: which would provide them with the powers to access our private information, even through according to the ASIO Act there is a process for Warrants outlined.


boyd, d. m., & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social network sites: Definition, history, and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1). Available at:

Man and teen charged with murder of girl, 15 Save this story to read later •by: By Nigel Hunt and Kate Kyriacou (2007) The Sunday Mail, March 04, 2007    Read more:


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