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for DR. Archimedes

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The penalties for the misuse of information are what plagues much of society today just as it has in the past. Many people walk around believing that they know, that they are educated, but they refuse the possibility that they don't know anything. Too many people will live out their lives in that mindset. It is precisely such thinking that will leave people more vulnerable and susceptible to being taken advantage of by those who misuse information. The fear of not knowing is what will drive people to misinformation like a moth to a flame. The results of which are a multitude of people who will reject or resist truth, because it would mean they would be put back into a state of not knowing even if it were just for a moment. This creates a divide among people, people who believe they know one thing over another. Many still suffering from their fear of not knowing, will continue an intricate dance of moving from one piece of information to the next, like traversing stepping stones scattered across a river. The penalty for the misuse of information is that it fosters the fear of not knowing. I have answer to the question to "what I'd like to learn from this class?" I'd like to learn, is there an authority over truth, if so who, and how can you prove it? If penalties refers to law enforcement, then my answer to the prompt is no.

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There should be penalties for the generation of misinformation, trafficking, or unethical use of information. Although information has no direct effect, it is what an individual does with it that can cause damage. There are already laws set to prevent this, but many find loopholes to exploit it. Illegal streaming and piracy sites are rampant on the Internet, but somehow find ways to continue these services under the law. Exploitation of information isn't only exclusive to media; from recent events in the government, it is clear that information has been passed through and obtained by illegal means, eventually making their way to the public. In the case of Russian involvement in the White House, many officials in the president's administration have been found to have connections with them. Had they disclosed this information prior to their appointment, they wouldn't find themselves in turmoil and controversy in the media. In addition to misinformation and unethical use of information, I think withholding from a situation that calls for it should also warrant a penalty. There are of course limits to what the individual can release, but if it is a matter of public safety and concern, they should be held accountable. It is now more important than ever that individuals with power are held to a standard and maintain a form of transparency. The public has the right to stay informed about those they entrust with power over them.

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