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The destruction of online privacy: the case against Telegram

In a world of rampant terrorism, fear dominates the agenda and consequently, the individual privacy of citizens are being questioned. Should we trade our rights for alleged safety?

National security agencies promote the discourse that they need more means, both financial and in terms of jurisdiction, in order to ensure a safer society for individuals. While that may be true, the transfer of power is likewise an imposition on citizens’ individual rights.

The question of individual privacy is a conundrum because we want the authorities to catch terrorists and criminals, but we also want to be able to communicate freely without state interference into our private lives. This article will highlight potential pitfalls in the dilemma through a case study of the instant messaging service Telegram and the company’s current dispute with the Russian authorities.

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Nord Stream 2 – the Danish affair

The Nord Stream 2 project is a set of pipelines stretching from Russia to Germany in order to provide reliable, affordable and sustainable new gas supplies to the EU. The pipelines are to follow the same route as the already established Nord Stream 1, which was finalized in 2011 and 2012; however, the new adjacent pipes are causing European dissonance as various incompatible interests coincide. The new pipelines, like the previous ones, are to cross through Danish territorial waters, and in turn require a Danish permit.

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The Ilulissat Declaration ten years on

The Danish government recently published the Danish Foreign and Security Policy Strategy 2017-2018, which includes an initiative to “use the 10th anniversary of the Ilulissat Declaration to draw attention to the political obligations and expand the practical collaboration for shared interests”. The Ilulissat Declaration was a Danish (and Greenlandic) initiative and in consequence, it is only natural that it is the Danes who are reminding the other signatories of the common goals agreed upon.  

The Danes are right to take credit for the initiative as the declaration is a tangible demonstration proving a shared willingness to cooperation and dialogue concerning the Arctic between the Arctic nations. However, the question remains; does the Ilulissat Declaration have merit in today’s world or is it a remnant of the past?