Throughout the history of humankind, cultural, economic, political, and technical forces have led to social changes. Some of these changes were drastic, but some others were more gradual. Among these change agents, communication technology innovations have thus resulted in social changes since the 19th century (Dizard, 2000). The invention of the telegraph enabled people to communicate across great distances from different parts of the world. Ever since, communication technologies have allowed people to share their experiences and cultures everywhere. One may say that today’s existing national borders are mainly political boundaries maintained by nation-states (Pelton, 2003), but society is no longer confined by these artificial boundaries thanks to communication technologies.
Two characteristics that communication technologies have in common are: the ability to cross borders, and the decentralization of control of their content and use (Ogan, 2007). These characteristics have enabled video/DVD technology, satellite-delivered broadcast technology, and computer-mediated communication (CMC) to change—or to offer the hope of change to—different levels of the society (Ogan, 2001).
Nevertheless, the social influence of communication technology also trigger major concerns. For instance, there is the risk of ‘Big-Brother totalitarianism’ through Western satellites or the Internet (Lin, 2007). Another concern is government control over the information and the media products imported across national borders, fearing that such imports might contain information and points of view that are not aligned with the native cultural values and traditions. Indeed, developing countries have for decades expressed their fear that the United States would be spreading its political points of view from space if those countries could not control access to the skies over their territories (Ogan, 2007). And now, with the growth of geospatial information technology, concerns such as accuracy, usage, and copyright become hot legal issues in many countries, including Indonesia.
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