The mainstream media (MSM) has been working hard to undermine the private lives of individuals and, by extension, that of other institutions. For us to understand how this started and is still occurring now, it is important to consider how the MSM has been behaving before, during and after last year’s US general elections.

MSM and the intelligence community

Years before last year’ US general elections, the MSM started a war against the intelligence community, accusing it of being a dangerous establishment that the federal government could use to undermine the privacy rights of individuals. The position of the MSM regarding the intelligence community was strengthened after the controversial Iraqi invasion by the Bush administration. At the time, many people were inclined to believe the assertions of the MSM against the intelligence community and the political establishment in general.

MSM and fake news

Immediately after last year’s presidential election, the MSM has been on the forefront of a sustained propaganda war. The heart of the propaganda is that Russia deliberately hacked the US electoral system and helped Donald Trump to win the elections. Also, the propaganda has gone overboard by exaggerating the infamous ‘fake news’ and saying that it played a key role in helping Trump win.

MSM Missteps

But it is important to note that the MSM has had its fair share of missteps. For example, recently, it was falsely reported that Russian hackers had gained unauthorised access to the systems of a Vermont utility. Many still remember the uproar that followed when the officials of the company categorically stated that the laptop that had the malware was not connected to the power system at all and that they could not verify that the malware was part of a Russian hacking plot.

Therefore, when the MSM deliberately misleads the public with sustained propaganda, it ironically plays a key role in undermining the privacy rights of individuals in the society. Also, as long as the MSM continues to shift its positions in the heat of the moment, it deliberately undermines the privacy rights of individuals and organisations in the society.

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