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abigail kasdin

Abigail Kasdin is a junior studying Social Studies. Pursuing her passion for education, she has spent the past two summers developing a leadership curriculum for high school students. She fell in love with the rigorous debates of Model UN when she first stepped in committee at the age of fourteen. Since then, she has competed in over twenty General Assembly committees and has directed in Montréal, Rome, India, and Boston. This past year, she served as the Under-Secretary-General for the General Assembly for Harvard's high school conference. Outside of Model UN, Abby is an active member in the Harvard Outdoors Club and served as the social chair of Club Swim and the Social Studies department. She is passionate about gender equality, camping, immigration, and education reform. After studying Spanish and Latin American history for eleven years, she cannot wait for all the adventures HNMUN-LA 2018 will bring. 

Topic: Global Mass Surveillance

While the concept of “spying” is far from new, rapid changes in technology have changed the way governments are able to gather information about their citizens. There are currently fourteen nations from multiple continents that are part of the world’s first espionage alliance. They use new and advanced technology to gather enormous amounts of data both on their own citizens and on the citizens of other nations. While this information-gathering capability was developed as a counter-terrorism measure, many people have become concerned that governments are using it to spy unnecessarily on their citizens. Even if it is used for purely security-related reasons, many are concerned about the fact that developed nations have been using their technological abilities to gather information about people in developing nations without the permission of those governments is a violation of national sovereignty. In addition to data-gathering mechanisms, some governments have even begun to use cyber attacks as a method of information gathering, which can prove very destructive to the infrastructure of the nation under attack. At this time, a balance must be found between a need for security and a desire for privacy.