This paper aims to deal with the attitudes towards and social impact of Edward Snowden’s revelations in Japan, taking the Japanese socio-cultural and political environment surrounding privacy and state surveillance into account.
A questionnaire survey of 1,820 university students and semi-structured follow-up interviews with 56 respondents were conducted, in addition to reviews of the literature on privacy and state surveillance in Japan. The outcomes of the survey were statistically analysed, and qualitative analyses of the interview results were also performed.
Snowden’s revelations have had little influence over Japanese youngsters’ attitudes towards privacy and state surveillance, mainly due to their low level of awareness of the revelations and high level of confidence in government agencies.
The study results imply a need for reviewing educational programmes for civic education in lower and upper secondary education.
The results of this study based on a large-scale questionnaire survey indicate an urgent necessity for providing Japanese youngsters with opportunities to learn more about privacy, liberty, individual autonomy and national security.
This study is the first attempt to investigate the social impact of Snowden’s revelations on Japanese youngsters’ attitudes towards privacy and state surveillance as part of cross-cultural analyses between eight countries.
This study was supported by the MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan) Programme for Strategic Research Bases at Private Universities (2012-2016) project “Organisational Information Ethics” S1291006 and the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) 15H03385, (B) 25285124 and (B) 24330127. Sixty-five academics from Universities around Japan helped in encouraging their students to respond to our survey. There is no space to list them here, but the authors extend their sincere thanks for those efforts.
Murata, K., Fukuta, Y., Orito, Y. and Adams, A.A. (2017), "Few youngsters would follow Snowden’s lead in Japan", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 197-212. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICES-08-2016-0026Download as .RIS
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