Internet Censorship

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Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
Internet Censorship

The year was 1969, Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon, Woodstock, the first trial flight of the Concorde, Beatles perform their last public concert and something less celebrated, but defiantly arguably more significant, the birth of the Internet. The Internet is collection of network of networks, which there is no central computer that you are able to connect to. In other words you can look at it as a collection of Internet service providers (ISP) who each operate their own networks, and exchange packets with each other.  As of now it has evolved to the very core of the human race for all or if not most of our daily tasks from sending and receiving information to viewing virtual tours of houses and cars.

The Internet has gone from its humble beginnings to the forefront of controversy and there seems there is no resolution in sight.  Coming with the recent Chinese cyber attacks against Google and other U.S. companies and Hilary Clinton making a speech declaring free access to information online is a human right. Thus, this has truly brought Internet censorship debate to the global stage and leaves the question should the Internet be regulated?

Yes

In 1864 a postmaster general discovered a large amount of nude pictures were being sent to the Civil War troops. Therefore, laws were quickly passed to ban the sending of inappropriate pictures. This was the first reported government censorship. As of now, there are over 1.7 billion Internet users worldwide, and Asia has the most with 738 million, which will make for some unethical and immoral individuals to corrupt society just like in 1864. Therefore, regulations are a necessity for the world because there is no such thing as absolute freedom. Laws are needed to keep the virtual world in order and especially now with Internet users growing at an alarming rate. It is way too easy for children to access pornographic material. Just by searching harmlessly for a sports picture, a few nude pictures can come up. Thus, all forms of media are censored so than why is the Internet an exception.

No

The Internet should not be regulated or politicized because this is the age of globalization and the free flow of information is precious. Twenty years ago the Internet was a network of academia and most people did not know it existed. Today, it is promoted as the fundamental piece of economy and society.  By enforcing sanctions and regulations could hamper future advancements of the Internet such as social media content, delivered over super-fast bandwidth in real-time. Parents should take responsibility to determine what is appropriate or not for their children. There is a lot of software to block offensive words, sites or restrict access to certain sites. In America the First Amendment prevents the government from imposing or coercing the industry to impose an Internet rating scheme.