Regulating The Internet: Whos In Charge

Satisfactory Essays
Regulating The Internet: Who's In Charge

The internet was started by the military in the late forties, and has since

grown to an incredibly large and complex web, which will no doubt effect all of

us in the years to come. The press has recently taken it upon themselves to

educate the public to the dark side of this web, a network which should be

veiwed as a tremendous resource of information and entertainment. Instead, due

to this negative image, more and more people are shying away from the internet,

afraid of what they may find there. We must find a way to regulate what is there,

protect ourselves from what is unregulatable, and educate the general populace

on how to use this tremendous tool.

"The reality exists that governance of global networks offers major

challenges to the user, providers, and policy makers to define their boundaries

and their system of govenment" (Harassim, p84)

The intemet is a group of networks, linked together, which is capable of

transmitting vast amounts of information from one network to another. The

internet knows no boundaries and is not located in any single country. The

potential the internet has of shaping our world in the future is inconceivable.

But with all its potential the internet is surrounded by questions of its usage.

The intemet was named the global village by McLuhan and Fiore in 1968, but

recently the internet has been more properly renamed the global metropolis.

Robert Fortner defines the internet as a place where people from all different

cultures and backgrounds come together to share ideas and information.

"Communication in a metropolis also reflects the ethnic, racial, and sexual

inequalities that exist generally in the society. '' (Fortner, p25)

When a person enters into a global metropolis to engage in communication

they do not know who they will interact with nor do they know what information

that they may come across. Which brings an important question to mind. If this

is a community, a global metropolis, should it not be governed to protect the

members of the community? But more importantly, can a community that knows no

boundaries and belongs to no country, be regulated? And who can or should

regulate it?

With the vast amounts of information transmitted through network to network,

with some information remaining at sites temporarily or disappearing within

seconds, how can one regulate it? In a meeting of the Senate Select Committee on

Community Standards in Australia, iiNet, an Australian intemet provider,

presented facts on how much information passes through their server daily.

"Our own network sees over 200,000 items of email between individuals every
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