Internet Censorship: An Attempt to Stop the Inevitable

Internet Censorship: An Attempt to Stop the Inevitable

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Censorship on the internet is something we hear about nearly everyday. Whether it is in the news or some internet service provider who mentions parental controls in one of their commercials, censorship is something we are all familiar with. The ongoing debate seems to be if the internet should or should not be restricted. Some feel that the internet's freedom is somewhat anarchic, but at the same time very democratic (Weiner, par.1). The internet is an example of what our government is based on but at the same time represents a lack of organization with no established laws. So where should we draw the line with regulations?

People want to have freedom. Throughout history, people have fought for the freedoms we now have in the United States. People have fought to be free from tyranny and segregation. Our "Founding Fathers" wrote a constitution that gave us the freedom to say what we want and write what we choose. Many other countries today do not even have these freedoms. Yet, everyday we hear something new about people not wanting their children to see the "evil" sides of the world. Parents complain about their children having access to pornography and other "harmful" material. Because society objected to the violence and sex on television, rules and regulations were created. In the past, books have been banned because they were offensive to some people or the government felt the books were corruptive in some way.

This only leaves people with the internet to express their true views and beliefs. The internet creates a network where people from all over the world can share their ideas and knowledge. It provides people with what they were once masked from. With this tool, people can access valuable information at the click of a mouse and without searching through outdated libraries. Who would ever want to loose these privileges?

Governments have tried in many ways to block the youth from viewing the "darker corners" of the web (Buckley, par.2). In "Internet: The Lost Fight" by William F. Buckley, Jr. a few attempts are mentioned. The author mentions the Communication Decency Act that was put forward in 1996 but was eventually turned down by both the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court for being unconstitutional. Buckley also reveals how efforts have been made to block the youth from viewing porn but have had little success in doing so. He even follows up questioning that if the Founding Fathers lived during the age of the internet, that the Constitution may have been worded differently (Buckley, par.

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3). In article by Jon Weiner, titled "Static in Cyberspace," censorship issues in Canada were mentioned. In this instance, two people were murdered through sex torture by a married couple. The husband of the couple, who were being convicted, was the investigator for the killings. In efforts to keep this information a secret, the Canadian government tried to shut down websites for releasing this information. The public easily found ways around this gag order. The information was posted in different internet domains until the government eventually had no control over the situation (Weiner, par. 4).

Although issues dealing with sensitive material within the government do exist, parental concerns are what we are most aware of. With new technology being made available, parental control programs are becoming much more common. It should not be the government's chore to supervise children. Parents should take the responsibility in controlling their children. This is not easy, given that this material is commonly found accidentally on search engines throughout the internet (Buckley par. 5). If they wish to use parental control then they have the option to do so. Pornography has not caused any significant harm to society and whatever claims have been made are just spurious correlations. Children should be educated in a way that they can determine what is right and wrong. They should not be blinded from the world, but educated about it. When children as well as adults see something negative that should be able it judge it as that.

Internet is the only place where opinions can be expressed freely with no restrictions, to the entire world and that is an extraordinary freedom. The ideas expressed may cause controversy but it is something we should be willing to except. People are social animals and desire the right to say what they want. It should be up to the family, the strongest social power towards our youth, to educate and control children. By limiting internet access, society limits the ability to learn which far outweighs the harmful affects.

Works Cited

Buckley, William F. Jr. "Internet: The Lost Fight" Readings Online: A Virtual Common Place. Ed. Paul Amore. Houghton Mifflin. 12 Feb. 2005. 7 pars.

Weiner, Jon. "Static in Cyberspace" Readings Online: A Virtual Common Place. Ed. Paul Amore. Houghton Mifflin. 12 Feb. 2005. 23 pars.

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