Internet censorship has become a hot topic to discuss at various levels in the government as well as within private entities and individuals. This is the taking control of what can be accessed viewed or published through the net (Zuchora, 5). It has been argued as to who should be mandated with the responsibility of internet control. This may be approved by the government or private organizations. There may be also self censorship by individuals and private organizations for their own advantage such as morals, religious and business reasons. However much has been said that the government should take control of the information sent and received through the internet. Some of the motives why the government is prepared to take control are to conform to society norms, control intimidation among people and also spread of fear among people in any country (Zuchora, 5). According to Obama, the US president he said, “we are going to promote new and better tools of communication so as people can be empowered and be free to connect with other people in the society and thus with security. The government is going to support a free and also open internet so that people have needed information to help them in making decisions. It is also time to embrace the power of internet and its impact to our community”.
Internet has been known to improve people’s communication as well as reduce the distance barrier among two communicating people. It has been known to impact every aspect of our lives from the way we are taught in school to the way we get news and even how we find and maintain friends. Internet has led to the invention of internet based system. The internet based systems are literally used in most businesses now. They have improved efficiency and effectiveness especially in the delivery of goods and services (Bidgoli, 25). Internet also improved the storage of data, we no longer have to use files as a way of storing data. This reduced the manual filing systems which was slow and insecure. This ultimately reduced the service time especially in hospitals, banks and all service industries.
Over time, there have been differing opinions on the topic internet censorship. Arguments have been made both for and against the need for the government to censor the information flowing through the internet. The degree of censorship varies from one country to the other. Some may have highly strict internet censorship such as the Arabic countries i.e. Iran. On the other hand, other countries may have extremely little internet censorship such as USA. However, the government should not limit the extent and magnitude of access to the internet in any country. This is because’ through the internet’ people have been benefiting from it such as getting news, advertising in case of businesses. There are numerous benefits associated with the use of internet in the community. This explains why I am against the issue of government censoring the internet (Zuchora, 7). A good illustration is the case of Iran, there was a plan by the Iranian to switch the internet in the county into a domestic network that was supposed to improve security. The officials in charge argued about improving deliberate cyber attacks, but the Iranians took it as an initiative to filter information online.
One of the main obstacles experienced in the community when government censors the internet is the denial of the freedom of speech to the people. Internet use has increased over the last decade. The internet is believed to contain all types of information one may require. Fear of chaos should not be used as the bases to deny people (internet users) the right to express themselves and their feeling. Hence it should not be used for unwarranted censorship of the speech. The supporters of censorship argue that they are protecting the society from abuse such as sexual materials and hate being spread over the internet. However, there have been no well laid bases to determine what is bad to the people. People should be allowed to express their views on any topic in the community. Through the internet, business entities have been able to market their products both locally and internationally. Moreover, due to the changing world where by, news is being broadcasted through the internet for quick access by the people, censorship might deny the right of people to know and contribute to the national matters (Marsden, 164). The internet users should be left with consent to conclude what is right and wrong for them. With Internet censorship, freedom of speech through the internet continues to be threatened. The government ‘therefore’ has no mandate or right to censor speech on the internet as it cannot force the adults to hear what is good for children.
Freedom of expression is a vital component in any successful community. Internet has provided one of the most effective and visible ways that the ordinary people make their opinions heard. For example, when the US government was planning about Iraq war, it is the bloggers who questioned the action and not the renowned media. This gave chance for anti war opponents to organize. If the government was to regulate the internet, the American people ‘for example’ would lose an important toll to exercise their freedom of expression (Bidgoli, 264).
In addition to freedom of speech, internet responsibility should be left on the hands of the parent. One of the main talking points is how much the children should access thought the internet. However, government censorship would hinder the access of information to the adult. The parents should be the one in control of what the children’s access or send through the internet. This would help control what the kids can access. Control of internet usage by the kids should be left within the parent’s hands as well as school administration. The two people are the ones who are direct contact with the children, and it will be much effective for them to control what kid’s accesses on the internet. It will be much effective for parents to be responsible for the internet among their children than the government taking control (Caso, 46).
Finally, control of internet usage denies privacy to the citizens. Through the censorship, government may use the internet to deny privacy. New technology tools are developed now and then and may be used by the government to deny human right as well as deny people’s privacy. When it comes to monitoring the information sent and received the government interferes with people’s privacy and may end up victimizing. People should be allowed to have their privacy to access what they want through the internet. Through the surveillance of the internet, the movement threatens free flow of information and hence violating people’s privacy.
However, despite the right to access information to the people, censorship is also needed to reduce the rate of moral degradation of the children. As far as the parents are concerned, they might not be able to monitor their children all the time; hence they access wrong information from the internet. On the other hand, internet can be used to fuel crashes between communities or countries hence it should be monitored to what extent does people use the internet. A lot of malicious actions can be done through the net and despite the freedom to information control is needed for the wrong intentions of people.
From the above discussed points on the internet usage among people, it is clear that the government should cease from censoring what is sent and received by people through the internet. This is because the internet including other communication technologies has formed unprecedented ways and opportunities to share information between people. The internet has also been of great benefit through the opening of paths for pro-democracy groups, journalist and individuals in all parts of the world whereby they have been able to hold government accountable for their actions.
While it is true some people misuse the internet by committing crimes, it should not be taken as the reason to regulate the entire medium. The already existing laws are adequate to preserve law and order in the communities. Much has been discussed the topic, and it leaves to the decision of the internet users to argue for or against the topic. However I take the stand that the government should not be involved in censoring the internet.
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