Internet Censorship

Internet Censorship Mr. Speaker, distinguished members of the house, The opposition concedes that proctecting children and to enable adults to avoid material which offends their personal & community standards should be one of the goals of the government. Having said that, we must find realistic and practical solutions in order to address this issue. Is regulating the internet the answer? Before answering this question, there are many factors to be considered. As the member of the opposition has stated, no single set of standards is appropriate to all users, how can we regulate and deem whats appropriate for one, everyone is different.

What one may find offensive on the net, others may not. By restricting the flow of information on the internet, the public will not be able to obtain every possible information which is available to them. Although there will always be certain sites which emits offensive material, it gives us a true balance of our society. By making the internet a perfect world will mislead the publics perception of our true society. Mr.

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Speaker, the public should have the right to choose which kind of information he or she would like to view. The users should be given the responsibility of private censorship. Like in other cases, adults must provide children with a safe and supportive environment in which to play and learn in. This can be done by subscribing to a filtered Internet Service Provider or by installing a filtering software, it should not be required as the Honorable Prime Minister is proposing. Self-censorship should be decided by the users themselves and not regulated by the government. The Prime Minister has also maintained that there needs to be a rating authority for websites on the internet.

Mr. Speaker, although this may seem appropriate, it would be almost impossible to implement. We must remember that unlike print media, one of the advantages of having the internet is to let individuals who have no access or who cannot afford a publisher, the opportunity to be heard. With the amount of information uploaded every second onto the internet, it would be very hard for a rating authority to anaylize these uploads. If a suitable rating must be given before any information is to be displayed on the internet, webmasters would have to wait a considerable amount of time before their work can be viewed over the internet.

Mr. Speaker, as my member of opposition as stated, by banning or blocking out certain websites will result in a high social cost, this can be controlled locally, but not on a global scale. The effect would be minimal if not noticeable, and the cost of implementing this would be very high. There are no practical ways of restricting the users, in an era of extreme information fluidity in which every barrier to information can be by passed in several ways will make it very hard for the government to make such a restriction on the internet. Any knowledgeable user can log online and use a different proxy server to by pass these barriers. The Minister of the Crown has expressed there are harmful informations available on the internet which should be regulated. Getting information, such as instructions to build a bomb can certainly cause harm to the public if it is in the wrong hands.

However we must realize that by taking such information off the internet will not be the answer. These harmful information can be obtained through many other mediums. Mr. Speaker, information of how to build a bomb can be obtained at your local library, banning certain information on the internet will not be the solution. Stopping and capturing individuals who present harm to the society should be the issue, it would be ignorant to name the Internet as the scapegoat.

As for regulating copyright materials on the internet, the government has not proposed any practical and realistic ways to go about this. Problems for the protection of the rights of the different industries, be it music, print and so on, should be addressed. But once again, The Crown presents a false image to the public, regulating the internet to uphold copyright will not solve the problem at hand. Mr. Speaker, the internet presents a minicul porportion of illegal reproductions.

The problem of illegal reproduction and distribution has been an issue since Cassette recorders, Video recorders and photocopiers have been available to the public. The internet is not a new medium but an extension of the old. Owners of cassetter recorders and video recorders far outweight the owners of computers with internet access. The is a need to address this issue as a whole, and pointing directly to the internet is misleading. The Minister of the Crown has also brought up an interesting problem of Online gambling. She has maintained that this would result in a new generation of gamblers.

Once again, the Crown has used the internet as a scapegoat. Gambling problems which our society faces today can be more attributed to recently barrages of Casino openings. Mr. Speaker, have you noticed how many Casinos have been built in Ontario lately? How can we address the issue of gambling problems when the government is creating them by building Casinos? The Crown has also proposed a taxing internet commerce. The opposition concedes that tax revenue may be lowered due to online purchases, but we must look at the bigger picture.

Online sales or E-Commerce has a great deal of upside for our economy, it creates more jobs and it gives small companies the opportunity to reach the global market. By imposing a tax on the internet would hurt the growth of E-Commerce and perhaps hurt the internet and the economy. Sales of merchandise on the web could plummet if consumers were forced to pay sales taxes According to Dr. Goolsbee an economic professor at University of Chicago. Many of the companies that engage in commerce over the Internet do not have to be physically located in the United States.

If we impose taxes that reduce their business, companies will move to locations that do not tax them. Given the huge growth of Internet-related jobs that we are projected to see in the next few years, any measure that would cause a loss of these jobs would hurt the entire economy. We must remember that the internet is not a broadcast or mass media, it is a bidrectional, point to point, global communications network. Unlike the television, or print, offensive material will not just pop up on the screen, the user has to make the attempt of searching for these materials before they are to be displayed on the screen. Bibliography None.

Internet Censorship

Internet Censorship Internet Censorship The Internet is a wonderful place of entertainment and education, but like all places used by millions of people, it has some murky corners people would prefer children not to explore. In the physical world, society as a whole wants to protect children, but there are no social or physical constraints to Internet surfing. The Internet Censorship Bill of 1995, also known as the Exon/Coats Communications Decency Act, has been introduced in the U.S. Congress. It would make it a criminal offense to make available to children anything that is indecent, or to send anything indecent with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass (Stop the Communications ..

n.p.). The goal of this bill is to try to make all public discourse on the Internet suitable for young children. The issue of whether is it necessary to have censorship on the Internet is being argued all over the world. Censorship would damage the atmosphere of the freedom to express ideas on the Internet; therefore, government should not encourage censorship. The Internet was originally a place for people to freely express their ideas worldwide.

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It is also one of America’s most valuable types of technology. Ordinary people use the Net for communication, expressing their opinions, or obtaining up-to-date information from the World Wide Web (WWW). The Internet can be compared to a church. In many ways the Internet is like a church: it has its council of elders, every member has an opinion about how things should work, and they can either take part or not. It’s the choice of the user.

The Internet has no president, chief operating officer, or Pope. The networks may have presidents and CEO’s, but that’s a different issue; there is no single authority figure for the Internet as a whole. As stated by Frances Hentoff, the staff writer for The Village Voice and the author of First Freedoms, on an info superhighway driven by individuals, there are no cops preventing users from downloading (Hentoff 1). Internet users can broadcast or express anything they want. The fact that the Net has no single authority figure sets forth a problem about what kind of materials could be available on the Net.

The U.S. government is now trying to pass bills to prevent misuse of the Net. The Internet Censorship Bill of 1995 was introduced to the U.S. Congress. Under the Censorship Bill, a person breaks the law if he/she puts a purity test on a web page without making sure children cannot access the page. Also, if a person verbally assaults someone, he/she breaks the law.

If a university, where some students may be under 18 years old, carries the alt.sex*. newsgroups, which contains adult material, it breaks the law. According to George Melloan from the Wall Street Journal, a censorship bill was passed by the Senate 84-16 in July, and an anticensorship bill was passed by the House 420-4 in August. There are now four different sets of censorship and anticensorship language in the House and Senate versions of the Telecomm reform bill, which contradict each other and will have to be reconciled (Melloan, n.p.). Another crucial Internet crime is the theft of credit card numbers. Companies do business on the Net, and credit card numbers are stored on their servers; everyone with the necessary computer knowledge could hack in and obtain such databases for illegal purposes.

To cite an instance, the most infamous computer terrorist, Kevin Mitnick, waived extradition and is now in jail in California, charged with computer fraud and illegal use of a telephone access device. The list of allegations against him include theft of many files and documents, including twenty-thousand credit card numbers from Netcom On-Line Services, which provides thousands with access to the Internet (Warren 52). Many experts have pointed out that government censorship is not possible. Howard Rheingold, the editor of the Whole World Review, observes that, the ‘censor the Net’ approach is not just morally misguided. It’s becoming technically and politically impossible (Rheingold n.p.).

First, it is not fair to exclude the freedom and damage the atmosphere of freely expressing ideas just for the safety of children. Corn-Revere, an expert on Internet censorship at the Howgan & Harson Law Firm, points out that the purpose of indecency regulation is to keep adult material from falling into the hands of kids. When he first introduced a similar bill last year, Senator Exon said he was concerned that the Information Superhighway was in danger of becoming an electronic ‘red light district’ and that he wanted to bar his granddaughter’s access to unsuitable information (Corn-Revere 24). It is clear that Senator Exon introduced the bill to prevent minors from viewing unsuitable material on the Net. In addition, Meleedy, a computer science graduate student at Harvard University, said that if the Internet makes democracy this accessible to the average citizen, is it any wonder Congress wants to censor it? (Meleedy 1). As predicted by Corn-Revere, At the very least, the law will force content providers to make access more difficult, which will affect all users, not just the young (Corn-Revere 70).

Censoring the Net is technically and politically impossible; it will damage the atmosphere of freedom and free idea expression on the Net; therefore, government should not encourage censorship. Most Internet users are enjoying their freedom of speech on the Net, which is supposed to be protected by the First Amendment of the United States. The freedom of idea expression is what makes the Internet important and enjoyable, and it should not be waived for any reason.

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