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Censorship Of The Internet Is Wrong

1430 words - 6 pages

Censorship of the Internet is Wrong



The Internet can be a very disturbing and adult medium. There are parts of the Internet that should not be viewed by children. Explicit information can be found which is intended for an adult audience but children who have access to the Internet have become exposed to this material. The question at hand is who is responsible for preventing these children from viewing this material. Censoring the entire Internet would be one capable option. Though this option would be effective but it wouldn't be practical. Censoring the Internet would limit what adults could view and communicate. Owners of Internet servers should know of the ...view middle of the document...



It is the parent's responsibility to limit the access of the Internet for their children. There are many options, which can prevent children from the access to the illicit material, which can be found through the Internet. "In general, parents have access to a wider variety of Internet access controls than controls over cable television or the movies. Additionally, most children who live in environments in which their parents lack access to Internet protection likely also lack the resources to acquire computer technology and Internet access." (Ford Marrin Esposito Witmeyer & Gleser, L.L.P.) Some examples of these methods are the following. Filtering can be done by making a list of obscene words and phrases, or others that can be linked to content which you find objectionable, and make the system unable to download material in which the words or phrases are found. This can also be used in private email. Another way to monitor your Internet browsing is by subscribing to an approved online access. There are Internet servers, which will monitor the content for you. (Oram) PICS were an alternative to the 1995 Communications Decency Act. PICS were a system where web sites would rate themselves stating what kind of material it contained. Then parents could block web cites with certain material using software. (Garfinkel 43)


Another issue is the vast area the Internet reaches. If the United States should prohibit certain material over the Internet, does that justify that other countries, which used the same Internet programs, loose out on that material? The Internet doesn't start and end in a certain place. "Because of their international nature, the networks operate outside the framework of First Amendment protections familiar to most Americans."(Lewis 67) It would be very hard for every country, which is on the Internet to come together and make up a set of rules to outlaw certain material. "Nations have different views on what is permissible on the Internet."(Oumarou 38) The only way a country can effectively censor the Internet without hindering other countries access is to follow in China's footsteps. That would be to control who gets access to the Internet and regulate what they are using it for, also known as a communist government. "The responsibility for any censorship rests not with a central authority but with the administrators of the thousands of private and public computer networks."(Lewis 67) If there were laws, such as the Communications Decency Act of 1995, established by the United States government outlawing "indecent" material posted by users, there would still be companies from different countries feeding this material into the country. "Traditional media are identifiable and have a physical or material component that the authorities can call to account when they consider that the law has been broken." (Oumarou 38)


People who gain access to the Internet should...

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