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Internet regulation : Should the federal government be allowed to regulate information on the internet - Research Paper Example

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Running Head: Internet Regulation Internet Regulation: Should The Federal Government Be Allowed To Regulate Information On The Internet? [Name] [University] Internet Regulation: Should The Federal Government Be Allowed To Regulate Information On The Internet?…
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Internet regulation : Should the federal government be allowed to regulate information on the internet
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Internet regulation : Should the federal government be allowed to regulate information on the internet

Download file to see previous pages... While there are many forms that regulation can take, this paper will only address the question of federal regulation that focuses on the illegalization of sexually explicit contents. The Federal Government should not be allowed to regulate Information on the Internet because there are substantial reasons to believe that significant harm will be produced if information is regulated. Regulating the Internet Proponents of Internet regulation raise objections to the fact that there are materials on the Internet that would not be allowed in other media, especially, obscenity and pornography. The potential harm to children most often cited is that children can access inappropriate material. In support of the assertion that pornography is harmful to children, proponents often cite individual cases where they claim children have done horrible things after viewing pornography. Many other proponents of this argument have also been very vocal. For example, due to the availability of pornography on the Internet, Republican senator Daniel Coats of Indiana claimed that the "Internet destroys innocence" (Legislative Proposals, 1998). Also, many parents are simply uncomfortable with the possibility that their children could be exposed to pornography. Fears of anti-social behavior, sex addiction and loss of innocence are just a few reasons parents may wish to protect their children from pornography. Due to the ease of use and abundance of material on the Internet, these parental fears are magnified. Children are renowned for their curiosity and when their bodies start to change they want to know what is going on and become curious about sex. Searching for pornography is a way to express this growing interest (Chelton & Cool, 2004). Such material is abundant on the Internet and it is easy for a child to click on a button that acknowledges that they are 18 and enter some sites (those which do not require a credit card payment) (Taylor & Quayle, 2003). However, such material does not have a captive audience. Hard-core images usually are only accessed by searching for them. If the pornography in question was a billboard at Times Square featuring a lewd display of bestiality involving a woman and a goat, the proponents of the harm to children argument may have a case based on the offensive nature of the image. This would be due to the probability and unavoidable nature of encountering the image. However, this is not the case with the Internet. In order to access these pornographic images, a child must have access to a computer, an account with an Internet service provider, an Internet browser, knowledge of Internet use, often verify that they are over eighteen to enter the site and, sometimes, have a credit card number. While many do have access to such materials, they need not (Carey, 2005). A computer does not magically connect itself to the Internet. A parent authorizes the purchase of Internet software and the opening of an account. It is true that this responsibility put on parents may cause some disutility to be incurred for parents who wish to use a computer as an electronic babysitter. This disutility should be factored in when considering regulation. However, there are software packages available that parents can utilize at their discretion which screen out potentially pornographic sites. Also, it should be noted that obtaining an account with an Internet service provider is buying a service and bringing it into one's home, knowing the risks involved. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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