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The Regulation of the Internet - Essay Example

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This paper shall examine the arguments which have been put forward for the regulation of the Internet. This paper is being carried out in order to establish how concerned parties can manage internet information and use while still maintaining democratic ideals and values. …
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The Regulation of the Internet
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Download file to see previous pages The internet has become one of the most widespread technological advancements which have gained popularity in recent years. Since its inception, its use has expanded and its coverage has grown extensively. Most everything can now be found and done online. Business transactions can be carried out online, so can social interactions, buying, selling, and even dating. Various individuals use it for both their professional and personal needs; it serves purposes which mostly relate to convenience and easy accessibility. In recent years however, due to its widespread use, issues on censorship have been raised. Due to the delicacy of internet materials which have become widespread in their use, the idea of internet censorship has been suggested. However, issues on the application of democratic ideals seem to clash with the idea of internet censorship. This paper shall answer whether or not internet censorship is compatible with democratic values and ideals.
Internet censorship is defined by Colthorp as “internet material that is examined and then removed or suppressed when it is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable”. This includes a very wide range of materials which can be considered censorable; defining what is morally or politically objectionable can spawn various materials in the legal, ethical, religious, liberal or the conservative sense. Nevertheless, materials often defined to be subjects of censorship include pornographic, politically seditious, and even criminally offensive materials. The purposes of censorship in different countries often have various motivations. Three main regions in the world engage in internet censorship, including East Asia, Central Asia, and Middle East/North Africa (Misa, 60). Other countries like Germany, France, and even the US also implement some form of censorship against certain websites and under specific settings. The US for example, filters internet activities in computers in libraries as well as K-12 schools (Reichman and American Library Association, 39). In France and Germany, materials about Nazism and Holocaust denial are also blocked (Deibert, 190). Child pornography and other pornographic sites are also banned by various countries in the world, including China, Singapore, and most countries in the Middle East (Deibert, Palfrey, and OpenNet Initiative, 5). Some of these countries are actually democratic countries and have long respected the freedom of speech and of expression, and yet are involved in some form of internet censorship. The practice of internet censorship has been supported, to some extent, by governments because various reasons. The significant growth of the Internet has led to a new realm of human communication whose ease is facilitated by cyberspace, its low cost in participation, as well as its potentially vast audience (Malakoff, 1). In many ways, it actually represents a purely democratic forum where any literate person can express his thoughts, feelings, and opinions. On the other hand, electronic communication and the internet also have negative consequences owing to the fact that most people can now access any morally and politically pervasive materials on the internet (Malakoff, 2). This is the primary reason driving some governments to implement regulatory practices for internet use. Countries which have historically suppressed the transmission of data in an attempt to control and suppress any civilian dissent have found the internet to be a particular problem. These countries have an innate fear that materials that their people would read and obtain ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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The topic of "The Regulation of the Internet" is quite often seen among the tasks in university. Still, this essay opens a new perspective of seeing the problem. I’ll use the style for my own example.

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