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Impact of Censorship and the Internet - Essay Example

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The Internet has proved to be a forum that not only allows pure and free speech, but has also contributed in the development of those ideologies that has lead the courts to make decisions in critical moments when it seem difficult to make a stand for the protected acts such as flag and cross burning…
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Impact of Censorship and the Internet
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Download file to see previous pages With such an enhancement towards freedom of open expression, encouraging public debates and discussion of proposals, Internet has also confronted with the negative aspects with the only solution left to rate or filter online content. This idea has been mainly supported by anti pornography feminists. Cyber crime is also an aspect that allows a person to think about such a measure that helps in censoring the Internet. Since the government can punish such actions, that are the real bone of contention in the hindrance of such regulations.
As Catharine McKinnon, a leader of a movement wrote in a statement against sexual speech, "Only words, but because they are sex, the speaker as well as the spoken-about is transformed into sex". (Levinson, 2003) "The intensity of the crime can be detected from such a dynamic declaration common to sexual harassment and pornography where the triumph of the word police, no matter what their politics, has been to turn their precepts into common wisdom. Pornography is harmful, the Internet is dangerous, artists are corrupt, tolerance is capitulation, and discussion, imagination, and plain old talk must be controlled and censored. Even liberal-minded people who are against at the prospect of censorship talk easily of limits." (Levinson, 2003) Pornography involves children, that infect their minds and lives, harassment whether live or virtual corrupts humanity; other crimes such as fraud and gambling are becoming common in our daily lives. The suggestion lies in the cure of censorship from individual speech rights to collective groups or peers which if implied, will resolve conflicts over what is good and bad speech.
Censorship refers to crime prevention on the Internet; the following steps can be taken in this respect:
Develop effective Internet and security policies for all websites to be implemented.
In the public sector, governments should attempt to regulate and restrict the use of computers by their employees.
Service providers should be subjected to obscenity laws in countries they obtain customers. These laws must be strict and liberal except in the case of child pornography, where the laws must be generally extremely strict.
Child pornography has been taken seriously to such extent that Child Pornography Protection Act (CPPA) prohibits and criminalizes the use of computer technology and define child pornography in terms of the harm inflicted upon real children to a determination that child pornography was evil in and of itself whether it involved real children or not. (Ferrera, Cyber Law) Child Online Protection Act of 1998 (COPA) expresses the following rationale for the new legislation:
The Internet presents opportunities for minors to access materials through the web in a manner that could frustrate parental control or supervision.
The protection of the physical and psychological well being of minors by shielding them from materials that are harmful to them presents a compelling governmental interest.
Industry attempts to provide ways to help parents and others restrict a minor's access to harmful materials have not been successful.
Prohibiting the distribution of material harmful to minors, combined with legitimate defenses, is currently the most effective and least restrictive means to protect minors.
(Ferrera, Cyber Law ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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