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Censorship On The Internet Essay

892 words - 4 pages

Five years after the first world wide web was launched at the end of 1991, The Internet has become very popular in the United States. Although President Clinton already signed the 1996 Telecommunication ActI on Thursday Feb 8, 1996, the censorship issue on the net still remains unresolved. In fact, censorship in cyberspace is unconscionable and impossible. Trying to censor the Internet its problematic because the net is an international issue, there is no standard for judging materials, and censorship is an abridgment of democratic spirit.Firstly, censorship on the Internet is an international issue. The Internet was constructed by the U.S. military since 1960s, but no one actually owns it. Thus, the Internet is a global network, and it crosses over different cultures. It is impossible to censor everything that seems to be offensive. For example, Vietnam has announced new regulations that forbid 'data that can affect national security, social order, and safety or information that is not appropriate to the culture, morality, and traditional customs of the Vietnamese people.' on June 4, 1996. It is also impossible to ban all things that are prohibited in a country. For instant, some countries, such as Germany, have considered taking measures against the U.S. and other companies or individuals that have created or distributed offensive material on the Internet. If the United States government really wanted to censor the net, there is only one solution - shut down all network links of other countries. But of course that would mean no Internet access for the whole country and that is disgust by the whole nation.Secondly, everyone has their personal judgment values. The decision of some people cannot represent the whole population of those using the net. Many people debate that pornography on the net should be censored because there are kids online. However, we can see there are many kids of pornographic magazines on display at newsstands. It is because we have regulations to limit who can read certain published materials. Likewise, some people already use special software to regulate the age limit in cyberspace. Why do people still argue about that? It is all about personal points of views. Justice Douglas said, 'To many the Song of Solomon is obscene. I do not think we, the judges, were ever given the constitutional power to make definitions of obscenity.'II. In cyberspace, it is hard to set up a pool of judges to censor what could be displayed on the net.Thirdly, censorship works against democratic spirit, it opposes the right of free speech and is a breach of the First Amendment. Do you remember Salman Rushdie and his book The Satanic Verses? Iranian...

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