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Is Censorship On The Internet A Real Possibility?

1750 words - 7 pages

“In the face of ongoing revelations about extensive snooping by the US National Security Agency (NSA), censorship abroad may seem like yesterday’s problem. These revelations are troubling, but there is a broader array of threats to internet freedom around the world, and those threats are extensive and are growing” (Calingaert 1). The internet has become a vital part of modern society in the past 20 years, and on the World Wide Web, anything goes. It is one of the last places free from laws and government control ¬̶ well, at least for some. “Nowadays the internet is a wide-open source for information, entertainment, and communication” (Skvarka 1). Since its invention, and consequently the spawn of instantaneous communication, there has been a large debate on whether or not there should be a filter on the tremendous amount of information available to people. “Censorship of information on the internet has become a much publicized debate that currently has no resolution in sight” (Qazi 1). The problem lies in deciding who, or how the censorship should be implemented. The internet is an invaluable tool for communication and knowledge in the modern age, censoring it would affect what information people receive. It is also a vital tool used in all aspects of our world from economics to social media. Censorship could jeopardize the availability of information to the masses.
There are many aspects of internet censorship to consider before coming to a conclusion. “Internet censorship comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes… It ranges from physical attacks on journalists who publish exposés of corruption online, to cyber-attacks on the websites of human rights groups” (Calingaert 1). One of the main arguments for censorship is the protection of underage people against pornography and other ‘sensitive’ material. Protection of children against potentially harmful materials is a perfectly valid point, However morality of a child is ultimately the parent’s responsibility, not of the government. Thanks to modern technology people also now have the ability to purchase any 3rd party program that specializes in blocking sites of their choosing, allowing parents to have almost full control over their childrens’ browsing experience. “Parents should take primary responsibility for determining what their children should access” (youedebate 1). In 1984 by George Orwell, the plot of the book takes place in a time when the government controls nearly every aspect of society, including communication and media. The manipulation of information is so severe that the government rewrites publications from the past in order to appear correct in previous publications that had false information. It also censors sensitive content, keeping the public from knowing the whole truth. Keeping information from the public does not always have a negative effect, however it can easily reach a point where the public’s ignorance turns into oppression. “And when memory failed and written...

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