Internet Censorship And Technology Essay

1535 words - 6 pages

Since its availability to consumers in the 90’s the internet has forever changed the way one can communicate with others. With improvements in technology and an increase of emerging countries the accessibility of the internet will only increase with time. Such a possibility is fraught with problems, problems that were later brought to light by the September 11 attacks. With widespread internet usage the means to do harm increases and for some that vulnerability warrants the censoring of internet material that will aid criminals/terrorists. Internet censorship is not a viable option for any government to partake in. In censoring the internet the government infringes on their citizen’s basic human rights, it would become a costly endeavour, and it’s a lost cause.
To begin with, by censoring the internet a country violates its citizen’s rights to freedom of speech and other basic human rights. Censorship provides control of human expression and it would make sense that the governments that fear revolts are those that are in favour it. China whose, “Government official are worried that, as the number of Chinese homes with telephone lines grows from the present level of less than four percent, the State will become totally unable to monitor Internet aces at residencies” (CIA 1) is a perfect example of how censorship is only a ploy to control the flow of ideas. Unfortunately for the Chinese officials internet usage did explode and with it came serious loss of credibility and control over the populace. As the government lost control it only strengthened its position towards censorship. The Human Rights Watch states that China Achieves this by, “requiring internet search firms and state media to censor issues deemed officially “sensitive” and blocks access to foreign websites including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube” ( 4). China’s censorship limits what the media can publish and in doing so robs its people of the truth and knowledge. It also punishes human expression by “blacklisting, penalizing, and suspending access to the internet” (Human Rights Watch 4) to those they deemed as “distorting” the truth. China has also continually violated other human rights, which serves as an indicator that its internet censorship policy isn't in the interest of protecting its citizens. Censorship is not contained to countries with an authoritarian past; even in the U.S. censorship is present in due to the Children's Internet Protection Act. Internet filters limit what children can see in public schools and libraries and learn and as the ALA puts it, "the use of filtering software by libraries to block access to constitutionally protected speech violates the Library Bill of Rights" and in doing so violates people's right to obtain knowledge. By attempting to protect its inhabitants through censorship the government ends up violating the most basic human right, the freedom to think. By censoring information the government limits what a person can think of that...

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