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Off The Leash: Censoring The Internet

1816 words - 7 pages

Did you check your Facebook today? How about your E-Mail? If not, you may be missing something even now! In today’s fast-paced world of instant information, if you aren’t on the internet, you’re almost certainly uninformed. Networks and the internet make up an alarmingly large part of our life. We get our news (both personal and public) via the internet, we talk to friends, shop for things, pay our bills… but how vast is the monster that does all of this? This question, along with many others, is essential in the debate that rages on today: censoring the net. There are governments, not excluding our own, who believe in to some extent controlling who can access certain websites, and which are available to the general public. The very idea of lopping off pieces of this near-infinite source of knowledge is criminal.
The average American has no idea how many computers they use on a daily basis, how many networks they cross and interact with. Check your email in the morning? That’s a network. Use your cell phone? That’s a network. Credit or debit? Either way, it’s a network, and you’re using the internet.
In the 1980’s, the government adopted a project to connect two computers together via phone line, for purposes of cross-country communication. After an alarmingly fast series of improvements from 1983 onward, communication was with relative ease via email. We quickly advanced through the ages towards our current condition of instant news and communication, with such methods as VoIP phone calls, Instant Messaging, Email and social networking sites. It was barely a quarter century ago that the only way you could research quantum physics was to hope and pray that the local library had the appropriate materials. Scientific discovery plodded along like an injured brontosaurus until sharing information became a breeze! Now, being able to know anything you want to know, learning potential skyrockets. (www.isoc.org)
Libraries virtually depend on the internet anymore for any number of things, book orders, late fees, accounts, newsletters. Schools are even more intertwined with this fabulous technology, there’s a computer in every classroom. Students are now free to access a virtual infinity of data whenever they need a report on John Adams, or can use the library computers to requisition a book on the Panama Canal. Even teachers use the internet for research, pulling crucial info from reliable research websites and online news centers. As a research companion, the internet is essential, a powerful, never ending library of useful information and resource.
Today’s businesses wouldn’t exactly get far with the loss of the internet, either. Emails from corporate branches, sharing of information, archiving numbers and statistics, just to name a few. Without an online presence, a business is hardly well known, and almost never efficiently organized. Advertisements online net thousands of hits a day, propelling business recognition to new heights and their...

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