Regulating The Internet, Who's In Charge?

2271 words - 10 pages

The internet was started by the military in the late forties, and has since grown to an incrediblylarge and complex web, which will no doubt effect all of us in the years to come. The press hasrecently taken it upon themselves to educate the public to the dark side of this web, a network which should be veiwed as a tremendous resource of information and entertainment. Instead, due to this negative image, more and more people are shying away from the internet, afraid of what they may find there. We must find a way to regulate what is there, protect ourselves from what is unregulatable, and educate the general populace on how to use this tremendous tool.''The reality exists that governance of ...view middle of the document...

If this is a community, a global metropolis, should it not be governed to protect the members of the community? But more importantly, can a community that knows no boundaries and belongs to no country, be regulated? And who can or should regulate it?With the vast amounts of information transmitted through network to network, with some information remaining at sites temporarily or disappearing within seconds, how can one regulate it? In a meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Community Standards in Australia, iiNet, an Australian intemet provider, presented facts on how much information passes through their server daily.''Our own network sees over 200,000 items of email between individuals every day of the year, and this is increasing. In USENet news, the 'discussion areas', iiNet sees 150Mb of typed data every day, over 100,000 pages. This includes people chatting idly, informational postings, questions, answers and anything else that the committee can imagine people wishing to talk about.'' (Senate Committee).This is an example of one server, the information that passes through it originates from all over the world. The point is that this one provider can not possibly be able to review everything that passes through its server.Should the internet be regulated? We know that it can't and never will be perfectly regulated and therefore the user will always need to be aware that he is entering a global community and he may find some information offensive.Huff3For example, one of the hottest issues which has been in the news is the internet transmitting pornography. Individuals and companies do upload and download pomography. It ranges from pictures of nude men and women to child pornography.Many schools have adopted the idea of bringing computers into the classrooms.'In the classroom, where youngsters are being introduced to the machines as early as kindergarten, they astound-and often outpace-their teachers with their computer skills.' (Golden, 219) Educating students about computer literacy is an important aspect for the upcoming generation. Computer literacy will become just as important for people to understand as reading,writing and arithmetic are.With this increased ability at such a young age comes the the abilty to access the net, and the places on the net that we as parents don't want our children going. Much the same as the ability to walk enables them to go places they don't belong.The United States has laws which regulate pornography with a clear understanding of the First Amendment, allowance for freedom of speech. There is a difference between obscenity which is not protected by the First Amendment and indecency which is!The way the U.S. determines what is obscenity and what isn't is by using the Miller three part test to see if something is obscene or not. The test is listed here:1. Would the average person, applying contemporary community standards' find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest?2. Does...

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