Internet Censorship Debate
Should there be Internet Censorship ?
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It is way too easy for children to access pornographic material. Just do a search for something as harmless as sports pictures, and you will see that a few porn pictures will slip in. A child could innocently click on one.
The simplest solution to this problem is a minor change to the domain naming system which will make adult oriented sites easily identified and restricted from viewing by underage individuals. An ideal solution in this case would be one that effectively limits children's access to such content, is easy and efficient to enforce, and requires little adjustment by the Internet using community. Imagine if sites with pornographic content ended in ".xxx" rather than ".com", or ".net" and then imagine if Netscape and Internet Explorer could block out all sites that had ".xxx" in their addresses.
We censor all forms of media now except the internet.
There are four reasons for internet censorship:
Two of the purposes are desirable goals: access control to protect children and to enable adults to avoid material which offends their personal and community standards. Both of these can be achieved very well with filtering software on the user's computer, and cannot be achieved in any practical sense with censorship.
A third goal - censorship to impose certain moral frameworks on the communications of adults - is not desirable and is not achievable by any means, except only partially, with many costs and difficulties, with some form of censorship.A fourth goal, stopping the communication of material which it is illegal to possess, like bomb plans, is in many ways desirable, but hardly achievable because of the free availability of strong cryptography.
Filtering and blocking software in public
institutions raise the question about who is responsible for the
de-selection of the material.
Raises freedom of speech/freedom to read issues in a constitutional context.
Raises questions about the rights and responsibilities of children.
Raises questions about what is appropriate and what is not appropriate --
a) some filtering software blocks hate group sites. If a student is trying to research about skinheads or neoNazis, that information will be blocked on the Internet.
b) some software programs block any mention of the word "sex" and will therefore block out sites dealing with biological and botanical issues involving procreation.
c) filtering programs will block the word "breast" and therefore block information about breast cancer.
Internet users know best. The primary responsibility for determining what speech to access should remain with the individual Internet user; parents should take primary responsibility for determining what their children should access.
CON 7Parents should do what ever they think necessary theres lots of software to block offensive sites but there should be no government coercion or censorship. The First Amendment prevents the government from imposing, or from coercing industry into imposing, a mandatory Internet ratings scheme. Libraries are free speech zones. The First Amendment prevents the government, including public libraries, from mandating the use of user-based blocking software.