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The Internet is a worldwide electronic library with virtually any kind of information hence it is the greatest and most convenient source of information at the click of a button. Of all the diverse information available in the internet, some explicit information such as pornography, racism, ethnicity, crime and war are considered unethical and against strong virtues of the society.
The negative impacts of internet have raised many concerns over freedom of access and publishing of information, leading to the need to censor internet. Although censoring of internet can help in protecting virtues and culture, it is technically impossible, prohibits propagation of knowledge and against civil rights freedom of speech and press.
Against Civil Rights
Internet censorship is against freedom of expression. The United States government attempted to control internet in 1996 when they passed Communication Decency Act but the Supreme Court made a landmark ruling that it is a violation of the First and Fifth Amendment of the Supreme Court (Valdes Cortes Para. 7).
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the internet freedom deserves much protection as books, newspapers, magazines and even as a nude statue in a museum (Para. 1). Therefore, it is unconstitutional to censor internet because people have the inalienable rights of freedom of speech and press so long as the civil rights are protected for the interest of justice.
Ignorance and Misinformation
Since internet is the greatest source of knowledge, the censorship of internet denies people access to vital information required in order to acquire knowledge. Insufficient information in the current society will led to misinformation or ignorance that is quite unrealistic (Yee Para 4).
Misinformation and ignorance completely outweigh the negative consequences of the free internet; it is better to have options and choice on the kind of information than be ignorant and misinformed. Modern society is fighting to eliminate ignorance and misinformation that are key democratic aspects of an open society, free of deception and secrecy.
Internet censorship is a way of controlling the minds of people as they say knowledge is power hence, leaders who are in power wants to control and regulate information access by their subjects so that they can continue gain more power while the subjects become more ignorant on pertinent issues that affects their lives (Yee Para 6).
Internet has made it hard for leaders to guard selfishly the knowledge to be within their own reach thus they are making futile attempts to control the flow of information worldwide. Free access of information from the internet have significantly enabled people to gain more and more knowledge making them have informed decisions in the kind of information and challenges they face because ignorance is no longer an excuse of not making the right decision in life..
Internet information is so vast and diverse to the extent that it will be impossible to censor the information in it. Technically, due to the overwhelming data and consequent complex encryption protocols involved, plus other technical factors makes internet censorship impossible (Chapman 132). Internet protocols are designed in such a way to avoid or prevent blocking. Moreover, internet is very dynamic in that censorship will be as futile excise as chasing the wind.
The internet has no boundaries unlike laws and legislations that are specific to a given territory. The Communication Decency Act left many questions unanswered; what is decency and who will determine decency? Diverse cultures in the world have different perceptions of what is ethical or not, what is decent or not, but a censor may have a different perception of what constitutes decent or ethical.
The diversity of cultures and legislations a cross the countries makes it impossible to have a standard internet censorship. According to the Americans Civil Liberties Union, internet censorship need to be put on the hands of the individual so that they can have autonomy to decides on the information they access or publish (Para 2).
Internet censorship is a noble idea of trying to conserve our cultures and traditions, but on contrary, we also need knowledge to eliminate ignorance that seems to perpetuate in this modern society. The positive impacts of free internet access of any information, outweighs by far its negative effects in the society.
Today, a society without access to information seems be in a dark world full of ignorance and misinformation that makes people behave as if they are blind to the current world issues that directly affects them. It is our inalienable right to access and publish information and the freedom of speech and expression are the integral aspect of information.
A democratic and prosperous society is based on the access of the right information used in the making of informed decisions a better society. The freedom to access information must be fought for, otherwise; people in the power will take advantage of our innocence and deny us the right to information that is necessary to rid of the ignorance in the society.
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American Civil Liberties Union. “Censorship on Internet.” ACLU. 2010. Web. <https://www.aclu.org/>
Chapman, Gary. “Censorship: Opposing Viewpoints”. 1997. Greenhaven Press. Web.
Valdes Cortes. “Margarita. Internet Censorship around the World.” University of Chile. 2010. Web..
Yee, Danny. “Internet Censorship: an Australian Press Council Seminar.” Electronic Frontiers Australia. 2010. Web.