Internet censorship is a topic that is finding itself in national discussions of many economies around the globe. Censorship was initially intended to shield citizen of different nationalities from information that will do more harm than good if accessed by them. Contrary to this course governments and organizations have taken advantage of this campaign to deny access to information to its unsuspecting citizen as seen in countries in Middle and Far East part of the globe.
Censorship in the Internet
Internet censorship is an initiative taken up by the government or private organizations on their own initiative or on request by the national government to limit the access of information by its citizens. The main purpose of limiting access to internet by the government or private organization is to protect her citizens economically, morally and for religious reasons. The government tries to protect her young generation from immoral spillage that is usually accessible in the internet. It also tries to curb hatred and animosity that is usually in excess in some sites. Discrimination on the bases of color, race, tribe, religion and any other form of distinction between citizens is another major reason why governments advocate for censorship of the internet.
Internet censorship can be of major benefits to a country if implemented well and with the right intension. Censorship of pornography and other material that contain sexual content has played major strides in ensuring that the minds of young children are not being corrupted. This has helped to shape the morals of young innocent civilians. Censoring of material that is seen to be offensive to persons emanating from particular communities, regions or religious groups prevents the people from getting into conflicts with one another. This is mostly due to the cultural, racial and religious diversities present in many economies of the world.
Sensitive information for instance information concerning the military if not censored may put the security of a country at risk. This may risk the lives of the citizen of a country. Censoring also helps in curbing online crimes as people are careful of what they share via the internet. People are also protected from sites which have no regard for their cultural and religious believes.
Although internet censoring have its advantages if used well it also has some detrimental consequences to the society if not used for the purpose its intended for. Some of the negative effects for censorship are as explained below. Censoring of pornographic site and other immoral site may cause laxity in parent. This will cause parents not to guide their children as they would have if the site were accessible. This will lead to a generation with no morals which may lead to long term risks associated with immorality.
Denying access to information will lead to ignorance among the member of the society. This may lead to violation of human right as people may not know their rights. People in power may also take advantage to cripple their political opponents by denying them the opportunity to express their views. Censoring of information is in itself violation of basic human freedom of speech and expression. Regulating what a person can say or express limits a person’s freedom and this hinders free flow of expression. Also as has been proven hiding or withholding information from a person makes them more curious to find the information. This may have huge repercussions as it may lead to development of software’s designed to elope government surveillance and also bypass security coding protecting certain information. If the software gets to be used they may leak governments’ secrets which may lead to security threats to the nation.
In the recent past as earlier stated the world has made major stride in the field of information technology. This has led to eased exchange of ideas, belief and customs as people can communicate not only with those they relate and associate with but with other like minded people around the globe. Censoring of the internet may take the world back to the yester years where communication was not only unreliable but almost impossible. It’s the right of every human being to know what is happening around them and to know in full details. Filtering or censoring some information at times may do more harm than good hence putting their lives in danger.
Censorship has in recent past brought about huge economic repercussions. Quite a good number of civilians around the globe earn their income from companies that deal with the internet while others earn by doing their businesses online. Governments also earn revenue either directly or indirectly from activities in the internet. Censorship of the internet may lead to joblessness of some people who depend on online dealings as their source of revenue.
In conclusion it’s evident that censorship of the internet is necessary but to specific level. If people were let to do whatever they wished to do they may misuse their freedom which may lead to dyer consequences. If governments also were allowed to withhold information at will they may take advantage to commit human right violations against their citizens. It’s upon every stakeholders to play their role and ensure that they are accountable for what they view or share on the internet. The government should also discus with concerned parties before censoring sites and other web pages. The government should also ensure that it has the proper tools for online censorship to avoid blocking legitimate sites. The appendix at the end of this report is a visual representation of regions in the world where censorship has been applied and also the major concerns that have lead to internet censorship in those regions.
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