Internet Censorship

PAGES  2
WORDS  402

Internet Censorship




"Inevitably, being an uncontrolled system, means that the Internet will be subjected to subversive applications of some unscrupulous users." (Kershaw) The concept of the Internet was created in answer to a strategic problem faced by the United States government during the Cold war era. A nuclear attack would easily disrupt a traditional computer network and hence make communication impossible. The solution was found in a new type of network. A network where all nodes would be equal in status, that is to say each could send and receive messages. The resulting projects were the first steps towards the birth of the Internet, as we know it. Today, the Internet consists of several parts, which include the World Wide Web, FTP, IRC, News groups, Gopher, WAIS, Archie, and Email. The Internet is continuing to grow at a rate of 40% a year, with roughly 20 million users to date. Over the past few years, the issue of Internet censorship has been subject to an unprecedented amount of controversy. Both sides of the debate present very strong arguments about why the Internet should or should not be censored. The point most often brought forward by advocates of Internet censorship is that “inappropriate” material can all too easily land in the hands of children via this powerful new medium. “Inappropriate” mostly describes the sexually explicit and racist material that is easily found on the Internet. The debate that currently rages however centres mainly on pornographic material. The essay is divided into three content-based sections. The first section examines the data that is available about pornography on the Internet. Conclusions on significance of the data are offered. Section two examines the legal issues and difficulties surrounding the idea of censorship. The final section discusses alternative ways of protecting children from pornography and offers a final conclusion on the attributes of the problem and the suggestion of a solution. Censorship of Internet is a big issue and not much of it can be covered in an essay at this level. The essay deliberately focuses only on pornography. While many aspects had to be left out and others discussed minimally, the result of this essay remains a brief synopsis of relevant issues and conclusions on these issues. Section 1 In early 1995, a research team at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania released one of the most revealing studies into online po...

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