Internet censorship in a country is the restriction of viewing, posting, uploading or downloading of content on the internet in a country. Although countries in the world promote and support freedom of speech, still the content censorship on the Internet is maintained to secure the country and its people's interests. Thus, regulation and censorship over the internet and its contents are required and are needed for a government.
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The United States is one of such countries that have implemented internet censorship. Technical filtering and control over the internet censorship occur in the US, the process is highly regulated and is supported by the law in the US. There are many risks that the Internet poses according to the US such as cybersecurity, obscenity, including child pornography, and copyright content protection are some of the issues that the US tries to uphold and protect. The internet is a huge medium and a country’s internet has to be controlled by the country such that to protect the country's interest against attacks and other risks from the inside and the outside world. Some of the Federal laws supporting internet censorship are the “Communications Decency Act (CDA), Child Online Protection Act (COPA), Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)” (March, 2019).
There are two broad areas of concern about the use of content controls that need elaboration. The first area concerns the social and moral probity of censorship itself, even when it is directed at the young. There is a growing tendency to recognize a broad spectrum of rights, even for children, and to criticize parents, educators, and politicians who are more interested in imposing their value systems on others than in protecting vulnerable children. Youth being the future for the growth of the nation, and youths getting spoiled due to one of the important technology (internet); every possible solution to avoid this is whole heartedly welcomed and one such solution to reduce the crime rates and bring stability in law and order and a smooth society is Internet censorship. I believe that internet censorship has brought more ethical values on the society and the people who are hanging upon the internet.
Over the years, internet has become a most important part for human's life. Every human being knowingly or unknowingly starts their day with the internet and ends up with internet. For instance, people open their eyes with the chatting application notification in their phones, communicating with people at farther distance using Skype and FaceTime. Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, other social media platforms which works over internet has become an integral part for human life. The first amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” (n.d). Although we get everything we need from the internet, some contents or sites will be blocked either by the network providers or the local governments authority.
In North Korea the country restricts their citizens from internet access. It is estimated that only high-level officials have full access to the internet. Most citizens can only access a tightly controlled internet. In China internet censorship is extreme due to a wide variety of laws and administrative regulations. “At the national level, only government-approved agencies and businesses are permitted to establish an Internet Interconnecting Network and to license the operation of Internet service providers at the next tier.” (Liang & Lu, 2010). Although access to the internet is broad, and there is an active social media industry the country will block IPs, filter searches and will even reroute or erase content. According to an article, “If a Chinese user sought to create a blog called “Democracy in Today’s China,” he would receive an error message, warning him that he is using “forbidden language,” and must “delete the prohibited expression” ( Liang & Lu, 2010). Known as The Great Firewall of China, this was put in place to block access and limit the spread of information.
- A Selective Timeline of the Internet and Censorship. (2019, March 20). Retrieved from https://ncac.org/resource/a-selective-timeline-of-the-internet-and-censorship.
- Johnson, B. G. (2018). Tolerating and managing extreme speech on social media. Internet Research, 28(5), 1275–1291. https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-03-2017-0100
- Bin Liang, & Hong Lu. (2010). Internet Development, Censorship, and Cyber Crimes in China. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 26(1), 103–120. https://doi.org/10.1177/1043986209350437
- The 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendment/amendment-i.
- Internet Censorship in North Korea: Press Freedom. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.le-vpn.com/internet-censorship-north-korea/.
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