The last frontier of true free speech
In a world where nearly everything on television and the radio are limited by government censors, the internet is considered one of the last bastions of true free speech. Internet censorship has been a serious topic of debate that keeps emerging from the House of Representatives, each time in a different form. The act known commonly as SOPA is an attempt to stop over-seas piracy of copyrighted material via the internet. Despite being portrayed as a protection of artistic works, people saw it more for its policies to practically pry into everything, and have any kind of shared material that may be considered infringing, condemn the user as a criminal. That could be anyone from any given point when anything that was copyrighted was shared between us and another. Those in favor of internet censorship have a variety of reasons for why they are in favor, but most reasons that are wrong tend to come from those who are inexperienced with the internet.
- “The reason that the internet may be censored is to protect social norms. In some cases this type of censorship gets widespread support like laws against child pornography or hate speech.” While the censorship of topics such as child pornography and hate crimes is entirely understandable, it does not stop the fact that it exists on the web, and it doesn’t make the problem go away. What does the author mean by social norms? That is a rather vague claim that covers a lot of cultures. In fact hate speech appears still on television and in the paper and on the radio! Censorship, while good for protecting the innocent young or misguided internet traveler, does not actually solve the problem but more so sweeps it under the rug in a never ending process of uploading to censoring.
- “It may be easier to trace a person who uses television as a medium to spread hatred or porn, but it is very difficult to do so on the Internet with no boundaries whatsoever. The fact that the chances of being traced are very rare makes people resort to various criminal activities, right from sexual exploitation of children to running drug cartels from a particular part of the world, on the Internet.” Internet censorship can block anything that it deems damaging to the public, but being traced is a very common practice for FBI agents. In fact agents recently busted the admins of Mega-Upload, a web domain set up in Sweden that was pirating thousands of copyrighted works for years. It is actually very easy to trace people with the right technology.
- The entire idea of SOPA being a weapon in an act for defense of creative works. This is nothing more than a guise for the American Government to have more of a grip over the internet and sensitive information from leaking to the public. Censorship what they claim to be a tool to protect the social norm of the American people and their intellectual works, but instead of protecting us they planned to cripple us at the heart of our social hub by controlling what information is displayed where, if at all.
Naik, Abhijit. “Internet Censorship Pros and Cons.” Buzzle. 11/25/2010. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/internet-censorship-pros-and-cons.html