The internet censorship debate has remained a hot issue for a long time now. On the one hand, there are proponents of internet censorship who argue that governments and other authorities should control the internet. On the other hand, some individuals argue against internet censorship by stating that we should have an entirely free internet in the world. All these arguments are compelling.
Arguments in the internet censorship debate
Here are some of the major arguments in the internet censorship debate for as well as against the practice of censoring the internet:
What is internet censorship?
This is the practice by which governments and other authorities attempt to control what individuals can access or post on the internet. Governments, through special agencies attempt to regulate the content that individuals can access within a particular area. For example, the government can block specific websites in a country.
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By so doing, the authorities will ensure that no one can access the websites when in the country. Also, governments can monitor what people are uploading on the internet and develop rules to control the process. In so doing, the government can easily trace and punish individuals who contravene the said regulations.
Arguments for internet censorship
There are several arguments for the implementation of Internet censorship in the world. Here are some of the major reasons as to why governments should control the internet that has been advanced so far:
The need to control cyber crime
Some governments and proponents of internet censorship argue that it is important to control the internet as a way of controlling cyber crime. Cyber criminals target unsuspecting victims using highly complicated schemes. When governments attempt to control the internet, they manage to limit the options that cyber criminals have regarding developing and carrying out cyber attacks.
The need to protect children online
Second, supporters of internet censorship argue that controlling online content is an essential part of protecting children. Usually, children face a lot of dangers when they are online. On the one hand, cyber bullies and paedophiles are continuously targeting children. Criminals easily take advantage of the trusting nature of children to exploit them. Hence, to protect children from cyber criminals, it necessary to carefully monitor the activities of people online and block sites. Plus, content that may harm children.
National security needs
This is another important reason as to why governments attempt to control what people post and can access online. In the first place, governments argue that they need to control online conversations to prevent the occurrence of instances of political disturbances. However, it is worth noting that many governments that struggle to control the internet are facing political threats because of their weaknesses. In most cases, authoritarian governments have to fight their opponents all the time. Therefore, it becomes necessary for authoritarian governments to control what their citizens can access online.
Arguments against internet censorship
On the other hand, there are several reasons as to governments do not have to attempt to control the internet. Here are some of the major arguments against internet censorship:
Internet censorship affects business organisations
When governments control the internet, they may try to control what business organisations do. For example, governments may attempt to hack into the servers of business organisations to access information. When governments go to the extent of threatening business organisations, they destroy the confidence that organisations have in the government and society in general.
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As a result of this, business organisations find it difficult to operate in countries in which governments attempt to control the internet.
Internet censorship is a form of tyranny
The second argument against internet censorship is that it goes against the common and basic rights of people. In general, people should have the freedom to communicate and air their views. However, if the government attempts to control the internet, it ends up destroying the basic rights of individuals in the society.
In conclusion, the internet censorship debate remains one of the most important things in the society currently. For governments, the need to control what people view and post online is because the governments want to maintain public peace. Also, governments believe that they can use internet censorship to maintain order and reduce cyber crime. However, in so doing, governments violate the basic rights of their citizens.