Essay on Online Censorship

Submitted By mnaraghi
Words: 1209
Pages: 5

The Internet is one of the most dynamic information tools we have today, it is a growing source of entertainment, information, and ideas. Any question you could probably have can be easily answered with a quick Google search, and in a world with thousands of different point of views and ways of life the internet provides a perfect atmosphere for us to come together and share all of that. With just a stable Internet connection you can access news from all around the world, whether it’s the 2012 US presidential election or the crisis in Libya. Although, people go online for all sorts of things from acquiring amusement or knowledge, and the amount of people continues to grow. There are "over two million new Internet users per month" (NTIA 1). Even in a country like the United States, which builds its reputation on freedom, we are not immune to the threat of Internet censorship. However we don’t have to worry too much about it, unlike others who may live in countries with dictators or a repressive government. Access to the Internet should not be another privilege only given to the lucky few. People have the right to a safe and open Internet so they are able to seek information and educate themselves without fear of being persecuted or arrested. People can use the Internet to keep themselves informed. They can keep up with worldwide news, and it is not the governments place to shelter them from the truth, which can isolate their people from the rest of humanity. This type of restriction just keeps people uneducated and ignorant, people need to keep themselves up to date about their surroundings and what is going out all over the globe. Countries like the United Arab Emirates, China, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are ranked are some of the worst culprits when it comes to political and social filtering on the internet (Rininsland 1). There remains a connection between counties with out democracy and those who censor their Internet, this may be because these types of governments usually like to keep their people more restricted and under control. On the other hand in the cases where there is no restriction to what can be put online; this causes the content of the Internet to grow at an uncontrollable rate and when some people can’t access this information the potential of the Internet to spread intelligence substantially decreases. People can’t keep up with public knowledge if they are punished for seeking it especially if it isn’t even available to read. A repressive government with a censored Internet keeps the world’s people uninformed. According to author Ronald Deibert when Tunisia hosted the World Summit on the Information in 2005 the neighboring towns were treated to a radically different Internet than those living in the United Nations sponsored main conference facilities. Those in attendance ranging from policy makers to journalists were greeted with network error logos when they would try and enter certain web pages. (2) This intentional blockage was put in place to stop the citizens of Tunisia from coming across websites that their state deemed too sensitive, and the fact that the internet for those in the summit was not censored shows that Tunisia’s government was trying to hide the way they control their people. Even the United States isn’t immune to this, the ACLU is currently fighting bills in over nine states, including Kentucky the: Senate Bill 670, sponsor Senator Huelskamp. Requires the mandatory use of blocking software by all users on Internet terminals at state-funded public libraries, school districts, and state and local educational institutions, colleges and universities. (ACLU 1)
Just like the government in Tunisia, Kentucky was trying to keep their people from the entirety of the Internet. The only way they do this was by creating laws to regulate the internet in all the places they have jurisdiction, like libraries and schools, one more example of government deeming what is too sensitive…