Internet Regulation

Internet regulation is basically restricting or controlling access to certain aspects or information. Internet regulation consists of: Censorship of data, and controlling aspects of the Internet such as domain registration, IP address control and more.

Most of the Internet regulation is imposed by the Government in an effort to protect the best interest of the general public and is concerned with some form of censorship. Other forms of Internet regulation is domain registration, IP address control, etc. In domain registration, once a domain is purchased the Webmaster’s address has to be registered at the time of purchase. A governmental agency can track someone down if they put up information, that the government considers unacceptable. IP address is you Internet identity when you are connected to the web. It is synonymous to a postal address. It consists of a 32 bit binary number that is denoted by XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX, and is used in the forwarding of data to your host, when requested. The giving out or allocation of the IP address is done by an agency by geographical location, and so it is not portable. This means that if you change your location, then your IP address will change with it. It is a way the federal government can track you down if you are involved in illegal activities on the net.

The internet is censored in order to enable adults to protect children from unsuitable material.An analogous situation is an organization’s management controlling their employees’ use of computers at work. Software on the user’s computer is the only practical way to control access with the flexibility required for differing children. A PICS based system will be inexpensive or free for users and does require new laws or government intervention – although funding for ratings services would probably accelerate it. Censorship of Internet communications can not be practically achieved, it would be far too inflexible to suit the many approaches to “child suitability” which responsible adults have for the various children in their care, and would constrict all Internet Communications to a single “child-safe” level.

The restriction of for example “how to make a bomb” via the Internet is also controversial, however, any good library has lots of explosives information. PICS might be able to stop some of this information flowing via the Internet. However, the amount of information in general is increasing and even with restrictions information of this sort will increase.

Restrictions might enable adults to control their own access to material so they do not stumble across things (advertising, violence, erotica/pornography, religious or political material etc.), which offend them. This enables community standards to be maintained – the standards of the particular community, which the person chooses to be a member of.

-Some people propose to maintain one particular set of “Community Standards” by making it possible to restrict certain material. The proposition that there is one “Community Standard” for all Americans is difficult to sustain (depending on what the proposed standard entails) because there are so many communities

Even if censorship of Internet communications could practically be achieved, it would be far too inflexible to suit the community standards of any country, any particular community or any particular person’s position in that community.

The government imposing a single set of restrictions on the communications of all adults, where the aim is to restrict communication of material including that, which can be legally possessed. This is plain, ordinary censorship, whether it concerns erotica, or material, which is critical of governments or religions.

For instance some censorship proponents refer to “obscene” materials, as if a single definition of obscenity exists. Those proposing outright censorship argue that the communication of all citizens should be restricted according to some single “Community Standard” for:

-Their own good.

-The good of society in general. (See Peter Webb’s speech and his references to this argument by Lord Devlin.)

-The good of children

-Or some mixture of these three reasons.

Some of the most common methods for information regulation is through ISP’s filtration channels. Many ISP’s AOL, being one of the top, provide a built in method for which parents can restrict access to certain sites containing information that they do not want to see.

There is also software that can be downloaded and installed on personal computers that do the same job of filtering material viewed on the web. The biggest of all is governmental laws that restrict people from viewing certain information on the web.

Especially for the pornographic sites, there is a law that requires password authentication to enter the site. There are numerous laws enforced by the government that basically restricts information. They are all in place because the government feels that it is dangerous for society to have easy access to the information in question.

Government has been the foremost in the restriction of information. There have been numerous committees and agencies set up primarily to perform this task or upholding the laws that have been established for this reason.

Most of the bills that have been introduced in congress regarding Internet regulation have failed. The reason being that it is so closely connected with the first amendment that it will naturally be met with firm opposition.

Posted by: Delicana, Flora mae



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