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Nowadays, users are able to use many services which rely on constant Internet connectivity such as instant messaging, Google map, email, etc. However, there are various types of censorship when users trying to access these services and resources over the Internet. The state reviews the content carried by the network and the website, and monitors, filters, and deletes some content, or shuts down and filters the website. I believe that the free flow of information and the freedom to express ideas is an important human right and government should not impose the censorship onto the Internet.
There are more viable alternatives than Internet censorship. It is very difficult to have complete control over the Internet regardless of the government or private companies as the Internet is a distributed design. Thus, there is no central control, which means the data won’t store in only one place. While the way of doing Internet censorship is getting increased with the advancement of technology, many simple and effective techniques, methods and software for bypassing censorship were invented by people who wish to circumvent the censorship. Also, most companies would have the protection of the information of its users to ensure their users can have privacy.
Providing proper supervision and guidance is a responsibility that parents should take. Parents are more easy to restrict the web-surfing from their children by using parental control software, also, they are in a more moral place to shield their children from any unexpected website or any inappropriate material.
For example, the messenger app LINE provides the End-to-End Encryption, which can encrypt all the message that users send and receive. When you send a message, it’ll then generate a unique lock and key, only the person you are talking to can decrypt the message to read it, even if someone intercepts the message in between, they won’t be able to read the message. Thus, it’s very difficult for the government to censor all the information on the Internet. But, there are many alternatives can prevent the misuse of the information on the Internet, involving the parent would be one of the effective ways. It’s much easier and effective to guard their children by parents than the government censor the Internet. Parents can use some simple information technology to grasp the content of their children’s viewing, and also help children filter content through appropriate screening mechanisms when they find that children’s behavior is a bit abnormal.
In the Why Censoring Cyberspace is Dangerous & Futile, Rheingold believes: This technological shock (pornography on the Net) to Americans’ moral codes means that in the future, Americans are going to have to teach their children well. The only protection that has a chance of working is to give (their) sons and daughters moral grounding and some common sense. Which qualifies the parent involvement would be one of the effective ways to protect children away from the offensive material. Internet censorship will increase the time of loading websites and destroy the user experience. For example, The Great Firewall, which is an Internet censorship system developed by China. Its role is mainly to monitor the communication on the network, to interfere and block the transmission content that is considered to be inconsistent with Chinese official requirements.
There is a lot of websites and web services are blocked in China like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Youtube etc., thousand of users in China have to use Virtual Private Network (VPN), which is a service to let users connect to the blocked website through the oversea servers. Because of the strict Internet information filtering and VPN software, this will further slow down the use of the Internet. In China, many people in China don’t watch videos or website which is host on non-Chinese servers because those videos are downloaded or streamed too slowly. According to a state of internet report conducted by Akamai Technologies which is a CDN provider, South Korea has more than three-quarters of the Internet connections were above 10 Mbps mark and the average network speed is 28.6 Mbps, China’s average network speed is only 7.6Mbps, South Korea is almost three times faster than China. The filter of internet influences the efficiency which will totally destroy user’s experience on web surfing, addition to this, the influences on the entire efficiency of business organization will result in causing a lot of costs.
The freedom to express ideas over different media which include Internet is an important human right. Nowadays, the Internet is playing a big role and become an indispensable thing in part of our daily life. It is not the same as before, people are not just retrieving the information from newspapers, televisions and books, but also using the Internet as a new media to receive the information such as news, weather, traffic and entertainment, moreover, users are also using the Internet to communicate to each other.
Therefore, it is important to keep information and communication fair and public, and should not be tampering or censoring. Taiwan passed two United Nations human rights conventions called International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights(ICCPR) and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in 2009, which introduced international human rights into Taiwan. By ratified the conventions, it protects the free flow of information.
According to Article 19 of the ICCPR, which was enacted by the United Nations in 1976, it protects that everyone can freely communicate with others through any media of his choice to share their ideas, and to collect information. Other people should not interfere with the process. Also, the United Nations Human Rights Committee announced General Comment 34 in 2011, which required states to protect all person’s opinion from interference and no exceptions or limitations are allowed, and it protects not only the physical objects such as books, images and arts, but also the online information, which qualifies the free flow of information.
Inappropriate and offensive materials like pornography for children. One of the most important reasons to censor the Internet is offensive materials. Some people argue that the Internet is full of information and images that are not suitable for children. For young children, accidentally encountering pornographic material can be confusing or distressing. At worst it can be harmful. There are 25% of children around the world have seen violent or pornographic pictures on the Internet and 60% of parents worry about their children browsing pornographic content. According to the report from Internet Watch Foundation in 2019, There are 105,047 of child pornography websites broadcast worldwide in 2018 due to the technological advances of crime imaging.
The Digital Economy Act 2017 was adopted by the British Parliament on April 27, 2017, which is dedicated to avoiding extremism or restricted content that children and young people are exposed to online. The third chapter of the law regulates ‘Online Pornography’ and creates an age-authentication regulatory mechanism, which requires all sites to strictly enforce age verification mechanisms to ensure that minors are protected from pornography when using the Internet. Copyright infringement is intensified, Internet infringement is invading the creative achievements such as movie and music. If an unauthorized movie or music put onto the
Internet, it will inevitably seriously affect the sales of movies and albums, causing severe blows to cinemas and record companies. There are a larger number of academic studies suggests that piracy brings significant loss to the business of media and it also harms the media industry development. According to another analysis of the study, it suggests that there are 19% box office losses to the movie when piracy is before the movie release compares to piracy is after the release. Therefore, there are some countries believe that Internet censorship can help on the protection of copyright infringement. For example, Ireland in February 2012 implemented the EU’s 2001 Copyright Directive Article 8 of 3, the member states are required to ensure that copyrights owners can apply for an injunction to prohibit the services of the media agency from being used by third parties to infringe on their copyrights, which provides a legal basis for blocking infringing websites. If any creation contains any unauthorized material, it is likely that these service providers will actively delete the uploaded content or block the live broadcast as a precaution.
In conclusion, at present, most countries have legislation that specifically or indirectly targets Internet information dissemination, but the management models and paths adopted by different countries are very different because the Internet is very different from the real world, there are many differences between the laws against the Internet and the laws against the real world. However, within the Internet, people can freely and easily express their ideas and thoughts to others, which is what makes the Internet so important nowadays, offensive materials on the Internet such as child pornography should not be blocked by censorship but through better sex education and the free flow of information should not be waived for any reason.
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