Over the past 40 years, the internet has evolved into the largest medium of information available across the world. Not only does it allow users to publish information, it provides them with a network to share and interact with others instantly across large areas. Easy tools to create web content have made the distribution of opinions easier than ever, while search engines have made their access available to everyone. While the freedom to see and be seen is liberating to the people, as with any physically based technology, many different groups have separate views on its infrastructure. Business groups want the internet to be centered towards financial gain, scholars want it to be specifically for research, and of course, the government wants to control it. This has led many governments to censor or restrict the content of the internet within their borders. Although there are dangers associated with the ability to freely exchange ideas through the internet, many wonder if government-implemented limits on this freedom are actually an infringement on the ideas it was founded upon.
In this paper, I will examine history of the internet and pose the question: Do the benefits achieved from censoring the internet in the United States really outweigh its harm? First, I will discuss the motivation and premise behind internet’s first creation. Next, I will discuss the status of other countries’ internet censorship. After that, I will explain the popular arguments for censorship. Finally, I will explain the recent advances in the US’s internet censorship and their consequences on the people.
To the modern generation, the internet remains one of the greatest advances in technology in our lifetime. It has not only revolutionized the computer, but completely changed communication as we know it. These advances, however, are the result of unrelenting research and development among the scholars, scientists, and government employees. The first example of wide-scale communication through a computer network was envisioned by M.I.T. scientist J.C.R. Licklider. In 1962, Licklider planned and designed a global set of computers that were all connected into one source. This would allow people to freely access information from the other computers a fast speeds. Surprisingly, the vision of global com...