ISYS100 - Research Paper
Date: 12 November 2012
CENSORSHIP OF THE INTERNET
In recent decade, Internet had emerged as the most commonly used and convenient yet speedy way to collect and distribute information. Any kinds of information can be delivered quickly at any point in time, at anywhere in the world with internet at an affordable cost. The core essence of internet is democracy and freedom in releasing and accessing contents. However, these advantages are apparently, abused by some population online after viewing damaging internet contents ranging from, sexual materials and culture decay demonstration to reaction against government. Major controversies arise on whether the government should implement online censorship policies to stabilize and protect citizens from harmful knowledge, in core, to prevent social and moral values from possibly deteriorating. Basically, internet censorship is the suppression of access to information which is considered as harmful to society. It can be implemented by government or private organizations. Private organizations normally, involve themselves in censorship for good or in compliance to government. Despite the effectiveness of censorship cracking down negative consequences, the extent of internet censorship should be well considered in order to secure the freedom of speech by people.
It is commonly viewed that, given the unique characteristics of internet, it provides greater opportunities for democratisation of a nation state and political transformation. The driving force behind this wave is people are further courage and motivated to express their individual opinions on net than in virtual society because, giving any kinds of speech in public needs incredible courage and may prompt undesirable consequences to the speaker. Plus the rapid spread of information online improves the coverage of population who can reach the information, more easily to get public awareness than has ever been possible before. Unfortunately, citizens in certain states are still incapable to possess the right to enjoy this benefit. Totalitarian regimes realized they can no longer secure their political, cultural and economic control over their people with merely censorship on traditional media because World Wide Web remains beyond their control. The growing threat had prompted the regime to extend information censorship to the internet. The strongest enemy of internet among the list lately is China. In an attempt to eliminate any protest from their citizens, the Chinese government has barred internet users from accessing several social networking sites and even taken users who have mentioned anything about anti-government into custody or detention. The backbone of this political censorship is well known as “The Great Firewall of China”. This aspect of censorship helps to develop keywords used to filter web contents such as, democracy, Liu Xiaobo, Taiwan independence, critics of communist party and so on. The censorship job is technically conducted by the Ministry of Information Industry (MII). Chinese Communist government tried to safe keep what they called the “social stability” from the potential outbreak of chaos. Despite the government’s bid to achieve peaceful condition for society, internet censorship had undoubtedly generated negative impacts on China citizens’ daily life. First, the growing severity of government officials’ corruption and, the strengthening of dictatorship of one-party ruling that is bringing ...