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Internet Censorship and its manipulation by various Governments

February 16, 2012  by: S. Chowdhury  Points: 12   Category: Others  Earning $0.75   Views: 877

Internet censorship is a debate that has been raging for quite a long time particularly with the rise of objectionable content being posted, but many governments around the world seems primarily interested in removing contents that expose their wrongdoings and criticizes their policies.

         

Internet can be termed as a technological milestone of the twentieth century that is growing by the day and spreading to the farthest corners of the globe like wild fire in the twenty-first century. It has come as a boon for so many people around the world, as because now you can get any kind of information just by a click of the mouse, which in earlier days would have taken a lot of searching and research. Therefore not only valuable time is saved because of Internet but also the hassle of searching information as well.

The social networking sites on Internet are adding a real extra zing to its wings. Now people are grouping up on Facebook or Orkut or even Twitter to launch campaigns and protests. The Tahrir square revolution in Egypt and the Wall Street protests in several countries has opened our eyes about what impact can Internet have in our lives in a positive way and how powerful it really is and the youth of the world are leading the way in that. New communication modes like instant messaging and chat rooms have added a new dimension to Internet.

Therefore Internet is a real fearful tool for those autocratic oppressive regimes that have a lot to hide from the glare of the world. That is why China has become the leader in censoring Internet content from going out of its country, as the ruling powers of that country are autocratic and oppressive and have a lot of human rights violation acts to hide from the outside world. Government appointed agencies have put in place an army of Internet police to monitor and block every opinion, post or image critical of the Chinese government's oppressive policies and functioning. Contents are filtered on all Chinese sites and those who dare to protest despite the bans are put in jails. The level of Internet censorship in China is a real testimony of the degree of Paranoia of the Chinese Government.


China is notorious in Internet censorship

It cannot be denied that while Internet has lots of benefits it also opens doors to a lot of filth as well that includes obscenity, child pornography, selling illegal drugs, violent behaviour, hackers, gambling, cyber stalking, scams and even websites supporting and promoting terrorism. Therefore it is bound to make governments around the world sit up and take note of the developments on Internet, as the muck is growing thicker by the day and the worse affected are as always the children and the youth of every country. In such a scenario governments of all countries with the help of their sensible citizens should ensure that no minor gets exposed to such damaging content on Internet. It is a daunting task but we cannot just sit and watch.

Renowned sites like Google and Yahoo are working extra hard to block offensive contents on its sites. Social networking sites Facebook and Twitter have also joined in after reports of lots of abusive and harmful contents surfaced. All of them had to face the wrath and censorships of many governments around the world and are still facing those after user posted contents in their sites offended the interests of such governments. They are changing their policies continually to woo such errant governments at the cost of the democratic rights of the general Internet user; but I don't blame them on this count as after all they want to carry out their business wherever possible and without much hassle. It's the governments who want to tweak such sites to suit their policies are to be blamed.


Internet censorship has become like this

China is not alone in earning notoriety in Internet censorship. There are a host of countries like Burma, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba and many other nations that have imposed lots of restrictions over the free usage of Internet. This list is growing by the day and it appears that a day will come sooner when India may join the list as well after a furor was created in 2011 when the Indian government decided to impose ban on several websites and contents on websites depicting obscene images of religious deities and political leaders. Later Facebook and Google were summoned in the Delhi court based on a complaint for objectionable content. The hearing is still on though the courts have made their disapproval of such contents well known to the counsels representing the sites.


India also wants to join others in Internet censorship notoriety

Even though objectionable content cannot be supported in any form and I believe everything should be done to keep the minors away from such content but it appears that the governments across the world want to hide their real motives of removing contents critical of their actions in the garb of making Internet cleaner from vulgar content. Getting information is a right of every Internet user and it is an infringement of that basic right. So in countries where there is democracy to a certain extent the citizens should raise their voices against the sinister motives of the governments over Internet censorship suiting their interests. Internet censorship should only be done keeping in mind the interests of the nation and its people, not the interests of the governments. Proper mechanisms need to be put in place for that, with the citizens also having a say in the matter.




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