Free Speech and Censorship on the Internet

Click link: “U.N. Affirms Internet Freedom as a Basic Right”

I think the above article is a wonderful summation of what the Internet and Society class was talking about this week.

As we can see, many nations are willing to accept that the internet is a medium for free speech since individuals have direct access to publish and post to it. Restricting what can be posted on the internet is silencing the speech of the individual citizens, by proxy.

So now the governments of our countries are realizing the internet is our, the citizen’s domain. But look at the list of countries: France, Germany, and China are among the nations who agreed to this. A little hypocritical, perhaps? These countries are known for have some (or a lot of) restrictions on their people as far as what they can access or publish on the internet. So what does all of this mean?

It means that according to this New York Times article, that internet companies will not restrict user information. Technically it would become illegal if, for example, Google made the decision on their own and said that they were doing to delete any and all posts that dealt with Nazis. The company Google can not do that.

The article concludes that this resolution is not binding. Which means that it is possible that nothing will come about because of this decision.

““That even China, despite the obvious hypocrisy, felt compelled to sign on shows it isn’t comfortable publicly owning up to the Internet censorship regime that it tries to maintain,” Mr. Roth said.”

I suppose we can only hope that now these countries recognize free use of the internet, that they will deliver on their promises.

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One thought on “Free Speech and Censorship on the Internet

  1. Interesting article by the New York Times. Freedom of speech has always been a very controversial issue. There can be several opinions in relation to freedom of speech, and yes many people use the internet to exercise that right. But is it ok to vilify someone, spread false information about them and say that we were just exercising our right to freedom of speech?

    The Us has always pride itself in freedom of speech. They are proponents of freedom that in the bill of rights they actually speak of the separation of church and state allowing people to practice their religion freely. In the same they allow the internet to be freely used.

    With all of this freedom, since after 911 information on the internet is being gathered about people by law enforcement and still there is no censorship.

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