Keep the Internet Free and Open

In December, there is going to be a closed door meeting at which only governments have a voice. At this meeting, some governments are hoping to increase censorship and regulate the Internet. Google is spearheading a campaign so that the world can at least try to have a say in this – to say that they support a free and open Internet, and that governments alone, working behind closed doors should not determine the future of the Internet.

When the Internet is so integral to everyone’s life, and when there is such an enormous support for the open source culture, it would seem dictatorial to censor this channel of free and open information. A place where we can find answers to the questions we are too shy, to embarrassed or too scared to ask actual people – when you restrict that, it would seem that you are restricting personal growth. Not to mention the billions of people who make their living, or even just find immense gratification, through the open nature of the Internet.

However, is there an argument to be had about how a wild, uncontrolled Internet allows too much Internet piracy and exposure of inappropriate materials to minors? One could argue there is too much illegality going on in the free and open Internet – and that regulation is the way to ensure that those who work hard are paid their dues and not ripped off due to Internet piracy. Regulation and stricter rules could reduce scams, viruses, credit card fraud, and all the other nasties that pollute the web.

Where do you stand? Is censorship an abhorrent action and must be stopped at all costs? Or could it be good for the Internet to have some official watchdogs?

If you want to add your voice to the official clamor demanding that the Internet remains free and open, do so here.

14 Responses to Keep the Internet Free and Open

  1. When you take guns away from the general population, then only criminals and the government will have guns leaving the general population at the mercy of those that they do not trust. The same is true for governmental regulation of the internet… If the government tries to lock it down then only the government and "criminals" will be free to do as they as please on the internet. Yes, we will be criminals for trying to circumvent whatever "protections" have been forced upon us. This has nothing to do with protecting the children as there are ways of doing that without government regulations and controls.

  2. Would better control of piracy and other online illegal actions be good? Yes
    Is this control something the Government should implement from behind closed doors? No, do it openly, allow people to have their say and don't restrict people's liberty.

  3. Governments decide behind closed doors on security, food, health, militarization, etc. every year and nobody can do a damn thing about it. So it’s only normal that they do the same with the internet since now it impacts everyone of those realms security/food/health/.

    • I believe that a majority of people will do the right thing without coercion. However, I also believe that there are really bad people out there who will take advantage of children, or make it easier for good people to make bad choices, and that something should be done about that.

  4. I would argue that "censorship" and "official watchdogs" are two very different concepts. Yes, keep the internet free, open, clear, &tc. But also yes, let the world's governments come together to set up a method to do something about the content available to minors, and about child pornography, and about internet bullying, and terrorism, and a score or more of other truly terrifying things that happen online. I won't be happy if they take away my streaming, but there are bigger issues at work.

  5. What’s wrong with the Internet the way it is now? Mostly, it’s that governments and large corporations have too much control and ability to mess with the majority of its users. Yes, there is porn. Big deal. The Internet hardly invented teenage boys sneaking a look at nekkid ladies. Anyone over a certain age remembers sneaking looks at adult magazines one way or another.

    It’s going to be pretty difficult for governments to lock down the Internet. They can destroy it easy enough, but lock it down? It would be like nailing jello to the wall. It’ll be interesting to see if they decide to destroy the village to save it.

  6. I agree with Matt above; at least in the US this resembles a second amendment issue. If the internet is to be restricted, we should move to have the second amendment striken, because they are essentially the same thing, using that logic.

  7. You cannot put an ownership on the Internet, it belongs to everyone on our planet, a global network of interconnected computers and devices. To restrain it would be to restrain not only our lives but our nature too. The control over what minors access does not lie in the hands of the government, but in the hands of parents and guardians. There are already internationally coordinated efforts at reducing internet crime, crimes like child pornography and fraud, if we try to remove it from the Internet then we will never catch those that do such things in real life. The internet is a shadow of our real lives and it grows closer to us every day.

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