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In this sophisticated technology-oriented world, the Internet is considered as one of the latest inventions of science and technology. Undoubtedly, nowadays, almost every walk of human life has been influenced by the Internet. Even though the Internet has provided a plethora of resources to the public, many a user across the world faces few restrictions for accessing some services provided by the Web because of Internet censorship. Justifications for censoring Cyberspace are broadly unique and, regardless of the inspiration, experts in various nations argue that their methodology is great what's more, important for some reason. ‘One approach developed to achieve the aforementioned censorship involves the use of a filter that filters out Internet web pages or content based on the words, phrases and/or sentences employ by the web page delivering the content’(Chin et al. 2013, p. 1). It allows supervision and restricts some informative resources which are rapidly circulated to society because of security reasons. This essay is in total agreement to the proposal that Internet censorship is necessary to the world in order to block access to copyright information as well as to harmful or sensitive content.
First and foremost, web censorship would provide national security. These days, the infinite possibilities of cyberspace are being extensively exploited by antisocialists and terrorists in order to commit riots and lawlessness. Many common folks have fallen victim to these misdeeds and sometimes it is hard to trace and capture the perpetrators. To exemplify, several social media sites have been banned in Kashmir by Indian government authorities in order to control violence and riots among Kashmiri youths by anti-social elements after the death of the terrorist Burhan Wani. Moreover, the rapid availability of hate speech and bomb-making instructions and the use of encryption technology leads to hacking private communications by terrorists to perpetuate antinational criminal offenses. Even though every country has its peculiar regulations, protocols, and policies, cyber terrorism is developing into a dangerous threat to both open and secured infrastructures (Bieda & Halawi 2015). Per se, Zittrain and Palfrey (2007, p. 21) argue, ‘that online censorship and surveillance play a pivotal role to counteract international terrorism. Put more simply, Internet filtering and surveillance, in an environment where the Internet is considered as a form of territory alongside land or sea or air, are an expression of the unalterable right of a state to ensure its national security’.
Secondly, censorship on the internet would control criminal activities. Cyber offenses such as hacking personal bank accounts, phishing, and identity thefts are other types of criminal activities which would happen on the web. It resists the airing of too much violence which can contaminate the brains of people. Apart from this, there are motion pictures and shows on TV that advances violence with negligence to how it can influence an individual. They likewise call attention to these kinds of shows that can inspire individuals to carry out wrongdoings, saying there are storylines that fringe on praising crooks and mass killers. With censorship, there will be a balance in the ethics of society. Hence, Cyberspace Censorship would provide law enforcement for preventing all these behaviors without restricting access to other people. Per se, Censorship can help to mitigate these criminal operations since it can boycott malignant content and keep a nearby watch on suspicious activity.
Human trafficking activities
Furthermore, another prominent reason is that cyberspace Censorship would help to protect children and would control human trafficking activities. Nowadays, the World Wide Web plays a pivotal role in education as manifold children would surf the web for scholastic purposes. However, Akdeniz (1997, para.18) revealed that the main concern of legislators and parents in relation to Internet content is child pornography, rather than other forms of pornographic content. These days, many a student has been gone astray by the widespread availability of pornography on the Internet. Pornography sites mislead children as it leads to cybercrimes, and they would play havoc in societies everywhere. Child pornography is not just comprised of crime scene photos of kid sexual maltreatment and misuse, but on the other hand, is a conceivable device for future criminal maltreatment and abuse of other youngsters. It is considered as illegal in numerous nations in the world. For instance, the US Senate subcommittee in Australia reported the details about the internet usage of pedophiles for misleading adolescents by circulating pornographic materials (APH Committee Report 1996). Besides, the most outstanding cyber form of offensive behavior is cyber-bullying. Cyberbullying can be termed as either an individual or a group of people utilizing technology for repeatedly and deliberately use pessimistic words or potential activities against a person, which causes misery and dangers that would affect an individual's well-being (Australian Human Rights Commission 2013). Under such circumstances, some legislative security is required for youngsters in the web seem necessary. Consequently, the US Government started the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (Akdeniz, 1997). And the UK police tried to censor Usenet discussion groups rapidly carrying children’s pornography. As a result, it is wise to think that, by censoring the web, juveniles would be more liberated to surf the internet for their scholastic and entertainment needs while being shielded from pornographic, violent, and other deleterious content.
Moreover, Internet Censorship would regulate online harassment. ‘Online harassment is the direct form of web harassment by sending spam emails which are abusive, threatening from one person to another’ (Ellison & Akdeniz 1998, para. 4). Numbers of criminal offenses, which are related to cyber-sexism, are increasing day by day. For example, In Australia, the Workplace Sexual Harassment Survey of 2012 uncovered that 17% of those studied had been in received of sexually express emails and instant messages and 4% had encountered reiterate/improper behavior on email, social networking websites, and the Internet chat rooms (Australian Human Rights Commission 2013). Other examples of cyber sexual harassment include creep-shots where men take pictures of body parts of unsuspecting women snapped on the street and uploaded them to social networking sites. Another instance of web harassment, which was liable to an online petition, was a page that distributed private photographs of young girls that had just been posted on the social networking site on their own pages. The pictures were then has marked with scurrilous labels and posted on a page entitled '12-year-old sluts' (Moses & Lowe, 2012). It is apparent from the above statements that the censorship of cyberspace would help common folks especially women in order to protect them from such kinds of online harassment to a greater extent.
However, even though net censorship enables numerous good deeds, it takes away the freedom of expression from the public. The privilege to the right to speak freely is not permitted once there is a limit regarding what you can or cannot state on the Internet. The World Wide Web is the place where individuals can utilize an incredible degree of imagination to convey what needs to be, yet control will eradicate that. Furthermore, Stevenson (2007, p. 29) found that ‘global Internet censorship is a problem that affects all those who cherish the freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas’. Above all, the web is a significant informative apparatus, which has been providing a stage of individuals from all around the globe to give free speech. It should be where individuals can express their perspectives and position paying little mind to society's acknowledgment. Notwithstanding, the restriction of web control, channel and even erase a few people's free opinions. To cite an example, in China, the government has been implemented a plethora of ways of censoring the Internet and the authorities by deploying strict media controls using monitoring systems and firewalls, shuttering publications or websites, and jailing dissident journalists, bloggers, and activists. Specialists state it incorporates specialized techniques like data transfer capacity throttling, and catchphrase sifting, just as the discount obstructs of access to sites (Xu 2014). These measure obstacles to the free spread of information. This view is born out of the assumption that citizens' privileges of free speech and opinion, privileges of correspondence, and the ideal to know are damaged by internet censorship. This ruptures the soul of democracy and is detrimental to sites which express specific perspectives and thoughts. As such, it is an obstruction to the development of cyberspace.
The economic impact of online communities
Yet another darker side is, web censorship reduces the economic impact of online communities. There is another aspect to Internet freedom that, while not as commonly discussed, is growing in relevance. This is the economic view of Internet freedom, which links the importance of free and open networks with economic growth, trade, and favorable business environments. According to this perspective, when governments pursue censorship in a way that favors domestic companies, it counters basic international trade principles such as non-discrimination and the maintenance of a level playing field. Because of this discrimination, local companies gain a business advantage and domestic consumers lose the ability to choose between providers. It is possible such concerns can be addressed through trade agreements, trade tools, and trade diplomacy Kalathil (2010, p. 69). ‘Techniques used to implement cyberspace censorship and related circumvention procedures need a more fine-grained model for deciding the financial effect’ (Raveendran & Leberknight 2018, p. 2). As an example, In India, most of all infrastructural sectors have been influenced by the scope of the Internet. It plays a vital role in national monetary and GDP development. As a result, cyberspace censorship would impact on web sectors such as media communications, IT administrations, business process outsourcing services, and software services. This would lead to massive economic crises in developing countries such as India and so on.
To recapitulate, it is beyond doubt that the Internet is revolutionary in several ways. Even though the web has made life more comfortable, the challenges it provides are equally severe. The Web, however, is the most formidable challenge to the censor. The censorship of news, information, and other sensitive data has been controlled by some national authorities through government servers (Sussman 2000). These restrictions of the web can mitigate criminal operations on the web. It provides a shield for children from unhealthy content and gives physical protection to net users. Besides, it protects youngsters from undue data and could support women, and could reduce hate speech and the amount of conflicts in society. It would ensure economic interests, life security, social consolidation, and national security. Moreover, it assures individuals to continue the ethical well-being of people and help others to frame sound web-utilizing awareness.
- Mu-Fen Chin, Chou, Su, Yang, & Yin, 2013, Method and system for Internet Censorship, US Patent 8,516,536 B2.
- Bieda, D and Halawi, L 2015, ‘Cyberspace: A Venue for Terrorism’, Issues in Information Systems, vol. 16, no. 3, p. 37.
- Akdeniz, Y 1997, ‘Governance of Pornography and Child Pornography on the Global Internet: A Multi-Layered Approach ‘, Law and the Internet: regulating Cyberspace, viewed 10 August 2019, .
- APH Senate Committee Report Completed Inquiries 1996, CHAPTER 3: Paedophile Networks in Australia - Extent and Activities, viewed 16 August 2019,
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- Akdeniz, Y 1997, 'The Regulation of Pornography and Child Pornography on the Internet', Journal of Criminal Justice Studies, p. 27.
- Ellison, L, & Akdeniz, Y, 1998, 'Cyber-stalking: the Regulation of Harassment on the Internet', Criminal Law Review, para. 4.
- Australian Human Rights Commission 2012, working without fear: Results of the Sexual Harassment National Telephone Survey, viewed 05 August 2019,
- Moses, A , & Lowe, A 2012, ' Contents removed from racist Facebook page', The Sydney Herald, 9 August, viewed 10 August 2019, < https://www.smh.com.au/technology/contents-removed-from-racist-facebook--page-20120808-23tr1.html>.
- Stevenson, C 2007, 'Breaching the Great Firewall: China’s Internet Censorship and the Quest for Freedom of Expression in a Connected World', Boston College International & Comparative Law Review, vol. 30, no.2, p. 558
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- Raveendran, N., & Leberknight, C., 2018, Internet Censorship and Economic Impacts: A Case Study of Internet Outages in India, Completed Research, IBISWorld, viewed 6 August 2018, Internet Outage and Economic Impacts.
- Sussman, L 2000, ' Censor dot gov: the Internet and press freedom 2000', Journal of Government Information, vol. 27, no.3, p. 2.
- Zittrain, J & Palfrey, J 2007, Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering, Oxford Internet Institute, UK.
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