Before the internet, the only way governments or organizations like the Catholic Church could prevent certain thoughts from infiltrating the population was by banning books and executing people who produced and distributed them. These days, the whole world is connected to the internet and hence we have governments and agencies censoring the internet to prevent certain types of materials from being publicly available. We investigate the main reasons behind internet censorship.
The most obvious reasons why the internet gets censored is to protect the social fabric. The internet is replete with child pornography, information on how you can build bombs in your kitchen and even how to commit murder or suicide. The distribution of this type of information poses a threat to the social mores of the society. Moreover, many nations do not want their population to be influenced by the culture of another country and thus they censor parts of the internet that offends their sensibilities.
Most people in the west believe that political censorship is something that only oppressive regimes carry out. However, the way in which the US government tried to shut down WikiLeaks and censor all the “leaks” that it posted is a prime example how political censorship of the internet is carried out and why it is deemed necessary at times.
Today, every government agency in the world is connected to the internet. This basically means that anyone with enough hacking knowledge can use the internet to infiltrate security systems of nations and militaries, and steal sensitive information or wreak havoc in general. If such information is not censored, terrorist organizations could overthrow democratically and legitimately elected governments simply by manipulating information on the internet or deploy militaries’ weapons stock on the population.
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June 10, 2013
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