Censoring the Internet

by Anton Wills-Eve

Censoring the Internet.

Given that the internet has slowly crept up on the world and taken over the role of ‘communicating medium en chef’, without anyone really appreciating what that role would ultimately control, we are now faced with a world in which half the population have access to some form of hardware that allows them to read, watch or talk to , with, against or at each other. The question that has to be asked today, therefore, is should such freedom of ‘access to communicate’ be controlled by any government or international organisation or should everyone in the world include among their civil rights the right to post or publish, preach or pray on, to, for or at the world as a whole, without being subject to a regulating body? I can think of no argument in favour of either giving total freedom of expression or exercising any degree of censorship or control in this matter at all. The Wikileaks farce that the US took such exception to was a wonderful example of how if there is one body that should never have this power it is the military, in any country. If a security system is as easy to penetellesmere-20-3-2011rate as the emailed information contained in the Wikileaks messages then the US armed forces should thank all the people who demonstrated how insecure their military intelligence was. At least in Britain we only allow deliberate disinformation to reach the press. But the main point at issue here is should censorship of communication be enforced when it is done to protect the young, the old, or the mentally ill? Yes it should.But only where defence of the most vulnerable members of society is at issue.The picture (above) demonstrates better than anything why censorship never works. This is an image which any normal person would look at with perhaps fleeting interest and not give it another thought. But if I was to tell you what it represented to those who had already been told its significance and, more importantly, the message which it carried instructing those in the know how or when to act in a particular way, you would be horrified. But how could any censor, who was not previously primed to expect and then interpret such an image, be able to say whether it should or should not be shown? They would have an impossible and meaningless task. Would someone please tell me how to regulate the displaying of such iconography. I know that it desperately needs to be done. But not how !