This week our class discussed regulating the internet.

This week our class discussed regulating the internet. Obviously there are pros and cons of regulating the internet. My question is, do they pros outweigh the cons?

 

First I’ll start with a some Pro’s of regulating the internet:

Terrorism, child pornography, human trafficking and hate crimes; (no they’re not pros) regulating the internet wouldn’t prevent such acts, though the internet is a large medium in which people spread such negativity.  With access to limitless information, we receive the good and the bad. From the beginning of the semester we’ve learned that technology is just a medium through which people put their ideas. With regulation, we may be able to rid negative things which anger us or cause harm on the internet. What about divided issues like homosexuality? Just because it offends some, everything related to it must be taken off the internet? 

        Internet fraud could be prevented with the regulation of the internet. No longer would businesses and individuals have to worry about those fake emails promising millions. Just the other day I found an e-mail from pay pal confirming a purchase of a white gold men’s watch which would be sent to me within the next week. The e-mail looked exactly like a confirmation e-mail which pay pal would send complete with the logo and purchase information. I called pay pal and they instructed me to forward the e-mail so they could take “legal” action against the e-mail sender. Another example of internet fraud can happen within online dating services, Catfish anyone? People build close, intimate relationships, ask for money and mysteriously disappear.. hmm. 

Okay, what about some cons?

Personally, I can think many many cons. The first is, the flow of information would be restricted. Where else would we learn random facts like this:

Image

 

… from a library? Ha. No longer would we have the same freedom to spread ideas and communicate. 

Of course, those are only a couple of pros and cons..

What are some other pros and cons which come from regulating the internet?

And do the pros outweigh the cons of internet regulation?

 

 

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4 Responses to This week our class discussed regulating the internet.

  1. zachmcclure says:

    I think that there can be regulation on the internet without taking away people’s rights to free speech. As you mentioned in the pros, it can help prevent things like that, as long as it stays in a public space. Illegal activities and fraud already have steps for prevention online, in a non private sense, with torrent tracking to prevent spreading of illegal information and things like email confirmation to prevent fraud.

  2. I completely agree with your pro’s and con’s list. For the most part, I would say that the pro’s of internet regulation do outweigh the con’s, however it can cause a bit of paranoia if you truly think of all the constant monitoring. Companies and advertisers know what pages you search, what content you have viewed, etc. I also am wary of the deletion of content on social media sites if it’s deemed “offensive”. Who makes the decision where something is and is not decent? When we mentioned this topic in class and its application to Facebook, I was surprised to find out that once something is removed, there is no explanation as to why. I personally have not had this happen to me, but I think it would be fair to know why something would be deemed offensive and deleted, and you would have the option to fight it. This would seem to be a difficult monitoring system, but I think that it would be a wise idea for companies controlling their own regulation. On the other side of the spectrum, I am grateful for internet monitoring, especially when it come to personal information such as identity theft, child pornography, etc. I remember when my identity was stolen; the bank contacted me before I even realized other charges were made on my account. They proactively flagged my account, called me directly to question if I was ordering content from various online stores, and within about two days my money was refunded.

  3. pwalsh778 says:

    I disagree. I think there is a happy medium we can reach between the regulated and non-regulated sides, but I think it should lean more towards the unregulated side because of several reasons, but probably the biggest one is: who would regulate the internet? I think it’s up to the individual website owners to monitor and allow access to posting things onto their pages. It would be silly for us to expect a higher power source to monitor and regulate the Internet. It would create a chilling effect and no where as much information would be spread. Also, whatever information that gets posted onto the internet would have to have the regulator’s approval, and that could lead to bad information or information being left out. For example, let’s say the regulator of the internet gets cozy with a company that makes guitar strings. In exchange for a lot of money, the regulator will take down any post that reveals that the guitar string company pollutes the environment is actually really bad for our water supply. That information can still be passed by word of mouth and through non-online mediums, but as we’ve discussed in class throughout the semester, the Internet has allowed information to spread quicker than ever before.

  4. I disagree with the idea that regulation can completely solve anything. You said, “Internet fraud could be prevented with the regulation of the internet. No longer would businesses and individuals have to worry about those fake emails promising millions.” We have regulated speed limits but people still break those speed limits. Or, piracy is illegal but there are many many ways to get illegally copied software and other content online. My dog is not supposed to eat garbage but he does anyway. Unless I cut off all possible contact with that sweet, delicious, garbage can.
    The only way to STOP Internet fraud is to get rid of the internet, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

    Regulation raises the potential cost of questional practices (fines for spam), but does not make it go away entirely (check your spam folder!). Often regulation does little to nothing to stop control the issue at hand and merely lets ignorant people feel safe. It’s illegal for someone under the age of 13 to join Facebook? Easy, just check the age verification box and create the profile anyway. Can’t look at porn unless you’re 18? No problem, just tell the website you were born in 1902.

    But to answer your question, I believe the cons out weight the pros when it comes to regulation. Society needs to catch up with the technology. With time parents will know enough about technology to better protect their children themselves. For now though, I do not think it is worth the missed free flow of information to restrict it in any way. I also don’t think we should burn books.

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