Global Look at Internet Censorship Essay

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Global Look at Internet Censorship


Many Americans take for granted the freedom that living in the United States allows us. As we go through our days, we whine about our bosses, the governor’s latest political agenda, or read commentary about how the war in Iraq is morally wrong. Whether we are sending e-mail, posting on message boards, or reading the news online, we are guaranteed the same freedom of self expression that we enjoy offline. In other countries, the mere act of accessing websites that criticize the government is an offense that can land you in prison. Within this paper, we will explore Internet Censorship as a global issue as well as an ethical issue.

The Internet

The Internet, while relatively young, has made its way into the everyday life many in the United States. It allows for instantaneous communication with others around the world and not just person to person communication but mass communication. The Internet has become a popular medium since it incorporates characteristics of several other media and communication systems, i.e. print, broadcast, and postal systems.[1] Despite being such a powerful tool, the Internet is now affordable for most of the world’s population. Internet cafes have sprung up in nations around the world, providing people with a quick, easy and cheap way to interact with the Internet. “The Internet has the potential to be a tremendous force for development by providing quick and inexpensive information, by encouraging discussion rather than violence, and by empowering citizens …”[2] It has facilitated the flow of information, has no national boundaries. While the Internet as a whole can not be controlled by any one country, or even a group of countries, nation...

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...ralia, Internet Censorship: Law & policy around the world

[7] Sorensen, 16

[8] Electronic Frontiers Australia, Internet Censorship: Law & policy around the world

[9] Bowman, Lisa M., “Report seeks U.N. help in Net case,” CNET, 17 April 2004,

[10] Human Rights Watch, “Freedom of Expression and the Internet in China: A Human Rights Watch Backgrounder,” (2001), 17 April 2004

[11] Human Rights Watch, “The Internet in the Mideast and North Africa: Free Expression and Censorship,” (1999), 17 April 2004

[12] Electronic Frontiers Australia, Internet Censorship: Law & policy around the world

[13] International Freedom of Expression eXchange, “Saudi Arabia: Ban on Gay websites Lifted,” (2004), 17 April 2004

[14] International Freedom of Expression eXchange, “Saudi Arabia: Ban on Gay websites Lifted”

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