Internet cafÃ© chain owner Netopia is urging the government to create a censorship body to monitor data flowing through the local Internet infrastructure.
The proposed censorship body will operate similarly to the Movies Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) and provide guidelines for the compliance of Internet service providers.
Will we be the next China?
If you get Government to approve such legislation, then what’s stopping them from using this very same censorship system to block out traffic containing potentially anti-government content. You’ll never get to read Inside PCIJ and other politically-oriented blogs again!
While the intent is to curb the proliferation of indecent materials, I think it’s a waste of time to get into such pursuits, when there are more pressing tech-related matters Government should be focusing its time on, such as intellectual property, and job creation. The Internet is in its golden ages, and the basic point of the infrastructure calls for the free and open exchange of information. If we want to prevent our kids from surfing for p0rn and cracking and phreaking stuff, then what we need are changes of mindset from within–on a social and individual level–and not something imposed by Big Brother from outside.
Perhaps what we need are stronger laws banning cybercrimes such as child pornography and identity theft. It’s not a crime to look at p0rnographic images, but it is when you’re the one capturing, posting online, and selling the images yourself.
Besides, with the gazillions of sites possibly offering what these guys want to block, it would be yet another logistical nightmare coming up with a system to effectively and efficiently implement the censorship.
What will we think of next?
Pornography is a problem, especially for people like me who have kids. But censorship is not the answer. Educate people on how to surf safely, how to install filters and how to prevent spyware infection.