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Internet filtering - Essay Example

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Internet filtering

This proposal has been viewed as an information policy issue due to the fact that it relates to matters that pertain to restriction of information that is found in the internet. As it basically intends to protect children from viewing pornographic material found in the internet, this aim coupled with the intent to block access of material considered 'illegal' from adults by the government, as well as peer messaging has been identified by opponents of this proposal as a means through which the Australian government is restricting free flow of information. The raging debate has been fired up by the opponents as well as the proponents of this proposal who form the group of major stakeholders playing a part in creation of that filter. These stakeholders include the consumers of the internet network services, the internet providers, activists advocating for the civil rights of humans, politicians within the opposition parties, and the engineers (Price and Verhulst 2005 p76).
This proposal has received major resistance from a number of stakeholders. Those who are opposed to it have presented their arguments for their opposition as can be seen below. A great number of internet consumers are opposed to the filter since they are concerned that their accessibility to information needed will be curtailed. Some of the consumers e.g. a radio presenter known as Helen Razer, have expressed their interest in and love for pornography and have expressed their concern that filtering it might limit access to it. Helen acts as a representative for the larger community that enjoys pornography and that which believes its effects are hardly damaging to both adults and children. Consumers are concerned that the information labeled by the government as 'illegal' might infringe on their rights to knowledge since the Australian government has no clear demarcations as to the extent of illegality of internet materials.
Engineers e.g. Mark Newton- an engineer dealing with network in Internet Service Provision, have expressed their disapproval, providing technical evidence as to why the system is not viable. They are concerned that speed will be curtailed and that room for default is still present as the internet users can still manage to get access to the filtered information to a lesser degree. The internet providers including iiNet, Telstra as well as Internode have dogged the proposal claiming its lack of viability on the grounds of ethics, technicality and legal considerations. Politicians from the opposition on the other end, for example Dale Clapperton demonstrated their dissatisfaction by stating that there exists some legal and support issues that the Labor party would need to implement before the proposal can be implemented. They claimed the necessity of a new legislation and the support of Australian senate or some kind of major assistance from the internet Industry Association. At the same time the Liberals and the Greens have declared their lack of support for the legislation of this proposal. In the real sense, sufficient votes to support the legislation of the filter are lacking and this is a great incapacity on the government's side in its enactment. Activists of the rights of the children who are responsible for the welfare of the children have taken different stands regarding this proposal. Some of them have indicated their lack of ...Show more

Summary

A number of controversies have come to the limelight with the proposal of the internet filtering proposal by the Australian government with various categories of persons expressing differing opinions on the issue. This essay will offer the positions taken by the major stakeholders about internet filtering.
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