Friday, April 6, 2012

Government and the Internet

Right now America is at the edge of a cliff. One little push in either direction will change the future for generations to come. And there's no putting it off.

The internet was virtually non-existant until the mid 1990's. Now everybody has it. It is a huge source of information, and like anything else which people use to gather knowledge, it has amazing power over peoples minds. Nothing like it has ever happened in history. In a mere 20 years the world has grown exponentially smaller and smaller. You can now video-chat with someone across the globe at no cost through services like Google+, whereas 70 years ago you would be writing letters.

Because it has grown so rapidly, the government has not had time to really get a good grasp of the meaning of it. In fact, nobody really knows how it will truly affect people in the future as they become more and more dependent on it. Whoever controls the internet can control the world for generations to come.

That is why it is critical we approach this topic with much thoughtfulness and caution.

The issue at hand is if we should allow the government to regulate the internet. There are several good reasons for each side of the argument. First, we'll talk about the reasons why we should let the government regulate:

1. National security. Our military is very dependent on the internet. Cyber warfare is no longer sci-fi, but a reality. (See the short video below for more information on a virus developed for warfare). If we don't regulate and place certain laws on the internet, then we are at a huge risk of losing our national security.

2. Some people use the internet as a tool to achieve illegal or immoral intentions. Scammer's come to mind. People who pirate music also fit in this category. Shouldn't we try to minimize this by creating enforceable laws on how the internet can be used?

Now, on to the other side of the argument:

Why should we NOT allow the government to control usage of the internet?

There is really only one reason why we should not. All the other reasons fit into it. And this reason is that it opens the most successful medium to date to some of the most underhanded people of history: Politicians. And it gets even worse than that; the government would create a bureaucracy to regulate it. (More on bureaucracies in my next post). This means that we the people have no power to change the regulations they create, as they are not elected officials and as such are not held responsible for their actions by us.

All this means is that if we handed control over to the government, they could exploit it very easily and restrict our freedom of speech. For example, I'm sure they would love to shut down this blog (don't worry, if they did I would restart it somewhere else). It would make it much easier to brainwash the people of the coming generations without all these whistle-blowers haunting the internet.

My solution? Keep the government out of the internet. If we were to get out of all these political wars we are in, we wouldn't have many people out there trying to destroy our internet infrastructure. There will always be piracy, illegal or not.

What are your thoughts? Comment below!

1 comment:

  1. My thoughts are yours - the truth is the government should stay out of just about everywhere. If not, everywhere.

    Power corrupts. The incorruptible are obviously not in our federal government.


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