What are the Pros and Cons of Internet Regulation?

What are the pros and cons of internet regulation? Any discussion about the pros and cons of Internet regulation

is essentially a debate about censorship.

Since the Internet first came into being, it has flourished as a place to swap information, an open network that works on the principle of “net neutrality”.

Over the last few years, the World Wide Web has evolved into an incredibly complex information superhighway used by billions of people from all over the world. Most of us use the Internet to communicate, shop, do business, and a million other daily tasks, but unfortunately, there exists a large number of unscrupulous individuals who take advantage of net neutrality to conduct all kinds of illegal activities, such as swapping child pornography.

Because of the increasing proliferation in illegal activities on the net, many believe that stricter regulation by government agencies would help to curb the spread of cyber criminal activity. However, others feel that this would be an infringement of the principles of net neutrality, so what are the pros and cons of Internet regulation?

What are the pros of Internet regulation?

1.    Stricter Internet regulation will help to stop the spread of criminal activities such as child pornography and financial fraud, all of which currently operate largely unchecked, although there are a few laws now in place to help catch and prosecute paedophiles operating on the net.
2.    Improving Internet regulation policies will help to stop unjustified defamation of individuals and businesses.
3.    Better Internet regulation by the wider global community will help to stop the spread of material that incites racial hatred and encourages terrorist activities, thus limiting the harm caused by such material.

What are the cons of Internet regulation?

1.    The biggest problem with Internet regulation—the one which lies at the heart of all Internet regulation debates and discussions—is that by any other name it would be called censorship. Regulating the Internet is likely to strangle freedom of expression, which is largely what makes the internet such a valuable and powerful tool in modern society.
2.    Once government agencies have control over what is said and done over the Internet, there will no longer be such a thing as net neutrality and the Internet will be changed forever.
3.    The Internet is currently an extremely valuable open source of information, but once Internet regulation begins, access to a large part of the information archives will probably be restricted to the vast majority of users.
4.    Whilst child pornography remains a significant problem, there is already plenty of legislation designed to deal with offenders who use the Internet to make and distribute such vile material. Further Internet regulation is likely to drive these sick individuals even further underground, and thus make them harder to catch.
5.    Effective Internet regulation would be almost impossible to enforce and whilst governments would have the power to regulate the Internet in their own country, it would still be possible to access unwelcome material in another domain.



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