Regulation of Cyberspace
The availability of information has certainly increased as a result of the Internet. Now, as long as one has a connection to the World Wide Web, anyone can look up anything. This has been both good and bad. More information is now available to more people. However, at the same time, more obscene material is also now available to more people. These "people" spoken of can include anyone, young and old alike. This is where the controversy stems from. Any child, as long as he or she basically knows what he or she is doing, could conceivably access anything, from an encyclopedia to pornography. It is extremely hard to regulate this obscene material, though attempts to control its access are being made. Currently, some of these sites require that one give his or her adult access number in order to access the site in question. This will help to curb this problem but with the advent of and increased usage of the internet, it is only a matter of time before information is only a few clicks away.
Jon's Opinion The junk adult emails I get every day are proof that we've got a problem on our hands here. If the goal is to prevent adults from accessing the net, I say - forget it. That's censorship. That's like banning books because you don't like what they say. Face it, they're a part of American society, and these people have the right to freedom of expression. When it comes to children -- well, there I think it's the parents' responsibility. Software companies make programs like SurftWatch and NetNanny that prohibit allow access to pornographic web sites for children. We should use those to limit juvenile access, but allow adults to do what they please. Adults have the constitutional right to be .
Alan's Opinion Cyberspace is the new frontier of the modern world. It is the future of communications, providing an affordable, easy way to share volumes of information and ideas. Given time, it will become the status quo for everything, from research to brainstorming. One negative aspect of this explosion is the obscene content and its all-too-available availability. Nowadays, anyone with half a brain cell can find pornographic material on the web. If something is not done to regulate this availability, minors will have access to this. It is not the adults I'm worried about but the minors who will either accidentally or purposefully access obscene materials. One wonderful system already voluntarily in place at some of these sites requires users to have an adult password. To obtain one, the person's age must be verified. This kind of mechanism is all that is required and will easily protect children from that which they need protecting.
Copyright © 1997 Jonathan Chin & Alan Stern