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Alternative solutions for internet censorship in Australia Essay

This report was commissioned to elaborate other alternative methods that can be used to monitor internet information in Australia without incorporating internet filtration as the Australian government proposes. The future of Australian children has been compromised by the immoral vices that the use of the internet perpetuates. Moreover, organizations, customers and innovators have also suffered from this paradigm which advocates for phishing, on-line identity theft and piracy among others.

Therefore, the report advocates for the use of technology, political power, moral ethics and civil libertarians. These methods are not liable to scrutiny and criticism as they do not impede the first amendment bill of the constitution which advocates for freedom of expression among other concerns explained in the report. Furthermore, the report evaluates this range of methods and concludes that it would be ideal to implement the technology method. Introduction Advancement in technology has increased the reliance of internet as a means of entertainment and education source.

It has also encompassed the education curriculum, social, economic and political activities creating both a positive and a negative impact. We have been able to succeed and are actually grateful because most of the information and technological know how can be retrieved with ease. However, our children and business enterprises have been adversely affected by the increased internet sexual harassment, privacy invasion, cyber-bullying, on-line identity theft, piracy and phishing just to mention a few in the unending list.

In the event our children have developed aggressive attitudes which advocates for delinquent behaviours. On the other hand children that have experienced internet sexual harassment and bullying among others become depressed and thus are cut out from social life and its benefits. This explains the increased rates of teenage suicidal attempts in Australia (Australian Government 2007). Therefore, the government has taken a further step in an attempt of curbing this predicament by introducing mandatory internet filtration to all internet services at home, in schools and public computers used by he Australian children.

The government also plans to prepare the Australian children on strategies of being responsible cyber-citizens, protecting their identity while on-line, understanding the impact of their actions on others while using the internet, responding to cyber-bulling and invasion of their privacy among other negative internet vices. To achieve this the government plans to launch education curriculum that provides first rate cyber-safety education programs and educate parents on the negative vices prevailed by the internet thus ensuring their children use the internet responsibly.

Furthermore, the government plans to use the blacklist formulated by the Australia Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to ensure harmful information is not availed to the children, establish a Youth Advisory Group (YAG) to easily access information affecting children on-line and to do further research on cyber- safety issues in Australia among others (Australian Government 2007). This initiative has been met with mixed reactions as some citizens support the idea while others reject the move critically analysing it.

Critics view the move as a lash to the development and welfare of the citizens in terms of internet use because internet censorship will reduce the speed of the internet, the initiative is not effective because people will still be able to access the prohibited information through the use of proxy services and web services just to mention a few. The initiative will also violate the first amendment bill which advocates for freedom of expression.

The country will waste a huge sum of its capital through the implementation of this impractical solution because approximately USD 22billion of tax payers’ money will be used to implement this initiative. Furthermore, the criteria that will be used to determine the appropriate age to use the internet, the appropriateness of information on the internet and determining a comprehensive blacklist are in question. Therefore, to anal the dilemma the government is facing this report will elaborate on alternative methods of internet censorship other than internet filtration that can be used (Harvey 2009b). Alternative solutions

To end the conflicts that have arisen because of the proposal of incorporating compulsory Internet Service provider (ISP) filtering in the country the government should implement other alternatives such as use of technology, political power, moral ethics and civil libertarian to implement internet censorship as outlined below. Technology The government can utilize the available technology to help implement their strategies on internet censorship rather than using internet filtration. It can establish websites that teach and warn adults and children on the dangers prevailed by the internet and how to avoid them.

Alternatively it can take the initiative of funding such programs that have already being established. This method will be effective as the probability of people using the internet to access such information is high. The method is also cost effective as such initiatives have been implemented in other countries for example USA and proved to be efficient. Also the government will easily be able to avail on-line safety rules to the vicinity of children such as using passwords, meeting people met through the internet with the consent or accompaniment of parents and avoiding giving out personal information.

For instance the Business Software Alliance (BSA) has enable to alert and educate e-tailers and customers on the dangers of internet such as auction site frauds, counterfeiting, identity theft and phishing among others and effective ways of preventing being victims of the above vices. BSA has established a website were they offer their learning and safe guarding tips by displaying stories from victims and tips of avoiding such incidents (Lindroth 2008). Moreover, programs that allow parents to personally regulate internet information availed to their children should be used.

This will prevent the government from formulating legislations that violated constitutional rights such as freedom of speech and expression. It will also allow the development of this technology thus benefiting the country and improving the welfare of the population at large. For example US citizens have been able to enjoy the benefits of using glubble a Firefox browser plug-in that has enabled parents to create a safe browsing environment for their kids.

The technology is easy to use, fast to install, helps parents to manipulate internet information at the vicinity of their children and enable their children to have the appropriate on-line experience. Furthermore, it does not limit internet information that is important to adults but harmful to children such as family planning tips. Therefore, the government should capitalize on such mechanisms by offering their support either politically or economically (Gary 2009). Political power The government is politically empowered thus has the power to control legislations and policies that regulate this country.

Therefore, it should use this opportunity to formulate policies that will enable attainment of cyber-security without contradicting on legislations that had been previously formulated. For instance use of plug-ins and programs that will allow parents and public utilities where children are predominate users of the internet will increase intellectual property infringement therefore, legislations that will protect owners innovation should be stipulated allowing effective use of trade marks, patents and copyright laws among others thus expand the rights of these intellectual property holders.

This will encourage innovators thus increase the variety of the advanced technology to consumers. Furthermore, it will increase the competitive nature of the economy of Australia both locally and in the world market. The government should also stipulate mechanisms that will take stern action against culprits who are caught perpetuating cyber-bulling, internet sexual harassment and stealing peoples’ identity. The government should also avail easy mechanisms for reporting vices that curb cyber-safety.

This will serve as a warning to prospective culprits and thus decrease the number of such incidents. Also children will grow up morally as they will avoid practising such vices because this initiative will effectively tame them. Victims of such vices, parents, and children will willingly surrender information concerning such culprits to the relevant authority because of the assurance that effective action will be taken (Harvey 2009a). Moral ethics Most of the activities and information in the internet are morally wrong as they violate ethics and human norms.

Therefore, another mechanism that can be used to increase cyber-safety is educating and guiding the population and children in particular on moral vices that can be adopted, thus enabling the adherence and respect of business, religious, social and moral ethics. For example more incidents of school children participating in social networking sites that perpetuate immoral behaviour such as pornography and prostitution are evident therefore, learning institutions should formulate policies that will effectively deal with school children that participate in such incidents and break school rules.

Parents on the other hand should develop engaging relationships with their children to be able to further instil the moral principles that they learn and adopt from their school environment. Therefore, the school administration should work hand in hand with the government to clearly outline guidelines that will discipline students in regards to information availed and collected from the internet. The collation that will be formed will also help parents and the general Australian population to access such guidelines thus further perpetuate adherence to moral ethics and human norms (Madson 2005).

It is quite evident that teachers nowadays use social networking sites for education purposes. Therefore, teachers should ensure that they effectively elaborate to their students how they intend to communicate to them and the necessary instructions that they should follow when logged into such sites to prevent them from accessing information that is not related to education and perpetuates immorality.

Alternatively the school administration should establish websites which should be regularly monitored where teachers and students can communicate. Moreover, the learning institutions should implement educative programs that will educate the students on issues related to on-line- safety and the responsible ways of using Facebook and MySpace among others. Furthermore, policies that will effectively deal with students that perpetuate and practice cyber-bullying should be enacted.

This responsibility should not only be left to the school administration and the government, other bodies such as religious institutions, public conferences and gatherings, activists and ethicist should also advocate for the adherence of moral ethics and human norms through the use of mechanisms such as safety conversation (McMahon 2008). Civil libertarian The government should also not ignore the role played by civil libertarians rather they should work hand in hand with them.

This will further help them to ensure cyber-safety in Australia is emanated and thus protect the innocence and rights of children. This is because civil libertarians fight for the rights and respect of computer and network users by encouraging those involved to register with them thus regulates their activities. Therefore when formulating new legislations or changing those that already exists the government should engage such organizations thus the policies that will be formulated will be at the best interest of all stakeholders.

For instance the Electronic Frontier Foundation in US provides legal assistance to companies or organizations that have out rightly been denied their constitutional rights by implementation of impractical legislations. In the event the organization promotes the US laws and allows efficient incorporation of advanced technology into the country. However, it indirectly regulates the information in the internet by offering legal support to organizations that avail useful information which is not harmful to the social being and economic welfare of the community and the country.

Therefore, Australia should implement this example and follow suit as cyber-security will be enhanced while protecting and respecting the constitutional and human rights of its citizens (Swidorski 2003). Conclusion From the above facts it is quite clear that all the above principles should be implemented to effectively implement internet censorship. Each principle covers a specific area of enhancing cyber-safety in the country and among the citizens. The role that the government and politicians in general can play in the attempt of protecting Australian children from internet immoral vices without developing conflicts is outlined.

However, the government also needs to work hand in hand with the school administration, teachers, parents and civil libertarians to efficiently enhance on-line security and educate Australian children on mechanisms of being responsible cyber-citizens. Also as we aim to be a world class country we will have to incorporate more sophisticated technology which is mainly attained from the reliance of the internet therefore, this subject should be researched regularly to enable formulation of policies that are relevant to the current technology in the country.

In the event the country will be able to attain the technology without restrictions that may curb its development. Therefore, from my own opinion it is ideal for the government to implement the technology method which will go hand in hand with the development objective of the country because it will be cheaper to incorporate, it will be easier to regulate internet information at the disclosure of children while still gaining access to information that will help in improving the welfare of the community and country at large and human rights will not be violated as a result of internet censorship which I do not support.

Word Count: 2189 List of references Australian Government (2007), Attitudes and behaviour of young people on-line, Research Summary. Available at <http://www. minister. dcita. gov. au/_data/assets/pdf_file/73394/research_summary- web. pdf> [Accessed on 28th, May, 2009]. Gary, J. (2009), “Short range plug-ins work best in US,” Automotive Engineer, 34(3), p. 49. Harvey, S. (2009a), Australian internet censorship in practice, Available at <http://www. pingudownunder. com/blog/2009/03/19/australian-internet-censorship-in- practice/>

[Accessed on 28th, May, 2009] Harvey, S. (2009b), Issues with re-establishing identity after natural disasters, Available at < http://www. pingudownunder. com/blog/index. php> [Accessed on 28th, May, 2009] Lindroth, L. (2008), “How to improve on-line safety,” Teaching Pre K-8, 28(7), p20. Madson, W. (2005), Internet censorship, Available at <http://www. rense. com/general69/intercens. htm> [Accessed on 28th, May, 2009] McMahon, F. (2008), “Smooth operator,” Digital Content Producer, 34(11), pp. 30-33. Swidorski, C. (2003), “Political science, the Labour Movement, and the struggle for freedom of expression,” New Political Science, 22(3), pp. 319-340.


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