Wednesday, 25 February 2009

More political idiocy regarding censorship and the internet

Internet censorship, filtering, or blocking is wrong, period!

There were two articles today on The Register that got me annoyed:
There are three simple reasons why I think this current push for censorship is wrong:
  • It is impossible to block everything that seems to be covered by the crazy legislation and any attempt will fail and have a detrimental effect on the service provided by ISPs for all customers. Seriously, this just can't be done, don't even bother trying and use the money in some more constructive way.
  • It is inconcievable that an organisation that can objectively assess content could be created. There will always be political, religious, or other personal bias in any assessment. This is also an unavoidable fact and the only solution is to not allow anyone to meddle with the free flow of content.
  • It is very clearly wrong to do something that is illegal (excepting that grey area where laws may be dubiously applied or questionable themselves). However, people should be at liberty to *think* anything they wish and by extension (I know this is a bit of a leap) to express this in words, pictures, sound, or anyway so long as no illegal act is commited in this process.
The last point is probably the most contentious, I would guess that most reasonable people would accept the first two as likely correct even if they may still believe, naively, that there are solutions.

I think the key thing is that censorship is a slippery slope towards criminalising thoughts and ideas. While you may find something that someone wrote, drew, generated on a computer or produced in some other harmless (i.e. no-one was hurt, abused or taken advantage of) way, totally abhorent I don't see a reason to prevent this act alone.

People do have 'illegal' thoughts, you cannot control that, well not in a morally acceptable way. People also depict illegal acts in writing, pictures and even sound - a simple example would be a horror film. We already have the crazy situation where, with the extreme porn law, you're actually allowed to participate in activities that are actually legal but which you can no longer photograph!

If the energy people waste on moral/polictal crusades of this nature was put to better use we could solve alot of the worlds problems overnight!

1 comment:

Carolyn Ann said...

You do have the Supreme Court on your side... They came the same conclusion about child-like figures in pornography.

It was a contentious decision.

Carolyn Ann