Jeremy Cheong's Blog
Jeremy Cheong male Senior Tech Writer
Self-professed poster child of Toys R' Us. Loves collecting Star Wars and Transformers action figures and DC Superheroes figurines. Other than gawking over the latest gadgets, gizmos and hardware, he also loves spending long hours playing video games. When not gaming or testing new products, you can find him reading comics, headbanging to ol' school and nu school Rock and Metal music or drooling over American muscle cars.
Ever since its invention and inception into our daily lives, the Internet and World Wide Web has been a great source of communication, information and entertainment to all of us. However, as with every good tool, men will always find a way to exploit the ease of access of the Internet to satisfy their own dark desires. The web is now a breeding ground of porn, racism, sexism and other negative elements. But do these reasons really give governments around the world the right to censor the Internet and bar us from accessing the things we love online? This is just my two cents of the situation.
Let's begin with something more subtle: monitoring. If the government chooses to monitor everyone's activities or clicks on the monitor, doesn't that breach the privacy of users? Yes, they may be able to stop users from accessing risqué sites or even stopping them from downloading pirated software, but doesn’t that also mean they will have all the information you store on a computer? If so, what happens if an irresponsible moderator decides to use an individual’s credit card details to do a little Christmas shopping? Then, who will stop this person?
To me, I think what we really need in Malaysia are stronger Internet laws. Not censorship per se but at least an Internet police that truly helps people when they are victims of Internet crimes such as fraud, being stalked and threaten and even identity theft. These should be a government's concern and not what sites the people are accessing. On that note, I do agree that there are certain sites that should be banned due to the extremely explicit content. However, a whole tray of eggs doesn't deserve to be thrown out due to some bad eggs.
In my opinion, I think censorship should really start at home and be left to the adults in a family. Parents and older siblings should really monitor what the younger ones are doing and not just leave it up to them to surf willy-nilly as any search on Google can always be linked to pornography or some adult content. There are many ways parents can set up content filters and that is by using security software by makers such as Symantec, Kaspersky, AVAST!, TrendMicro and much more.
Moreover, parents will have to understand that sooner or later, their child will definitely be exposed to the same kind of unwanted content elsewhere. Be it magazines, movies, video games or shows on the telly, what you don't want them to see will be reveal. So does that mean we should also censor these other mediums profusely? That would make us mindless drones as at the end of the day, we won't even have books to read. And even if they don't get it from these media, they will definitely learn about it through friends. So once again I ask, does this mean we stop them from social interaction and making friends? No, good parents will know how to monitor their children, who they are hanging out with and what are they up to because in the end, if a parent says 'No', the child will definitely oppose them and do it anyway.
One of the biggest problems a government faces is how the press uses the Internet to reveal unwanted secrets and dirty laundry for the world to see. This is also one of the true causes of Internet censorship. In cases like these, I would like to say that a government should really be keeping their noses clean and not leave any dirty laundry at all, as they are the leaders of a country and should lead by example. It goes without saying that if the public find out what they are doing, not only will it cause them to lose their trust and faith in the government but some may also think it is okay to follow suit. In turn, this will cause the downfall of a country financially and socially.
At the end of it all, I have to say I agree with the “No to Internet Censorship” movement as I find it is unnecessary. We were all made equal and we should all know what we should and shouldn't do. We don't need the government watching over our backs and monitoring every thing we do, because no matter how they try to solve the so-called problem, there will always be someone who will find a workaround to it. It is technology and it continually improves and never degrades. So what are your thoughts on Internet censorship? Do you think its a must have or a no-go?