Published: 07 July 2015 Is the internet a cancer of moral values? Like most things in life it’s never that black and white.

I’m pretty sure back in the 1980s during the development of the ARPANET et al. Not a single person would have imagined the system they developed for connecting together computers to survive a nuclear war, could become the internet that we know today.

“Sir Iain said the internet contains "the worst aspects of human nature."” - GCHQ

The above line got me thinking, the internet we know today is a strange bag of stuff. Huge amounts of social traffic, video, porn, and shopping. 90% of hosted sites are Wordpress blogs according to some stats, so that’s a big part. Never have individuals had such a compelling way to broadcast their voices in to the void. Then there is the bad stuff such as human trafficking, child pornography, drug dealing, and cybercrime among other things.

China has huge blocks in place to prevent its populous viewing content that is “damaging to moral values”. That and they use it to block anti-Chinese government sentiment, and rewrite their own history.

Before any Western citizens get on their high horse though; it’s worth mentioning that most internet blocking software for protecting kids on the internet has been found to block specific political parties and pro/anti-gay sites among other things. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

If Google and others are to be believed that type of censorship will become impossible very soon anyway. This is mainly due to ever increasing ways of getting around it using proxy services, Tor networks and so on.

Google's Schmidt predicts end of censorship within a decade

It’s a fine line to tread. America is very “freedom of information” but sometimes that freedom comes at a price. It may seem disingenuous to use a line like “freedom isn’t free” or even “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” but they seem quite apt. That’s what I would like to discuss in the next couple of articles.

Richard Brisley

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