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Our Little Community
Our Little Community
About a month ago I wrote a blog entry about someone I knew being harassed online. She is a great person and the harassment was totally uncalled for. The entry was mostly ignored until recently, but in retrospect I think I should write something more.
I am wondering if we all know how fragile this thing we call the internet is? Do we realize that if it is abused the government will come in and regulate it with or without or blessing? Are were ready to give up this freedom of thought and expression because a few people have abused it?
Online harassment and stalking is becoming a major issue in the media these days. MSNBC does specials about stalkers that are looking for under aged kids to molest. Every week we are hearing more and more about the dangers of being online. We hear myspace.com is fertile ground of cyber crimes. We hear people are in more and more danger by interacting over the internet. This is not a good trend.
It will not take much more of this bad press for the government to step in and really clamp down on how the internet is used. They will ban sites like AdultFriendFinder and myspace.com they will restrict internet streaming for private use, they will tax emails (because now they can) and they will take away liberal and opinioned websites at the blink of an eye. I have no doubt even this site would be one that is banned because I write about my “subversive” opinions all the time.
So, you say that they couldn’t do it? That they do not have the technology to do it and this is just pie in the shy? Well, I got news for you, they can do it and they do have the technology to do it. I would bet they already have a list of internet sites ready to go for when the public outcry becomes too large. I would bet the blocking software is already written. I would bet that the servers are already to go. I would bet they have protocols in place for ICANN and Network Solutions (and all the other registrars) to be implemented with the flip of a switch or click of a mouse.
You think this is paranoia? You think I am overstating it? Well, you may want to look at the track record of the current administration. They will limit your use of the internet as “protection” that you may or may not want. You will not have a choice, it could happen unless we as denizens of the internet get our act together and grow up.
Granted I am asking everyone on the net to maintain self-control, but shouldn’t we be doing that already? Aren’t we adults? Shouldn’t we be watching out for everyone safety, including our children, online?
What I am asking is that we as a people grow up to use the matured technology we have been given. Maybe it is too much to ask for, after all this is new stuff and technology matures much faster than we as humans do. Maybe we are not ready for it, or maybe it came along too fast. Maybe it is all to easy and human nature is just exploiting another avenue of perversion and decadence that we are not meant to have yet.
Technology, you got to love it, but you have to respect it as well, because without respect for it and those other using it, it just becomes a tool without a useful purpose, and one that can be taken away.