TO: ERIK BAUMBY: BORJAFRAILECreated by pepe saSex in the Net!A social and ethical essay task, designed to provide students with aBroader insight into both the Internet and computer ethics.Since the beginning of time, men and women have fantasised over nakedbodies. Pornography has always been a part of life and yet it has never been soreadily available as what it is now. Erotic stories, explicit pictures, XXX-rated films and modern day magazines, are all part of the stimulus materialwhich is known as “pornography” or as it is legally put, “obscenity.
” Is itethically right for our children to be looking at this erotic material at suchan early age? Do we have a twisted sense of morals if we support pornography? Oris it just a natural part of life that should be nurtured and encouraged?These questions and more are springing to peoples lips as we enter thetechnological age. The age of the Internet. Never before has pornography beenso readily available. Through mail-order, at secret places around the schoolyard,or simply down at the local newsagent or video store, pornography can bepurchased in any form or media. I know children, some as young as ten years,who have an unlimited supply of pornography. They have been exposed to it froman early age and it has become an addiction like smoking or drinking.
Part ofthe problem is that censorship laws are not enforced. Some newsagents will sella twelve year old, pornography, (legal age of 18) but will not sell them apacket of cigarettes (legal age of 16 until June 1994). The obvious derivativefrom this statement, is that fines and punishments for selling pornography tounderage persons, are not high enough. So why don’t we raise them? The answerto this question can be found on the screen of every computer in the world. TheInternet, or as one person put it, “The closest thing to true anarchy that hasever existed.”How is one to censor the Internet when it is literally impossible? Whatis the use of placing fines for copying pornography when it is impossible totell the age of the user. How can one even trace the user when there aretwenty-five billion members and it is impossible to follow them all. How can wedelete the pornography when a new batch arrives every day and it is impossibleto stop it.
Another point which makes censorship difficult is the fact thatcensorship laws have only recently being required. In England for instance,censorship laws have, for hundreds of years, concentrated on heretic materials,where as now, they are finding that the only offence censorship is needed toprevent, is pornography. The US also want to put strict censorship on allobscene material, however the first amendment of their constitution states that,”their shall be no law abridging the freedom of speech or press,” and so theyare finding it difficult to “step around,” the law.It is obvious that people are putting an effort in to censor thepornography, however when it comes to censoring material which goes all over theworld, a balance must be found between the censorship laws of all the countriesthat are hooked into the net.
Here a problem arises, because Denmark has nocensorship of pornography, so obviously they are going to be somewhat annoyed ifit is banned from the Internet since their laws state that it is perfectly legal.So an argument occurs. How is the world to censor the Internet without causingdiscrepancies between the different countries? Indeed, some people say, “Whybother?”So far, you have seen that there would be a great difficulty involved incensoring the Internet. So the other side of the argument, presented by theeconomists and pornography fanatics, is that, why should we censor the Internetwhen perhaps it is not needed.
There are many people in the world who will tellyou that pornography is a harmless part of life. Artists will tell you that thenaked body is a picture of beauty, grace and style. Authorities in Denmark willsay that pornography is a valued part of their society and psychologists willtell you that pornography reduces the rate of sexual abuse and rape. Indeed,the human body is a natural part of life in all of it’s forms, so why do weregard the naked body as been obscene.
Is it not stated in the bible thatwisdom told us to where clothes? And did it not also state that God did notwant us to have wisdom? So can it not also be said, that God did not want us towear clothes and so therefore, he was encouraging pornography? This argumentseems to demolish the religious fanatics who say that we will burn in hell forlooking at obscene materials.After looking at both sides of the argument, it is obvious to see thatsome middle point must be reached between the two. Pornography on the Internetcannot be totally band and yet it cannot be accessed by any user as oursociety’s ethics are against children looking at pornography. A set of ethicsor laws must be devised that will satisfy each and every country which is on theInternet.
It must be devised by a governing party such as the United Nations,or by a committee which has representatives from each country.My evaluation of the argument and my recommendations are as follows,Pornography which is stored on the Internet must be placed in an area which canbe accessed only by a password, as well as identification which proves that theuser is over eighteen. (eg A drivers license number.) Pornography which isfound on public bulletin boards must be deleted immediately.
This is theresponsibility of not only the governing committee, but also the user. Fileswhich are identified as pornography are to be traced and any under eighteenusers are to be fined accordingly. Viewers of pornography who are over eighteenare to remain strictly confidential. No personal data is to be released unlessit is required for National Security ecetera.The above recommendations, if carried out on the Internet, would providethe world with a pornography-safe network, one that could be used by childrenand adults alike across the globe.Bibliography1)The Electronic Encyclopedia, Grolier Electronic Publishing, Inc, 19902)Times Magazine, James Button, December 13th, 19933) Times Magazine, Philip Elmer-Dewitt, July 25th, 19944) Pornography and Silence, Susan Griffin, 19815)Literature, Obcenity and the Law, Felix Lewis, 19766) The End of Obscenity, Charles Rembar, 19687) Pornography, Obscenity and the Law, Lester Sobel, 1978