Sunday, 4 August 2013

'The Call for Internet Censorship' (Against the Motion)

This post has been written AGAINST the motion : 

The call for internet censorship is completely justified and should be implemented immediately.


It is amazing how a project that was intended for internal usage within a research organisation began to be used later for a defense organisation and slowly emerged as a powerful tool that has well and truly bridged distances. Yes, it is the 'Internet,' the all encompassing network that connects us together.

The rise of the internet is synonymous with the growth of the computer - from huge complicated machines from the ENIAC to the personal computer that seems to shrink with every passing day and now the mobile-phone, which offers the world in our hands.

The very premise of the title 'A call for internet censorship' makes one wonder how can we be sure that the government is already not spying on what I am doing when I am connected to the internet. This is not the blabbering of a paranoid schizophrenic - this is the reality of the affairs that led to the earth-shattering revelations of Edward Snowden and how the National Security Agency spies on unsuspecting people - hand and glove with the giants of technology like Microsoft and Google.

Snowden is a man who is unsure of his future but he is the symbol of truth and rebellion who is now wanted by the USA - I am ashamed that India did not offer him asylum; we cower at the might of BIG BROTHER, the great nation of the United States of America. Russia has offered him asylum for a year! But the future remains uncertain.

With projects like the Aadhar card wherein every citizen of this great land will be reduced to just a sequence of numbers and everything from subsidies related to the purchase of cooking gas cylinders to bank and tax-returns all in the name of an all-in-one identity card - the government of India is hell-bent on learning all about you and this data is not secure!

In such a scenario, it is but natural that we shall be Talibanised and there will be censorship! Look at West Bengal - a professor gets arrested for a cartoon on Mamata Banerjee, the sovereign didi; when all of Maharashtra came to a stand-still for the final rites of the great Bal Thackeray - a tweet and a post on Facebook led to the arrest of two college-going girls and more damage.

Where exactly are we heading to....?

Social Networks offer a power of posting information immediately; if I see a traffic cop asking for a bribe - I can take a photo and post it; any injustice that I notice - the frustration of delayed trains, impolite public servants; every bit of ire can be put up online. I can also use it to share inspirational true stories of a poor orphan overcoming odds to secure a gold medal in high-school; a young girl designing an innovative machine.

The power of the social network is limitless and with great power comes great responsibility! Like every other sphere and medium, a black sheep shall exist on the social networks as well; that does not mean that a watchdog authority examines our posts and censors our posts and pictures!

As and when censorship happens, groups like 'Hackers Anonymous' will wreak vengeance! The government needs to worry about more important things like generating employment, protecting the environment, ensuring the safety of women, tackling poverty and malnutrition; the list is endless.

As civilized adults and responsible citizens censorship if necessary should come from within - not from an external agency. Anything that offends the sensibility of a group or an individual should be posted only if it is absolutely necessary. What may appeal to you might not necessarily find favour with someone else.

An Orwellian and dystopian future is what I see - though I may sound pessimistic, the way we appear to be headed - it seems that all our actions are being monitored in one way or the other and censorship of the internet is something that will happen in the not too distant future.

It is time that the internet-using community of this generation takes up cudgels against the dystopian and Quixotic rulings passed by those in power!

We do not need censorship - we need freedom - forever - in word, deed and action both online and in day-to-day life!


"This post has been published by Mahesh Iyer as a part of IBL; the Battle of Blogs, sponsored by WriteupCafe. Join us at our Official Website and Facebook page"

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