Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Topic for the Day - Take 6

Sorry for the late posting of the topic. Here it goes. I will come up with a case study for tomorrow. Analysis of the two pending topics will follow later in the day. And this topic will close later tomorrow so as to allow most to participate.

Topic
"Govt censorship of the internet - An instrusion of Freedom of speech"

Get bashing!!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

START- The framers of our constitution enshrined the freedom of speech as a fundamental right...coz they considered it 2 b an imperative 4 the smooth functioning of a democracy..where everyone has d right 2 make himself heard...INTERNET is one such mediun of recent origin that provides us a platform 2 do so...but there r certain intricacies that it presents..that need 2 b looked into

(1)Blogging..offers an opportunity 2 voice our views on almost nything under d sun..and it is perfectly healthy 4 it provides an opening 2 pent up emotions that 1 may carry...at d same tim it has scope 4 comments wherein people who agree or disagree wid u can have their say...government intrusion here wud defeat d entire purpose of having such a forum.

(2)Sites such as Youtube render a medium wherein the viewers themselves create content nd post it in an attempt 2 shareit wid others...here also one can expresshis like/dislike via rating...govt. intrusion here in d form of regulating as 2 wat is appropriate nd wat not..wud mean underestimating d citizens capability 2 take a stance on issues..after all d people ought 2 b left free 2 deide wat 2 view nd wat not...

(3)The area where regulation is most perceived i s that of ponography...but even here we fail 2 realise that those who view it wud find one way or d other 2 do that regardless of whichever regulations n restrictions r imposed.

But as they say " Anything in excess is not good "...at some point or d other situations themselves pave way 4 checks nd balances .....FREEDOM OF SPEECH ND EXPRESSION is no exception....d reason y govt. censorship comes into picture is bcoz some people try 2 take undue advantage of d freedom that's bestowed upon us..for instance people fake anonymous names nd write posts in an attempt 2 defame others...

By nd large wat we need is not censorship...as such..but definite laws n guidelines in place so that d loopholes that come as a part n parcel of d various uses of internet can b fixed....

The onus is on us 2 develop a socity where everyone says.."I may not agree wid u ,but i'll defend till death ur right 2 speak "...in no way can we achieve this by taking away from people d right 2 excercise their discretion..by spoonfeeding them wats appropriate in d name of censorship.

ANYA..

9:53 AM, January 16, 2007  
Blogger rohit said...

Firstly , everyone would agree that since freedom is enshrined in our basic constitutional structure so govt has no right to impinge on it,but we forget that freedom comes with responsibility so , in case people are not resp. then govt also has every right to enforce the law..
gross violations are :
1) this is whats happening with china.. where govt blocked Google for showing search results for "tinamine square " and not allowing foreign companies to set shops if they dont comply with security regulations..

good exapmles.
1) indian govt asking google to remove pages on orkut conataning hatred against the nation by pakistan etc...

2) google being asked to scale down the images of security instllations of the country..

11:14 PM, January 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Gyan-ee, nice initiative.
START: Indian constituation provides every citizen a very essential Right to Freedom of Speech. As with every right there is a duty/responsibility attached.
Every man's right ends where the other's begins.

MIDDLE:
1. There should be strict rules againts misuse of the rights. So as to say a good author can market his idea be it good or bad. The conciences he draws from an issue should not be left to the sole discretion of such a man who can publish his views effectively.
2. The rules controlling these rights should be on broader perspective.
3. Some politicians/govt. may make misuse of these censorships by controlling the media to safegaurd themselves . Instead there can be an anonimous panel formed to control the internet.
4. Censorship should be something which says what is wrong rather than spoonfeeding what is correct.
5. True, that the there are other ways and means for those who are interested in but these censorships can atleast avoid kids unintentionally getting exposed to such kind of unintended stuff. Definitely kids dont have the self discretion of not getting effected...

1:37 AM, January 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Start->"hidden apples are always sweet". Banning of Blogger websites by Indian ISP's was a boon to the popularity of these websites. It raised certain questions regarding the censorship and teh degree of freedom which one should enjoy on a unmoderated medium like internet.

Should there be a monitoring of internet usage? what implications will it cause? what are its fallout? and of course what about our fundamental right of freedom to expression.

Points:-
1) Totally unmonitored medium of communication is a potential hazard to national security. For example- terrorists are increasingly making use of email and encryption techniques.

2) A censorship keeps the cyber criminals in check. For example- safety of children from the attempts of child abuse on net .

3) Persons spreading misinformation should not be allowed to do so.

4) A continuous monitoring will ensure that a certain degree of stability. For example- the govt. of china has banned certain websites related to taiwan controversy.

5) there should be a clearly defined limit to the degree of ccensorship. It should not become a tool to supress a openion of people which comes within legal framework of our constitution.

6) It should be taken care that the decisions are always reviewed for the implementation. For example- The blogs spreading misinformation against india should have been banned but blocking the whole blogger website was a wrong implementation of a correct solution.

3:28 AM, January 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taking a counter-view to add a lil salt to the whole discussion....[:D]...

True that the right to "freedom of speech" is enshrined in our constitution, true that it is necessary for the smooth working of a "matured" democracy....but it is equally counter-productive in a "confused" democracy....where people have rights, but don't know how to use them....

Is this not the reason why democracy has, for ages, been looked down upon by intellectuals..??..Democracy, that talks abt granting equal rights to people, who are not equal, to start with....Democracy that is sooo dependent on "Mass opinion"....and the masses that is soooo ignorant....

What else are the masses if they can be made to vote for a certain candidate, with a criminal record, just by offering them 10-20/- for their vote....Do we vouch for an equal right for them...??....Where will it take our country....??...

Regulations and restriction are thus an absolute necessity for as long as we don't reach a certain thresh-hold of "matured" democracy....

Besides this we can talk abt restriction on information abt areas of strategic importence to Defence....

Exposure to pornography of children is something which can be regulated better by parents, than the government....Poronography actually is harmless when compared to contents that affect or distort "Mass opinion"....or instigate ethnic rifes....

The problem is India is divided into two parts....those who can decide for themselves...and a much larger proportion of those who can't....true, imposing restrictions would be unfair to the former, but as long as the later is not brought on par with the former, we will be some distance off from savouring the cherished ideals of a "matured democracy"....

Digressed from the topic though, but dint wanna repeat the points already brought in.

blogging, Youtube and Google earth waala points almost bring out everything....

@Gyanee - why not have a disscussion on democracy versus Dictatorship/Autocracy...??..

-Rossogulla

4:09 AM, January 17, 2007  
Anonymous admissionmilega? said...

START - INTERNET has made the world flat. One can gather as much as one wants from the NET.Whether it is put to good use or bad use is in his own hand. It is a Bundle of knowledge. Have we used this tool in the best possible way.

(1)Friend networking sites - Sites like orkut have been banned for some time because people were misusing it.
Terrorists used such sites to pass messages.
Miscreants have morphed available photographs on such sites and posted it on porn sites.
Personal infor posted on such sites has been used by banks/credit card companies to make cold calls.

2)Porn sites - Pornography needs to be banned, but internet is providing a good platform for its promotion. There was a case of MMS being sold on the net in India. A student from a reputed college was involved in it. The point is how easily he could sell the porn stuff through the NET.

3)Google Maps - It is very exciting to search for your own house , school , college and office in a google map. However it is also a very easy way to track important enemy locations. Lot of countries complained of the same.( Wish I remembered an example).

4)However hard the chat admins keep a track , chat sites do end up in abuses, especially is peple pf enemy countries are chatting. Vulgar chats are normal.

5) Online crime - Cases of peoples bank accounts being hacked have come into picture. E Mail accounts have been hacked exposing personal information to unknowns.

Consensus - Miscreants everywhere. Inspite of a powerful tool, it has been misused and does require some kind of censorship.

4:37 AM, January 17, 2007  
Anonymous b2b said...

Start::
In this age of internet, this concept of internet censorship is ineffective and counterproductive. In the end it generates sensationalism and more publicty for the internet sites/stuff which govt intended for in the first place which can be easily bypassed by some simple technical tricks.

1) The reason internet really took off in a country like ours is because it offers people avenues of expression, connectivity and freedom at prices and convenience which is unbeatable by any other source or medium. To send a message that it is under threat is a wrong signal.

2) Expression on internet and right to information on internet are akin to right to speach and right to expression in todays information age.

3) Internet is popular because it gives like minded people a sense of community and sense of belonging. Some time these may express opinions which are not the ones shared by the group as a whole. But this shouldnt be banned on a whim.

7:02 PM, January 17, 2007  
Anonymous b2b said...

Adding on to other pointes posted above.

4) This ban was infact tried upon few months earlier by govt. What it ended up doing was a universal condemnation across the sections of civilised society.

5) There is as much as you can ban on the internet. But simply blocking a content somewhere doesnt ends the problem. It can be replicated somewhere else.

Conclusion: Banning a site/link isnt something a responsible democracy like ours should indulge in. If we have one source which is spewing hatred. We have numbers of others which advocate restraint and mention fault with that paricular hatred filled site. Discussion and dialogue is the answer. Let end user decide for himself/herself. Let everyone thrive.

7:15 PM, January 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A free medium of communication like Internet has lots of advantages in terms of widespread, connectivity, enforcing opinions thus application of certain rules will only make it a little less popular...While it has a lots of disadvantages like illegal handling, indecency, enforcing wrong opinions..So enforcing certain rules on the same will curtail lots of unwanted things...

Points:
The blasts in London were carried out by means of Internet. If not for the censorship, we might witness manier blasts in future
Although communities and blogging is a medium of offering voices, it leads to invocation of bad remarks, indecency which when applied certain rules can def be contained...Notable examples can be removal of certain pages in Orkut regarding I hate India and of Shivaji
Censorship on the other hand may prove a little expensive as well. Like blocking blogspot for 3 days where the service provider had blocked blogspot due to the terrorist attack on the order of government. It caused a lot of trouble to the regular bloggers although not physical
All good things come with a pinch of salt and controlling them lies a solution. A soln might be to give the entire detail of the Internet user so that tracking becomes easy and this idea is rightly brought abt by the government wherein each cyber user needs to furnish his/her details before logging.

-PS

7:54 PM, January 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've found already many good points in support of censorship. I would like to move the discussion forward.

Every act of freedom comes with a caveat involved. Freedom of speech is no exception. No doubt, acts of terror, pedophiles and suchlike have to be kept in check But still it doesn't allow absolute rights to the governments. The difference between a dictatorship and democracy is that, In dictatorship, the leader is accountable to none and therefore every action of his, whether right or wrong becomes the law. A government with infinite powers will bring alive the Orwellian world of '1984' alive. In short, Who is going to watch the watchdog.

points:

1) There should be no censorship on expression of views. Just because a person holds an opposing view, it doesn't gives you a right to strangle his voice. How does it matter if someone maintains "I Hate India" community on orkut? India is not going to vanish from world map due to this. In fact, it will give us a chance to know about the negative perspectives as well.

2) The difference between an open and closed society is that an open society respects the rights of its minorities, and an individual is the smallest possible minority of the society. When the supposed vanguards of Indian society and the Babus of Government decide that what a person can write and what can not write, What a person can read and can not read, they are removing the pillar on which a free Society is based.

3) Yes, Censorship of websites is required to stop trading of children. Censorship is required to check pedophiles trading children on net. But this is not an expression of opinion or view, but rather an act unacceptable in any society.

4) A possible solution might be, If government is going to block a particular website or blog, then this action should be contestable in courts. A government site must mention the name of the blogs or sites that have been blocked along with reason for being blocked and this action must be contestable in courts. Every action of government must be in purview of RTI act.

4) There have been some views about google earth maps showing sites of critical importance to indian security. Well, Majority of terror attacks in India are planned by ISI. They already have access to satellite pictures taken by Pakistani satellites. It would be naive to assume that ISI would be waiting for these google earth maps for performing their operations.

5) The goal of any kind of Censorship should be to stop criminal acts and not suppressing of views, no matter what these views might be. All the government guidelines should be made considering the above principal in mind.

11:13 PM, January 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As regards with the control on sites whose content might not be suitable to children, Following measure can be proposed.

In all Internet cafes, identity proofs must be made compulsory. There might be some website filters for Children below age of 18 in place, although there is always a possibility that they might use proxy servers. But then such are the advantages or pitfalls, of technology.

In their Homes, parents must ensure that laptop/desktop is kept in the open and children do not delete the History content of surfed sites. Some might term this as excess Censorship, but in US several men in their forties have lured underage girls through myspace using fake profiles. A Proper verification of user profiles might not always be possible, still if a user is found to be indulged in unlawful practices, the website owners of such networking sites should immediately ban him.

11:29 PM, January 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A useful link to add to this discussion

11:39 PM, January 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

START: Every individual in India, has the democratic right of speech, good or bad, for or against, pleading or angry, so is it for the governement to decide & curb it as it sees fit?

1)Internet in itself, has become the best medium of communication, it is a valid extension of speech. So applying the same idea, if the government cannot stop people from saying what they want, how can it stop people from writing & reading what they want?

2) Moral policing as a policy, is known to be the worst solution to any problem. Under the pretext of preventing hate groups, the Govt is curbing the rights of millions of others.

3)Terrorist forums, or hate groups with extreme visions & ideas, will always be present, no matter what is curbed.
Blocking a few sites, is not going to help or aid anything. They will find better ways, easier techniques.

One site is not the only way to share views.Its like plugging holes in a leaking boat, there'll always be more, you cant stop it this way.


4)It is difficult to understand, what is the "problem" they are trying to fix. Some people have posted extremist views, & some others have taken offence to it.

It was blown up in the political arena, & the police had a kneejerk reaction to it.

Its plainly evident that there was no attempt to solve anything, because there was no problem in the first place!

5) Crime has punishment, but since when did views or ideas, themselves become the crime?

6)It is an unnerving thought of the power of such ideas, laid down by powerful people, can have such a large impact on us.

This kind of policy could be followed for a large number of other things, for any reason.There is no limit to such control.

It makes a mockery of a democracy.

Aparna
P.S The thoughts here are a little strong & extreme in nature, is that an advisable stance to take?

Would there be a pro stance that one could take on this? Would it help?

12:19 AM, January 18, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

ANYA,

Some good points. But you need to raise above the obvious. Bring in the zeal you showed in the 'world without sunday...'. Also be careful with comments as below else people in the group will take you apart :)

'By nd large wat we need is not censorship...as such..but definite laws n guidelines in place so that d loopholes that come as a part n parcel of d various uses of internet can b fixed'
--- censorship is by law itself :))

More comments in the complete analysis

1:33 AM, January 18, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Rohit,

indian govt asking google to remove pages on orkut conataning hatred against the nation by pakistan etc... is fine.... But China asking Google to pack off for showing hatred articles on Tiananmen Square is wrong ---- Lack of consistency? Patriotism? Or sheer Hypocrisy?? :))

Need to be more consistent. More pointers in complete analysis

1:34 AM, January 18, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Sowjanya,

'Censorship should be something which says what is wrong rather than spoonfeeding what is correct' --- very well put. I liked the framing

Good point in "censorships can atleast avoid kids unintentionally getting exposed to such kind of unintended stuff. Definitely kids dont have the self discretion of not getting effected", but you have to reach beyond. I will discuss this in complete analysis but wanted to individually tell you since you were new here

'anonimous panel'/ 'broader perspective'/ 'rules againts misuse of the rights' --- these are all what I call 'Global gyan'. Lets get into specifics. Afterall, you are all going to be top managers. You are not just expected to say that the company has to increase revenues, cut costs and take care of the employees.... You need to tell HOW.

1:39 AM, January 18, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Atul,

Irrelevant start.
Thats not what I was expecting from you after such good posts previously. Do not allow your sentiments on blogs to rule here. Internet is a much bigger space :). It wud have been nice to see this point in the middle.

Monitoring is not a synonym for censorship :)

Totally unmonitored medium of communication is a potential hazard to national security. For example- terrorists are increasingly making use of email and encryption techniques --- Monitoring and censorship are two different things :)

More bashing in the complete analysis :D

1:46 AM, January 18, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Rosogolla,

Your salt tastes good. Cool and spicy points :)

Discussion on democracy vs dictatorship... well we have discussed a little bit in the disguise of censorship...

Wud have liked to see you takes things a little beyond on pornography. And wud have liked to see more points. You seem to have stuck to the democract point

1:55 AM, January 18, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Admission milega!,

decent direction in the start, but shud have had a sentence on censorship afterall.

"Pornography needs to be banned" --- lets discuss the larger issues and not get senti on particulars. And please note there will also be a question on where do you put a line on what is pornography. Like movies in US are rates as PG/U etc etc which is censorship in a different form again.

Consensus - Miscreants everywhere. Inspite of a powerful tool, it has been misused and does require some kind of censorship ---- Sure, there was a concensus??? Anyway you still have not said, if we shud/shudnt have censorship

2:04 AM, January 18, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

b2b,

prefer you avoiding taking a strong stand at the START. STARTs are not to tell the group what your opinion about the topic is. It is to give a structure to the whole discussion. Please read up Complete GD Prep Fundae

If we have one source which is spewing hatred. We have numbers of others which advocate restraint and mention fault with that paricular hatred filled site --- Good point. Shud have gone a little further to hit the nail on the head.

simply blocking a content somewhere doesnt ends the problem. It can be replicated somewhere else --- note that you are talking about the effectiveness of censorship, not censorship itself :)

2:11 AM, January 18, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

PS,

Good start except that you cud have had a better last sentence. e.g., 'So enforcing certain rules on the same is probably a necessity rather than an option'
--- Better articulation makes it look better than what it is :)

The blasts in London were carried out by means of Internet. If not for the censorship, we might witness many more blasts in future --- Again there is difference between censorship and control/monitoring

Censorship on the other hand may prove a little expensive as well --- Good point. But note that this raises a question of the ability to effective implement it.

2:23 AM, January 18, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Himanshu,

Impressive start.
'Who is going to watch the watchdog' --- Good articulation. brownie point for that

Good to see you having brought in the idea of cotrol of 'views' and 'acts' -- Good angle. A trophy for that

govt action shud be contestable - I think it already is, but a good point nevertheless

Majority of terror attacks in India are planned by ISI --- though I agree, please keep out opinions :)

Google maps-ISIS-pakistani sats ---- Don’t get carried away. It sure prevents less sophisticated enemies like home grown terrorist groups for instance. Anyone bringing such a counter point would take away the credit. Don’t give away such credits for free, make them work hard for it

parental and technology control for preventing porn --- Why cant somebody else think of such a simple point

2:34 AM, January 18, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Aparna,

Decent start, but stick to India alone.

if the government cannot stop people from saying what they want, how can it stop people from writing & reading what they want --- Good ssimple point. But rephrase as "if the govt shudnt stop..."

Blocking a few sites, is not going to help or aid anything. They will find better ways, easier techniques -- Again, it is only questioning effectiveness, not necessity

Its plainly evident that there was no attempt to solve anything, because there was no problem in the first place --- Many assumptions and opinions leading to this conclusion. beware.

It is fine to take a strong stand. But you will have to present strong arguments to support them. If you are presenting stong opinions, it will go against you. I wud suggest, present arguments first and then take a stand.

3:12 AM, January 18, 2007  
Blogger Gyan-ee said...

Hey Guys,

It was surprising that a group that came up with such a stellar performance on a vague topic came out so mundane and average in this one. I had deliberately put a topic which had so many obvious points. But the group did move beyond the obvious points.

Here are the consolidated comments.

1. The group on the whole did not rise above pornography, terrorism, hatred sites etc. Some attempts like democracy, parental control were there but I wanted to see more of that.

2. Most starts revolved around the Indian constitution. Read the topic carefully. It does not say "Indian Govt"

3. Please be clear on the difference between monitoring, controlling and censorship. If you dont, then you will talking 'off' the topic

4. Most of you have just made points on how the internet has been misused etc etc but haven’t told if "censorship" would be effective in preventing that

5. Many of you said that though Governments blocks many things on the internet, it eventually crops up somewhere else. Good point, but very sad that the conclusion to this problem was ‘so why bother to censor’. Rather it should have been how to make censorship effective. Good points with bad analysis ends up nowhere

So the learnings are:
1. Understand the topic carefully and STICK to it
2. Generate arguments. Facts are good, but not if they dont have conclusions
3. Do not get sentimental, opinionated

Consolidation and my points on the main page

3:28 AM, January 18, 2007  

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