Tuesday, December 30, 2008

International Internet censorship

I've just read that the government of UK is contacting the government of US to create an international Internet censorship system. I was really happy when I read it first. I read the whole article after that and I wasn't happy at all.
They want to create a classification system for all the sites and make the ISPs to force the classification and remove 'improper' sites and pages.

I was happy because I think there should be a strong control over the pages kids can access. There should be strong control over pages that contain illegal content. But these should be categorized by an independent judge considering laws, not a group of people with morale influences.

Let's take the most recent case with Facebook.com. They don't allow images about moms breastfeeding their babies. It's OK from their point of view and they own the web application. On the other hand there is no law against such images and there are laws in many states of the US that moms can breast-feed babies in public places. It's their choice. Imagine that some group of people in an 'Internet Censorship Board' would take the same step.

I would be happy with a system that would build up as follows:

  • Sites should rate themselves (or by something like the Certificate Authorities)
  • Intentional misratings should be punished somehow (by the law, blacklisting or something like that if it's needed)
  • There should be applications built into the browsers or standalone versions that can filter content by these ratings

If you look at popular sites dealing with sexuality they usually mark themselves somehow. A standard is missing and I think it should be an open standard.