.. bureau fits them.
Like a Christian rating bureau would appeal to a Christian family. Some people believe that PICS is a lot like the V-chip. Its true they are similar but their differences are very notable. The V-chip is a chip that is put in all TVs larger than 13 by the FCC that blocks the display of television programming based upon its rating.There are many links in the information food chain separating your personal computer from the source of information.
And what you see on the Internet can potentially be filtered at any of those points so you in fact are not in total control of what comes to your screen, unlike the V-chip. You can block material at your computer, but so can libraries, your employer, your internet service provider, your university, or even - depending on where you live - your nation-state. With the V-chip you control what comes on your television set. But with PICS the choice may not be yours (Marshall).There is also one more problem with PICS, when internet is filtered you dont know what you are not seeing. The companies that would provide the blocking services would have to hide their list of what they are blocking or else they would lose their edge.
They wouldnt have a service to provide. So lets say a public library is using a certain business to filter they have no idea what they are actually blocking. PICS seems to be good solution since it doesnt compromise the freedom of expression and it filters out unwanted material, but overall PICS is an unwanted and unethical solution. It filters not only unwanted material but also a lot of material that is useful and you wont even know you are missing it.If the internet is censored then all Americans rights to freedom of expression would be in jeopardy. We either assume the government is going to be regulating the internet or some kind of public company will be doing the filtering.
If the government would be the one regulating the internet via CDA, for example, then a lot of people who are in the pornography business would definitely lose their rights to express themselves. The CDA prohibited the sending of indecent or obscene telecommunications knowingly to anyone under the age of 18. It was found unconstitutional since it violated the first amendment.If filtering was left up to the public, in the form of businesses, such as the use of PICS it would also be at risk. Lets take a look at this a little closer. With PICS they want to have a variety of rating systems but that is not how the computer industry operates.
Everything in the internet industry is done by a few major companies such as: operating systems, software, printers, browsers, computer manufacturers, scanners, monitors, and speakers. The idea that there will be a great multiplicity of rating systems may also be deceptive. Despite the possibility of an infinite variety of rating systems for a multitude of different cultural perspectives, everything we know about the computer and internet industries tells us that pressures lead not toward multiplicity but toward concentration (Marshall). So just by knowing the industry itself you know its going to be ruled by about four or five companies.The internet and site blocking fields would demand a larger variety of options in the field but economic pressures and the need to create economies of scale would be too high and overpower it.
The economies of scale would definitely be required in this field though. Since only a few companies would be filtering and censoring every part of the internet would be so time consuming, making it impossible for a small company. You would also have to have a lot of customers or subscribers to make any money as a site blocking company. Now you see why the industry would be so concentrated, and being controlled by a few major companies really limits the consumers choices.
Since their choices of who to subscribe to are limited they dont have a lot of options and a lot of peoples sites would get filtered out by the few companies.With the public doing the regulating we should not focus so much on the government and reconsider our values of free speech and expression to better understand our goals and what we need to censor. It is easy to see that any form of regulation or filtering of the internet will in fact bring unwanted solutions and conditions to the people and in most cases stomp on their rights as a citizen. The COPA and CDA prove that any government regulation is basically unacceptable because it can never satisfy everyone who contributes to the internet and they cant just make a law and say deal with it since they dont own or run the internet. So maybe we should stop focusing on the government and look towards the public on this issue, since they will be the ones that will end up doing the regulating if we go that route.
Another question that comes to mind is: do we actually need censorship? If you think about it, all censorship really does is make the internet a little more productive and gets rid of a small amount of pornography.This is definitely not a good reason to give up your rights and thats why internet censorship is a very unwanted and unethical solution. Bibliography Works Cited Burton, Paul. CONTENT ON THE INTERNET: FREE OR FETTERED?. University of Strathclyde.
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