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People and Politics Forum 28.01.2008

"Should Internet freedom be restricted?"

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More information:

Revealing All on the Internet - How personal data is falling into the wrong hands


It's a gateway to the world, a place to access information at the touch of a button, a way to meet people and purchase goods...the Internet. Many people have no qualms about revealing their most intimate secrets to the world wide web, on photos, videos, or in chatrooms. And they think all this information will eventually be deleted. They couldn't be more wrong. Many people have long relinquished their private sphere to the Internet. Often without even knowing it, and sometimes with fatal consequences, for example when searching for a job.

Our question is:

"Should Internet freedom be restricted?"

Lee Davis Cornelius, USA, writes:

"No, we are having a debate about this subject in the States now. With the war on terror in full swing, we find our government spying on everyone it seems. The FISA legislation that President Bush would like to make permanent, would allow any party in government to spy on anyone they believe to be a threat to national security, without going to a judge for a warrant. There would be no rsite, and that is the Issue."

Gerhard Seeger, Philippines:

"Due to the large amount of misuse on the Internet I think some restrictions are necessary. We know that everything remains on the Internet. Anyone who cannot protect their private photographs or credit card details should not upload them. The losses incurred by online banking speak for themselves. Anyone who does not want to reveal such details should avoid the Internet. After all, we still have albums and notebooks."

Claus Stauffenberg, Australia:

"Restricting information on the Internet is difficult at best. But individuals should be protected from criminal enterprises operating from within Internet with a blanket IP ban on such operations. But this should not be used by the state to control access to information."

Helge Weyland, Argentina:

"As warnings have existed for many years about providing personal details on the Internet such as bank account information, date of birth and photos, all I can say is that anyone who is stupid enough to do so deserves what they get."

Herbert Fuchs, Finland:

"The Internet is for humanity as a whole the giant rubbish tip of the 21st century and we could easily refer to it as a dunghill. Although admittedly you can find the odd gem in that dunghill. Acclaimed as the great road to freedom, the Internet is the opposite when it comes to real freedom, i.e. registering all entries and thoughts of individuals. In my opinion you achieve little if you try to apply the brakes to the Internet. The genie has unfortunately already escaped from the bottle. We all have to live with the fact that everyone decides for themself what they deposit on the rubbish tip. The state ought to allow its citizens the freedom of the Internet without restictions."

Klaus Dieck, Colombia:

"Of course the Internet must be free and uncensored. The right to free information exists. The Internet is a good basis for that if you separate the wheat from the chaff. I don’t send my personal details on a postcard, either."

Erwin Scholz, Costa Rica:

"Today’s world of chatter is on the lookout for prey via the Internet. The result is vile. People chat worldwide and that often has unpleasant consequences. So I’d say reduce the urge to gossip and maybe things would be better."

Werner Horbaty, Nicaragua:

"Only few people know that a password can be copied by a qualified programmer. It is also possible to intercept e-mails on the fast but lengthy journey to Europe. So if something seems important or an answer is required send it by registered mail. And request confirmation of receipt with both the private and company addresses of the person concerned."

Martin Burmeister, Venezuela:

"Unfortunately a restriction of freedom on the Internet is almost impossible. Everyone who uses the Net must be aware of the possible risks involved when entering personal details."

People and Politics reserves the right to shorten your answers.