Censoring the web

As ever more people get information from various places on the web it gets ever more tempting for politicians to try to regulate it. The lack of regulation, however, is perhaps the main reason for the grand success of the Internet, and the incredible change in human interaction that it has caused and continues to cause.

A Norweigian newspaper now reports that Norway is considering passing legislation that will require internet service providers to block certain web pages, namely such web pages that hold content that would otherwise be illegal. Unreflected this might seem like a good idea to some, but it is worth pointing out that this would be in breach of one of the most important principles of freedom of expression, namely the prohibition of prior constraint or censorship.

That is a very dangerous path to go down, especially since the Internet will likely grow and perhaps become the main source of news one day. If government can cause restrictions today, that could yield a very bleak situation a few decades from now. This idea needs to be brought down before it becomes anywhere near accepted.

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Thanks to HAX for the heads up
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