December 27th, 2008 17:30 EST
British Politician Wants To Censor Internet
"Internet sites could be given cinema-style age ratings as part of a Government crackdown on offensive and harmful online activity to be launched in the New Year, the Culture Secretary says.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Andy Burnham says he believes that new standards of decency need to be applied to the web. He is planning to negotiate with Barack Obama`s incoming American administration to draw up new international rules for English language websites.
The Cabinet minister describes the internet as `quite a dangerous place` and says he wants internet-service providers (ISPs) to offer parents `child-safe` web services.
In America we are cursed with evangelicals and fundamentalists who want to censor every jot and tittle that doesn`t meet their sanctimonious expectations. In the UK there are also those who would burn books and censor content on the Internet.
One of the best features of the Internet is that it is free from censorship, any individual can set up his soapbox on the Information Highway and proclaim his views however silly or twisted they may be.
Movie-style age ratings for Internet sites is a horrible idea, and I pray that it doesn`t come to fruition. I have published thousands of articles online, and I have never used any profanity or used any pornographic images. But I sometimes deal with adult subjects, does that mean that the sites that publish my editorials would be slapped with an adult only rating?
There are only a few hundred movies that are released in America every year, but there are billions of Web sites. Even an army of Christian soldiers wouldn`t have enough time to review even a tiny percentage of all the Web sites.
The Internet is a dangerous place, and that`s why parents (not bureaucrats) should carefully monitor their children when they are online. If a parent is too lazy to look over his children`s shoulder when they are online, he should at least install software that filters out objectionable sites.
We don`t need the government as Big Brother, we are perfectly capable of protecting our children from the dangers that lurk online. Parents, writers, webmasters, and everyone who believes in free speech should speak out against this contemptible idea to censor the Internet.