The Internet – A Paradox! – Anarchy?

Earlier this month I came across a question on Linkedin. It had made me think at that time what I feel all of us might have thought of at some time or the other. “What is up with all this trash on the internet? Wouldn’t it (internet) be a much better place to visit without this trash?”

I am using the word trash to encompass all forms of ethically questionable content available online.

Now that opens another box of problems, basically following the adage, “one man’s trash is another’s treasure”.

What to do?

The question was regarding Illegal Downloads from the Internet.

http://www.linkedin.com/answers/career-education/ethics/CAR_PET/171596-5124762

My question still is? Who is actually responsible? Am I as a user of a service held responsible for using a service that has been provided by someone out there (on the internet)? or, Is the provider responsible for providing questionable content on the internet? or, Are the Hosting Service providers responsible? or, Are the infrastructure providers to be held responsible? or, Will we take governing bodies to task?

Take the “Adult Entertainment” industry for example. Although it is looked down upon by the majority, it is a booming business on the internet. Even in that industry apparently at times a form of morality is seen when certain aspects of the industry are brought to light.

The other major financial loss that corporations of all sizes suffer is at the hands of software pirates. The people who provide product activation keys, product serial codes, hacks and cracks for valuable software.

Who should I hold responsible if I find content on the internet that is objectionable for me on any level? Is the internet a free-for-all Anarchy?

If I decide to say something on this blog, that is offensive to someone out there? Do they have the right to deface, destroy or disable my blog? If someone puts something out there that is offensive to me, do I have a right to do the same to him (or her)?

Does the internet reflect the overall state of mind of humanity? Perhaps that’s another topic for another post?

The actual reason I am writing this is because today, my father sent me a link to an article through email, the subject was simply “Interesting”.

Here’s the link:

http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9878655-7.html

This article is titled “How Pakistan knocked YouTube offline (and how to make sure it never happens again”.

Firstly, I was saddened when I read the title, but curiosity led me to read on. By the end of it I didn’t know what to do or how to feel? I had so many questions? Leading all these questions was a deep disappointment with the status quo. Some of my questions were…

  1. Was Pakistan right to act this way against YouTube?
  2. Is it actually that easy to execute a Denial of Service Attach on a global enterprise?
  3. What protection is there for my online assets?
  4. Why didn’t YouTube take those videos off? (assuming Pakistani authorities communicated through proper channels)
  5. Why do these things keep happening globally?

When I go online, I browse the internet, I talk to my friends, collegues, and family through instant messengers, I send and receive emails from a host of people, I access by business related information online. I leave a footprint everywhere. I believe that I don’t have anything to hide, however, it’s not hiding that’s a problem, it’s the criminal activities that’s a problem, identity theft, phishing emails, worms, trojans and the lot.

There seems to be more and more trash out there than useful information. How do I sift through all of the junk without being affected by it. It is expensive for me to be online to browse and surf and email and chat, why should people out there be allowed to waste my time like this.

I have so many protection programs running on my machine, that I don’t get performance, and I’m still not protected.

Who do I point my finger at? Who do I hold responsible?

If it’s anarchy? Then I am free to do what I want on the Internet (as long as it does not ruffle any big corporation’s feathers Intheworld) and no body should stop me, however, Anarchy is a two-edged blade, It gives me freedom to do as I please, on the other hand, it also leaves me vulnerable when I’m online.

How can something (Internet) with a huge potential of doing good for humanity turn so bad?

If I had it my way, I’d make everyone responsible and hold them to their responsibilities strictly. But, wouldn’t that be big-brother-is-watching?

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About khansalmanahmad
A technology and solutions specialist who at times dabbles in philosophy. Is interested in learning new things. Gets really excited by and looks forward to "WOW" experience.

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