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How free the freedom through the Internet?

The Rising issue has been discussed recently, the freedom through the Internet. On one hand, some people asked for freedom through the Internet, while other people asked  for social protection and security from the negative effect that is caused by the freedom itself. That is why I am questioning about how free the freedom through the Internet being wanted?

This question still relate with the different condition between developing and developed countries especially people's ability to interpret what the freedom is, and then their ability to handle the consequences resulted by the freedom itself.

It can not be denied that most developing countries have problem with people's capability and ability to interpret issues and policies. Since the circumstances such as low quality of education, the lack of modern infrastructure, low income, are still the common problems have existed within society.

In regard to the freedom, let say that all people agree to define and to apply the freedom as a wild freedom, or a freedom without boundary through the Internet. Then, what will happen within developing and developed countries?. My imagination brought me in two different situations. In the developed countries, most people will use the freedom opportunity  to express their thought by creating blogs, personal websites. However, they might use the freedom to build online pornography business that is intended for adult people. On the other hand, people in developing countries will use the freedom to get all information they wanted without ability to filter and to interpret it, indeed they might use the freedom to access all pornography sites without caring about age and the lack of sex education within society. Then it will not be a surprising to find teenagers who are pregnant in their adolescence term.

The fact that the basic difference between developed and developing countries is on people's mindset and mentality. It needs long times for developing countries to reach a developed people's mindset and mentality.

I think a freedom without boundary is suitable to be applied within society that have developed mindset and mentality, as people able to handle all consequences of their actions. Whereas, in developing countries where people are still developing their mindset and mentality, it will be good if the freedom is set up within boundary. The boundary can come from society itself such as  cultures and religion values, and policy and assistance from the government as regulator. Do you agree or not with this opinion? I would like to ask your opinion about a brief explanation above.

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Comment by Dwi Elfrida Martina on July 11, 2011 at 5:28am

Hi derlene..

Thanks for your comment. your idea good input for this writing.

Firstly about Tibet, they have lack of infrastructure and they developed idealism but for sure in Tibet there is no Freedom of expression, or "wild freedom" that is wanted by most developed countries.

I don't say that developing countries don't have moral. please read carefully. I said that developing countries is still deal with developing mentality. Mentality that I mean is "know and able to responsible for all that they do without regulation, law, cultures rules that bound them" Simply put, most american people caring about their "trash, garbage, recycle their garbage, even when are bring their dog walk out side, they bring plastic bag as place for their the dog's shit" I don't think so there do this action because of they afraid to regulation, but because they know and realize that it is good to be done!. In this case, you will see that most of people in developing countries don't care about their trash, garbage, dog's shit, even however there are government regulation about that, they just don't care. And for me, it is just a simple example to show that in developing countries people's mentality is still developing.

Furthermore, about teenager pregnancy. In most of developing countries sex education is still rare, even sex is still taboo to be discussed in public forum, family meeting, even in school. In Indonesia, many cases happened that teenagers who have access to the internet found "porn image" firstly accidentally, further deliberately. and without sex education that enable them to understand about impacts that can be happened if they don't do sex safely. Then, as result of this the number of pregnancy teenagers is increasing. 

Since I live in the US, I know how people especially child and teenagers are treated in family, society, school, and this is very different at least with my country, Indonesia.

I don't know what kind of freedom meaning for you.But for me, I don't want wild freedom.freedom should be put in the good framework, which are regulation. And it should belongs to each country, how they can regulate the freedom in their country.

And about your morality, its up to you:).

Comment by Darlene Thompson on July 10, 2011 at 10:05pm

Hi Dwi - I thought about your posting long and hard. I am not from a developing country so I don't have a firm opinion on this but reading this made me ask a few questions to myself that I am unable to answer:

Define "developing country" in this context. For example, Tibet has rather low infrastructure but a highly developed idealism. Would they fit into your analysis?

Are you assuming that people in developing countries do not have morals? You mentioned a rise in teen pregnancies. I do not see a correlation between a developed mindset and morality. I also do not see a correlation between pornography and teenage pragnancies.

If you are going to deny people the freedom to view certain things on the internet, who is to set those boundaries? How far will this be taken? No child porn? No adult porn? No naked images? No naked images for the benefit of health care? No textual porn (think Playboy stories)? No text or images of homosexualtiy? No images of women with their faces uncovered? All of these items are illegal in some countries. Who is to say what should be banned in developing countries or not? My morals, ICANN's morals, U.S. morals, Iraqi morals? Which developing countries should be subject to such bans?

This starts getting into some fairly scary shades of grey quite quickly!

Comment by Norman K Boinett on July 10, 2011 at 5:58pm
Your comments are interesting food for thought. In our context (Kenya) the new constitution entrenches freedom of speech, expression and right to information as some of the fundamental rights in the bill of rights. however the rapid growth of ICT''s has brought with it numerous challenges especially on policing harmful content and conduct. I believe these freedoms are based on specific principles that hold regardless of means of enjoying them (the Internet and ICT's as one of the means) the dilemma therefore is if real law or modified cyber laws can be applied to control and regulate the use of ICT's.
Comment by Mayengo Tom Kizito on July 8, 2011 at 4:47pm
Krishan, you have opened up for an answer to my previous dilemma. I have always wondered on who to regulate and what measures to be put in place to mitigate the negative outcomes of regulation at the same time benefit from the beauty of regulation... thank you for that. You hit the nails where it is supposed to be when you stated that there should be a difference between political agenda and national agenda. In Uganda for example, you will find that there is not difference between political agenda and National agenda. When an Opposition leader comes to mention his/her opposition on some political ideas of the ruling party, he/she is viewed as some one opposing national agenda. Unless Nations develop the capacity to differentiate the difference you have talked about, it might be hard for use to benefit from regulation with out the negatives chipping in. I would think though that if a neutral body can be set up to regulate the Internet, we shall be in position to achieve this step. The only limitation/question remaining is, are we developing people in position to set up a neutral body to carry out this function?
Comment by Krishan Lal Khatri on June 30, 2011 at 6:24am
There is difference between political agenda and national agenda. Political parties in developing countries have north-south divide in their agenda's.. and sometimes the the percentage of "certain" people is more than 50%. I won't like to quote examples here.
Comment by Dwi Elfrida Martina on June 30, 2011 at 6:15am
Well.. I mostly agree with your  comment. But, what do you mean with " to serve political agenda"? if it is exist, every country has it, even every country have to do it. Also about "certain people"  how many percent they are? may we say that they are majority?
Comment by Krishan Lal Khatri on June 30, 2011 at 6:10am

I agree with your opinion that developing nations have to go long before adopting completely to freedom of the Internet; however, it is still difficult to determine who should govern the extent of freedom granted to developing countries.

The developing countries have, besides less literate and immature population, non-transparent political structures of government as well as vested interests in business community. Trust deficit is common in all developing countries where social intelligentsia and media has a lot to speak against the government, and in many cases it is the fact also.

So, it is like a paradox ... Free the internet to raise the awareness of people, while freeing the Internet will have negative consequences on socio-cultural front. If the freedom is limited by some government body, it will serve the political agenda which may be against certain sections of the people!!!!!



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