As many of you know the internet Is a massive unpredictable tangle of networks that span across the globe. The internet has been around less than 60 years and yet in that time has fundamentally changed western society more than anyone could have expected. It can be a source of “good” and “bad” over half of the world’s population has access to the internet. The issue of internet regulation has come as a result of increasingly dark and obscure networks as well as the growth of terrorism and other cybercrime issues such as online grooming.
So how will this affect writing and literature as well as freedom of expression online? Well here things get a little bit tricky… internet regulation has been enforced in several different companies over the years in countries such as North Korea , China , Russia , Syria and several other states. However this “regulation” has often led to the governments of the respective companies blocking en masse educational resources, music , forums , political discussions and independent journalists blogs. As a direct result people have felt marginalised and that the government is watching them.
So why then is the West calling for stronger internet regulation? Well here comes the curve ball. Terrorist attacks have seen a significant rise across Europe over the last 5 years and social media as well as online forums have been in some cases an incubator for terrorist acts. Terrorism from both left and right wing groups across different nations has resulted in fatalities and social media companies have always been hesitant to cooperate due to lack of legislation on how content is regulated and what is deemed “suitable” What can be concluded is that when several laws were written and put into writing they did not take into account the online world that has become what it is today. As a result, authorities often fail to implement relevant laws to solve online issues.
In order for internet regulation to be effective in any way it needs to be proportionate and the public should be consulted for feedback as to what should be regulated. Blanket bans and Government monitoring of citizens should not be used as a tool for authorities to suppress civil discontentment or freedom of expression. In the United States freedom of speech is enshrined in constitutional law in order to protect the citizens of the US right to free speech.
In addition to internet regulation many IT companies across the UK and particularly IT companies in Glasgow have had to deal with an unstable market. This is as a result of several factors such as the the global recession and the UK brexit referendum. The brexit referendum is an important issue that affects internet regulation as the EU with the implementation of laws such as article 13 have been keen to introduce certain laws to regulate the internet.
So overall it can be concluded that Internet regulation is not a straightforward fix and may require a lot more thought, debate and discussion before any form of internet regulation is implemented. The potential consequences of internet regulation are huge and countries implementing it should be mindful of protests and civil unrest in the event of implementation without consultation. Here at Gatekeepers post we fully support freedom of speech and and expression but equally can fully sympathise with security and crime concerns governments may have. However we believe the way forward is ultimately discussion and debate in order to decide whether this is the way forward for European nations. If you have any thoughts on the matter please do get in touch using our contact page