Censorship in the 21st Century
Censorship, as defined by the Meriam-Webster dictionary is the act of censoring, which means “to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable; to suppress or delete as objectionable”. In it's most basic form, the idea and purpose of censorship is acceptable and in some cases desired. For instance, radio & public television censor nudity & foul language that is deemed offensive, teaching materials in schools are censored to deter things that would have an adverse affect on the students, and the government censors what information the news and media release to the public. Though the original idea of censorship rests in the right place, the regulations for those who dictate it and how it is executed leaves many loopholes governing their power and room for interpretation.
Reporters repeatedly go above and beyond the duties required of them while investigating government activities. People have a right to know what their elected officials are doing with tax revenue and how their activities may affect them. They educate people on things that they may never have learned of otherwise.
The South Africa Secrecy Act was designed to prohibit them from doing just that, and even imprison anyone for up to 25 years if they are found to be willfully in possession of information on elected officials and government activities that may be damaging or potentially incriminating if released. This creates a potential breeding ground of crime and corruption. They would no longer be held accountable by the public for their indiscretions, allowing them to hide, control and lie to us. Many individuals, groups and organizations protested and still are fighting against Acts like this worldwide.
Created in 2007, the mission of Avaaz.org was to “organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want”. Proudly displayed on the front page is a statement declaring “Avaaz is a global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere.” Rallying together to campaign for reform and to make a change in instances where only a few alone could not they create power with numbers. They are entirely funded by members who decide together the site's priorities by using results from weekly polls of campaign ideas. Sadly, Congress will attempt to pass a bill forcing internet service providers to block sites like this as well others such as youtube and wikileaks when they vote yes for the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act. Not willing to sit back and allow their rights and mission to be striped away, they immediately jumped into action.
Save The Internet campaign was created by Avaaz.org to bring together individuals who all were unanimously against the law that would allow Congress to censor the internet. This would not just affect those living within the United States. Practically every country world wide would be affected since the actual “physical” hosts and hardware harboring their websites were located within the United States. You too can take part and join them in their rally against unfair censorship by visiting http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet_us/
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