Business - Written by Komail Mithani on Thursday, June 26, 2008 9:43 - 9 Comments
Should the Government Regulate the Internet?
A survey published by the Rasmussen Reports, “an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information,” found that 49% of Americans believe that the federal government should regulate the Internet the same way as radio and television.
This was in response to a Missouri woman pleading “not guilty to charges in an Internet hoax blamed for a 13-year-old girl’s suicide.” Lori Drew, a 49-year old mother, allegedly created a fake Myspace account “to send cruel messages to a 13-year-old neighbor Megan Meier, a friend of Drew’s daughter, including one stating the world would be better off without her.” Meier committed suicide after these messages were received. You can read about the incident here.
With huge talks about Internet piracy it seems that Internet harassment is an issue we haven’t discussed. According to the survey, 73% of Americas believe that it is a crime to harass someone over the Internet. So what will the impact of this trial lead. I believe their will be substantial consequences to this trial because:
1) This is the first federal charge involving the well-known social networking website, Myspace.com, and
2) The decision of this trial will push law makers to address the issue of Internet harassment on not just a local level, but a national one
Now, I know that this is my second post about security (my first one covered internet infrastructure in Estonia but I believe it should be spread across the blogosphere. How can a parent sink so low to use a social networking site teens use to express themselves to emotionally hurt one of her daughter’s friends? If Ms. Drew is convicted it will be interesting to see what implications this decision will have. I will keep a close eye on this trial to see the final verdict. This just shows the Web 2.0 has evolved parenting. It appears that cyber-bullying is starting to get more attention and will soon raise concerns among parents.
So do you think the government should step up and pass policies to stop Internet harassment and cyber-bullying? How should social networking websites such as Myspace and Facebook address this issue?
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