Should the federal government be allowed to regulate information on the internet?

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The Internet itself is a technological innovation. A lot of new innovative products, devices, and services, affecting the main principles of the Internet, appear pretty much every day. The technological data development, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence have inner problems. No one knows what will be inventions tomorrow, and what the next generation of problems will look like. All new threats to national security, the risk of cyber wars, the appearance of cyber weapons, cyber espionage, the fight against cyber terrorism and cyber crime are dominating in discussions these years. And civil society should also take part in the discussion. And the government cannot ignore the complicated situation with the Internet development.

government regulation of the Internet

The US federal government representatives claim that the US government and business should commonly regulate the Internet policy, which gave way to the program of cooperation between the state structures and business. The US officials actually express doubts about the appropriateness of transferring additional functions to regulate the Internet to international organizations, such as the United Nations, or to the governments of different countries. The US government expressed confidence that the main regulatory mechanisms of the Internet should be based on the transparency, competition, and commercial agreements, and not on the specific laws, developed by government officials. To do this, it is necessary to create an effective regulatory system in which all interested parties, both representatives of the state, business structures, and public organizations should take part. According to the official opinion, this will contribute to the collective responsibility of the authorities, business, and public, regarding the regulation of the Internet. In 2016, the US government confirmed the transfer of the control over the functions of IANA (the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) to the international community. IANA is coordinating DNS, IP addresses, and other Internet resources. The transfer of control over IANA reflects a multilateral approach to support the main policy development, regarding the Internet.

Nowadays, we can consider that more and more governments, in the name of the security, are limiting the fundamental individual human rights to the privacy and freedom of expression. More and more countries want to re-nationalize global cyberspace and build borders around their national sector of the Internet, where they can control people, business, personal data, as well as traffic and communication content. The Internet as a whole system must be decentralized and has no central authority. The protection of human rights in the age of digital technologies is more important than ever. Never before in the history of mankind, the risk of losing personal privacy and the right to the free expression was higher.Initiatives to regulate the Internet should not come from the government, because attempts to bring order to the global web on the part of the authorities are always perceived negatively. The government regulation of the Internet, no matters are its approaches and regulatory measures, will always be perceived by society very badly. It will be understood as if the government and the authorities want to impose certain restrictions in their close interests.

should the federal government be allowed to regulate information on the internet?

According to the public opinion, the initiative to make some limitation should come from public organizations, primarily non-governmental organizations. The civilized approach needs to be applied to the Internet regulations. If it is to be done, such norms should still be initiated not by the government, but on the public movements, public organizations. The public organizations, such as The Internet Governance Forum, can function as an early warning system, a place where we can discuss both the possibilities of new technologies and their risks and threats.