Friday, August 7, 2009

Internet Security - To Regulate Or Not

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There has been talk about whether or not the Internet should be regulated but when you come to think of it, doing it somehow defeats the purpose of the whole technology. We're here for a lot of reasons - to research, listen to music, share images, make friends, etc. The point is for users to be able to explore the web and themselves on how far they could go in pursuit of their goals. Naturally, one's goals are one's responsibility and if anybody or anything were to regulate the Internet, that would be tantamount to imposing upon the users on what ends to follow using the technology. Basically, it would be like negating the whole idea of the world wide web and to do that would be a mockery of the people who birthed it from concept to execution.

Regulating the Internet could also turn out to be counterproductive and may bring about many possibilities, dangers for the most part. The people who would be capable of regulating a worldwide network of computers will be the same people who could bring this technology and its users to their knees. The people who would know how to keep a tab on everything happening online are the same people who could abuse whatever information will be inevitably exposed to them in the process. Banking usernames and passwords, , social security numbers and other sensitive information that could lead to all sorts of crimes such as identity theft will be all over the place. Just how assured could we really be that these watchdogs aren't biting anyone but us?

Besides, anyone who will do something illegal will do something illegal regardless of the presence or absence of a regulating body. If live criminals are able to escape live police and security personnel in the physical world, a virtual setting will not make it harder. On the other hand, online safety of children is more of a moral issue that is the responsibility of parents or elders. Bottomline, there can be no way of regulating the Internet without significantly crippling the hopes, the ideals and inspirations that led the creators of the technology to persevere until they became successful with their efforts to give us this innovation that we know and benefit from today.

For now, security from online threats is a matter of personal decision. There are available tools that enable a user to be protected as long as they are used properly. Antivirus software, antispyware, antimalware, firewalls and all sorts of protective devices are available for anyone seeking refuge from the challenging elements of the web. Each one will work with a specific function and role and they will all work together to serve as a cloak.

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