In Cyber Safety, The Digital World

Internet Accountability: Responsibility on the Internet

The structure of the Internet comes as such so as to allow free range through web pages as anyone’s heart desires. For adults that does not come much of an issue since you choose what URL to go to or can block unwanted programs to your computer. For children internet accountability becomes much more complex. Unfortunately, if children click on material not appropriate for them or someone attacks them it becomes a community problem. At the same time restricting the Internet does not come as an ideal solution either. “Freedom of speech” is a guaranteed right in many countries.

Net Responsibility

Be aware many entities exist that guard different portions of the net and have internet accountability with corporations, countries, and individuals. Each country decides on how wide the gateway of information becomes in their domains. The government or appointed entity can decide which pages to let in and which not. China is known for limiting access to many portions of the net as well as several other Asian countries with a select few in Africa. It seems to go hand in hand that pervasive Internet censorship correlates with regular abuses of human rights. Most countries ban hard core pornography, abuse pictures unless news related, libel, slander, bullying tactics, and false advertising.

Consortiums

Tim Berners-Lee the inventor of the web is also the director of W3C. W3C stands for World Wide Consortium. It is an organization that sets the principles for the use of the web. The goal for the web has always been to enable human communication, create commerce, increase knowledge and offer opportunities for ALL people. Even if a country or entity bans a section the truth is with a little knowledge it can become bypassed. It is purposely infrastructure that way. Rich interaction, credibility, and building trust is an underlying value. Many groups help with this mission including leading universities, and corporations. Protocols and processes are adjusted to maintain communication and most all make provisions for keeping children safe.

Engineers

The webpages most people use are only a small part of the Internet. Governments, military, and scientists of all sorts use the Internet so it has become vital to national economies, for military communications and for furthering research. Engineers are charged by an ethics codes along with numerous standards which are different for each town, state, country and region for applying such. When implementing they do things by consensus of the experts within a range or tolerance to fit the intended need of the function or the standard. If those items are not there they create it. Their job is not directly to protect children but to make the Internet work its best and put in systems of redundancy so it does not fail in a natural disaster. If bullying is chronic in a community contact telecommunications engineers and see if the vendors can create a blocking system.

Exploring the Options

All involved understand that when children use the Internet that precautions must become put in place. Much information on the Internet is for adults even if it is not porn. Much information on the Internet has distinct opinions that children who do not know how to discern information would take for gospel truth without thinking so that is where it begins.

Parents

Parents have to take full responsibility for teaching children how to discern information on the Internet. Teaching your child to back out of information that is an attack is parental responsibility. Teaching children to analyze information read as truthful also is needed.

Internet Browser and Your Provider

Internet browsers and the provider you hire for your Internet service has tools for parents to use to block any sites or individuals attacking. You can partition accounts for each child in your home. Each program or the whole system itself can be set up to block unwanted communications. Many pieces of software exist that also will manage communications your child receives. Because of the values set forth by consortiums and educational institutions as well as constitutions the freedom of information entering your personal home is up to the adults. The United States government even provides additional support because of our level of freedom with numerous laws for protecting children and support sites. The United States Government offers a site for kids as well that teaches what to do when bullied called Get Net Wise.

Portal

If bullying is a community problem, it can make their own cloud or hub. What a cloud or hub is on the net is a separate bubble with a gateway in cyberspace that only lets certain persons or information in. Facebook, Yahoo, and many others are separate hubs. You sign up for an account and the hub contains only the information the web master chooses to let the participants have access to. You can make a hub that is entirely kid oriented and many exist in cyber space now. There is no complete isolation since always in the underlying architecture a person with knowledge can enter as needed. It makes it highly improbable for the perpetrator to continue on unseen.

Reporting

Anytime someone puts limits on something or not enough limits there will be abuse. It is a balancing ac with internet accountability. Many numbers exist to report abuse or report sites not appropriate for the intended web page activities. Report it. The entities take a look and then do a review. Enough complaints about certain activities new protocols, provisions, and processes are installed for that portion of a community.

Sources: http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2009/jun/30/internet-freedom-of-information http://kids.getnetwise.org/

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