Society relies upon a system of governing in order to maintain control and peace. Notably, this is something the internet lacks and instead relies upon physical governing. Needless to say, this creates problems where physical legislation simply doesn’t apply to virtual issues. (Superinjunctions anyone?)
So it’s all good and well saying that users of the internet need to be held to account regardless of anonymity, but who actually wants to be regulated on a network that is designed to promote freedom of speech? The foundations of the internet were of course based upon ‘net neutrality’ and the theory that everything online is equal and cannot be owned (YEAH RIGHT MURDOCH!), and is hypothetically collectively owned. Clearly, this no longer applies thanks to the like of News Corp whom formally own MySpace, Times Online, the Sun, and the Washington Post, not to mention Fox; all with their own independent websites. Now, that’s fine that they own these various groups, just as long as they’re controlled effectively. Last week for instance Fox’s Twitter was hacked resulting in the ‘R.I.P Barack Obama’ tweet, with no one being held to blame. If someone had hijacked CBS’s studios and said the same thing, you can bet the CIA would be round in 10 (Kettle on in 15). Just yesterday, Skype and Facebook announced a joint video chat venture which saw instantaneous sharing of information between the two companies at YOUR expense. In reality, this is totally illegal, under no circumstance could the likes of Microsoft sell your data to Intel if the two started manufacturing Windows PC’s together, without your consent.
But, who would implement internet law, when the internet is controlled by said groups? Government. Well, at least partially the government. Now I say partially, as the government has close ties to the likes of media moguls like Murdoch. In fact, the first person British PM Cameron met with upon becoming Prime Minister was Murdoch. Suspicious? Not really, it’s always going to be an elitist system. Importantly, when I say government; I mean the likes of world governing bodies such as the UN or EU (UN is more favourable). It would be relatively easy to enter it into the Declaration of Human Rights, considering that May saw the introduction of internet access as a Human right.
Okay, so we’ve established why and who, but how? How’s the most tricky based purely upon the anonymous nature of the internet, which in turn means that the likes of average Joe can pretend to be Paris Hilton on Twitter, claiming that they’ve been killed in a car crash with 50 Cent. There effectively needs to be 1 main category to protect users online, importantly the removal of identity protection. As the internet continues to become an everyday part of society, surely the veil should be removed? Yes. Usage of actual names, in a similar fashion to Facebook; not for instance Drop Dead Darcy on Xbox LIVE (Yes, that is my tag). Now, the reason I put the anonymity issue as number 1 is purely because it’s the foundation of everything. For instance, anonymity results in the protection of individual users from online persecution. Because people can hide their identities, they have an ability to free roam, which results in piracy, paedophilia and other illegal actions.
Now, you might be wondering why I’ve only included this almighty one pillar of law, when the likes of say the US Constitution has 27 separate pillars, so to speak. The internet was never meant to be governed; Bill Gates once said had they known about the security threat the internet poses, they would never have promoted it in the way they did. As such, I don’t think it’s moral to place limitations on the internet based upon this. It’s a infinite index of everything, and to an extent should not be aggressively policed, unless you’re China. That being said, there of course is a huge concern in terms of online grooming, and general illegal activities, which can easily be thwarted if the removal of avatars was introduced.
After all, you don’t visit Whetherspoons, booking a table under the name OrkRaid99; do you?