Given the scenario where in the year 2020, the information highway is under total control of the U.S. Government. It is mandatory to filter the information that can be accessed on public libraries. The issue of having the limited access to such information can be very controversial. This can imply other issues that concern the seclusion of information.
This is unethical for the following arguments.
The suppression of the free access via internet is an act of depriving the freedom of expression is considered this to be unethical and a violation of right. One of our basic rights of expressing our thoughts is protected by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights, which is Freedom of speech.
Speech, as in the text implies, pertains to the visual, verbal, non-verbal and symbolic representation of one’s expression (Kilman, 2000). Whenever an issue is raised to be concerning this right, it is subjected to the Court whether it violated the First Amendment. Courts make exceptions to speech which causes substantial harm to the public.
If the government has a full control on what can be available on public, then some expression of people can be filtered out. Whenever there is an article or discussion of sensitive issues in the internet, the government has the power to hide this information. The government has a control on what they want to show the people and eliminate important facts that can destroy their reputation.
In contrary, the issue of government regulatory on libraries can be ethically correct.
The improper use and abuse in the use of internet is main issue why the government wants to implement this policy. Some internet users do not cite their reference which violates the original author’s copyright. The idea of the author is exploited and is not credited. Under the United States copyright law, the authors and inventors have the exclusive right for their respective writings or discoveries (RA 1476, 1976). This protects them from the illegal use of their property.
Also, to some abusers, it became a medium of violence and sexual exploitation like pornography. There are now several websites that are open to the public which can be very dangerous when exposed to young minds. With the help of implementing filter of accessibility on public libraries as mandatory, the government intends to resolve this issue.
This mandatory to Libraries will have positive and negative effects to libraries and patrons.
For libraries, strict implementation will be the challenge to them. They should familiar on the new system that the government wants.
Patrons will only have limited resource. Although their research will still be adequate, it is a fact that there are things that are not shown to them.
On the positive side, parents of young patrons can assure that their children are safe from the exposure of adult materials.
To mediate this issue, an effective new way of implementing strict policies on libraries with the use of library computers can help. Appropriate policies set by the libraries must be observed. It is the role of a Library to provide materials of information but visitors must always follow the Library’s policies. The library supposed to take responsibility for the information provided on its web site (Shih, 2004). There should always be balance between rights and responsibility. Library computers are open to the public for those who are in need of resources and must be responsible users. We are all given the right to express ourselves freely but not forgetting the message that underlie it. No right can be violated if one is always responsible in his actions.
Kilman, J. C., G. (2000). The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and
(1976). Republic Act No. 1476 .94 th Congress. 2nd Session.
Shih, Susan. Policy for Public Use of the Internet. 2004
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