Playing the Devil’s Advocate: Internet Regulation

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“Cynically but accurately put, Americans oppose public intervention or regulation if it helps others, but favor it if it helps them - take social security, disaster relief, public works projects, for example” (Meacham). There is much controversy over the issue of internet regulation by the government. Government regulation would allow the government to shut down website domains that either infringe upon intellectual property laws or endanger the United States national security. Internet regulation protects the intellectual property rights of recording, cinema, and entertainment businesses and also ensures a country’s national security. On the other hand, there are those who oppose internet regulation claiming that laws regulating the internet infringe their Fourth Amendment rights. The government regulation ultimately provides benefits for the common good of the people that outweigh the individual rights that it may infringe upon. Therefore government regulation and monitoring of the internet usage of American citizens is necessary to implement because internet regulation protects intellectual property and free market rights, increases the safety of citizens on the web, and ensures the effectiveness of national security. There is an inherent need for internet legislation by the government in order to protect the intellectual property and free market rights of artists, innovators, and corporations. Jonathan Lamy, the Senior Vice President of Communication of the RIAA, spoke out about the association’s support for SOPA and PIPA in response to the acts’ criticism from such websites as Wikipedia, clarifying that the RIAA supports online freedom, but believes it does not justify their 15% loss in revenue due to piracy (Horowitz). This demonstrates how associations that protect intellectual property rights are criticized for their support for internet regulation acts by certain websites, showing the tension between the common good of corporations and the individual...
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