Saturday, September 18

Procrastination!

My *shudder* paper so far. bleh

Honors English II – I
September 30th, 2004

The Internet and Our Rights:
A Look into the Regulation of the Internet

Contrary to the popular belief that the Internet is a modern, fresh idea, the earliest form of the Internet appeared in 1969 in a computer network called ARPAnet. ARPAnet was a network connecting 4 major colleges in the California area. With the sponsorship of the United States government, UCLA, UC Santa Barbra, the University of Utah, and the Stanford Research Institute established the first computer network. Networking, though, was not a new idea. One early network everyone is familiar with is the telephone system.
The Internet differs from telephones in that the Internet is a “packet switching” network. A packet switching network is one that gathers information into groups called packets. Telephones use strings of data to send information between parties. And while the telephone once limited calls to only two parties, packets enable the Internet to connect to several different hosts.
There is a mysterious aura surrounding the Internet, but in fact, its structure is quite simple. Internet Service Providers, or ISPs, connect you to this network over the phone lines or satellite links, and from there you are free to visit websites. These websites are, to put it simply, files saved on the host’s computers. In these files are images, text, and hyperlinks leading to other files on other computers or on the same computer. These files have many different forms and uses. Some of the most common uses of this vast network of networks are gathering, sharing, and publishing information, selling and purchasing wares, playing games and other entertainments, and chatting.


The Internet is known for its innumerable sites containing eye catching flash graphics, funny jokes, goofy games, and any other of a million fun things found on the Internet. Games are a common form of Internet entertainment. These games can be found at such sites as www.freearcade.com and www.candystand.com. There, small, arcade style games are embedded into the web page. Playing these games runs the risk of receiving viruses and other harmful scripts hidden in their code, but they are easily stopped by the browser’s security settings. When users go to sites they know might contain harmful scripts it’s up to them to protect themselves from malicious scripts.
By having an up to date anti-viral software and strong personal firewall, users will be able to stop most harmful programs. One example of how the government has helped users safeguard their computer against viruses hidden in web pages was when the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team suggested that users using Internet Explorer (the most popular browser) disable ActiveX and use a different web browser. ActiveX is a HTML rendering machine that is easily manipulated into running harmful scripts. Of course, cracking and hacking are illegal, and that’s the way it should be. That doesn’t mean the government has the authority to impose other forms of regulation on the entertainment industry of the Internet. The user must recognize and accept the risk of visiting these types of sites. It is up to the users to educate themselves and to protect themselves from malicious crackers when they browse the Internet for their own entertainment.
One of the most controversial topics of the Internet is the thriving pornography industry. With as few as 4 clicks a child can access pornography on the net



Very, very choppy. I'm not in a writing mood, but write I must ;.;
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