“The Net enables lives that were previously impossible, or inconvenient, or uncommon.”
According to Lessig (2006, p.18), cyberspace is a unique space distinct from physical reality. It is an inherently uncontrollable and decentralised free space where individuals can escape the constraints of real space sovereigns (Lessig 2006, p.18).
Paedophiles now see chat rooms as a safer way than a playground to approach kids. Minors can gain easy access to materials with explicit sexual content. In cyberspace, the barriers that exist in the physical world are eradicated.
Government regulation is, thus, paramount to protect ourselves from the vulnerabilities that persist. Yet regulation is also a threat to our anonymity, free speech, privacy and individual autonomy – the fundamental liberties that we cherish in real-life. Perhaps, then, just as people living in the 19th century had to sacrifice accuracy for speed with the arrival of the electrical telegraph, experiencing ‘life’ in cyberspace may require forgoing the pleasures of freedom for the ultimate security of safety.
Check out my Prezi infographic on online child predators here!
Lessig, L 2006, ‘Four puzzles from cyber space’, in L. Lessig (ed.), Code 2.0, Basic Books, New York p.9-28.