Social Issues, Legal
 Issues & Security

       Internet Today!





The Internet and the World Wide Web have grown rapidly from a research project into something that involves millions of people worldwide. Much of the Internet's usefulness comes from the fact that it is shared by users, service providers, and others, in the sense that each depends on the other and needs to support the other. Hopefully, that sort of sharing and respect will continue. Your behavior, your expectations for others, and your activities will make the difference.

  • "It is important to realize that the Web is what we make it. 'We' being the people who read, the people who teach children how to surf the Web, the people who put information up on the Web. Particularly the people who make links.... The Web doesn't force anything down your throat. If you are worried that your children are going to read low-quality information, teach them. Teach them what to read. Teach them how to judge information." Tim Berners-Lee.  "Molding the Web" Scientific American Dec 97.

  • "The Internet is for everyone, - but it won't be if Governments restrict access to it, so we must dedicate ourselves to keeping the network unrestricted, unfettered and unregulated. The Internet is for everyone - but it won't be if its users cannot protect their privacy and the confidentiality of transactions conducted on the network." - excerpts from "The Internet is for Everyone" given by Vint Cerf at Computers, Freedom, and Privacy on April 7, 1999.

Civil Liberties
Sexually-Explicit Material and Pornography

There are a number of programs that can be installed on a computer to restrict the material that can be accessed on the World Wide Web. The programs work with lists of Web and ways of describing the content of Web pages to filter material. One source of information about these programs and related topics is PEDINFO Parental Control of Internet Access.

The culture of the Internet has fostered personal rights and liberties, so some argue it's content ought not be restricted or censored. There are laws banning or restricting pornography; some countries have more stringent laws than others and some laws restrict the distribution of the material.

For more material on these topics see


The right to copy or duplicate materials can be granted only by the owners of the information. This is called the copyright.

Many documents on the Internet contain a statement that asserts the document is copyrighted and gives permission for distributing the document in an electronic form, provided it isn't sold or made part of some commercial venture. Even items that don't contain these statements are protected by the copyright laws of the United States, the Universal Copyright Convention, or the Berne Union.

Most of the copyright conventions or statutes include a provision so that individuals may make copies of portions of a document for short-term use. That certainly doesn't mean you can copy images or documents and make them available on the Internet, or make copies and share them in a printed form with others. Quite naturally, many of the folks who create or work at providing material available on the Internet, expect to get credit and be paid for their work.

Some links to information about copyright and intellectual property:

Computer Security & Virus Information
Other Links of Interest

Introduction to the Internet
& the Web
Using a Browser Email Finding Information
Glossary HTML Telnet & FTP Issues Search Strategies
This material has been prepared to accompany the book "Internet Today: Email, Searching & the World Wide Web" ISBN 1-887902-43-0, by Ernest Ackermann and Karen Hartman, and published by Franklin, Beedle and Associates, Incorporated, Wilsonville OR, ©1999. No part of this may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transcribed without permission of the publisher. Feel free to browse this Web site. Please write to Ernie or Karen to let us know if you make a link to this site.

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FROM the fortune list ...

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion - Edmund Burke

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