Let us take the issue of government-mandated, computer-controlled, censorship (or "content filtering") point by point. Computer software which filters publications based on some criteria of suitability is called censorware.

  1. Computers cannot be offended, they are merely machines that follow instructions. Therefore, it's not the censorware computer program that is doing the filtering of offensive material.
  2. If it's not the censorware that does the filtering, then it must be the proponents or designers of the censorware, that choose what to hide from you. Further, organizations of people have biases in their philosophies; it is that fact which makes people organize. What political slant or prejudices are you entrusting with a filter? Do you want that organization to control what you can and cannot see?
  3. An organization forms defensive strategies to ensure it survives. The easiest way for a censor to remain a censor is to use that power to quash the publication of criticism. What criticism are you unable to see, because you trust your censorware products?
  4. Government-mandated filtering via a commercial product leads to making the private censorware company a de facto government bureaucracy. This is akin to forming a police force, a post office, a defense contractor, or any other service provided by a local or federal government. Think of the complexity of ensuring several million, if not billions, of websites are blocked or allowed according to government-mandated standards.
  5. If a government sets the standards for what to filter, then the government must offer the same transparency, due process, oversight controls and accountability that any taxpayer demands of their government services. If an 'appropriate' website is perhaps filtered unfairly, it must be accurately and responsibly reviewed and considered and the censorship stopped. If an 'inappropriate' website is not filtered, it must also be accurately and responsibly reviewed and considered and the filtering implemented. The world wide web, just accounting for http:-served static pages alone, changes millions of pages every day.
  6. Citizens demand that their government services should be run with high standards, high efficiency, lawful and just procedures, and all this at a minimum cost. How can these be reconciled against the sheer complexity of the task at hand? If you propose 'automation,' return to the first point above.
  7. The Constitution of the United States of America
    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.