原题：No. 15 “Nations should cooperate to develop regulations that limit children’s access to adult material on the Internet.” *
*The Internet is a worldwide computer network.
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.
The issue here is whether an international effort to regulate children’s access to adult material on the Internet is worthwhile. In my view, nations should attempt to regulate such access by cooperative regulatory effort. I base this view on the universality and importance of the interest in protecting children from harm, and on the inherently pandemic nature of the problem.
Adults everywhere have a serious interest in limiting access by children to pornographic material. Pornographic material tends to confuse children—distorting their notion of sex, of themselves as sexual beings, and of how people ought to treat one another. Particularly in the case of domination and child pornography, the messages children receive from pornographic material cannot contribute in a healthy way to their emerging sexuality. Given this important interest that knows no cultural bounds, we should regulate children’s access to sexually explicit material on the Internet.
However, information on the Internet is not easily contained within national borders. Limiting access to such information is akin to preventing certain kinds of global environmental destruction. Consider the problem of ozone depletion thought to be a result of chloroflourocarbon (CFC) emissions. When the government regulated CFC production in the U.S., corporations responsible for releasing CFC’s into the atmosphere simply moved abroad, and the global threat continued. Similarly, the Internet is a global phenomenon; regulations in one country will not stop “contamination” overall. Thus, successful regulation of Internet pornography requires international cooperation, just as successful CFC regulation finally required the joint efforts of many nations.
Admittedly, any global regulatory effort faces formidable political hurdles, since cooperation and compliance on the part of all nations—even warring ones—is inherently required. Nevertheless, as in the case of nuclear disarmament or global warming, the possible consequences of failing to cooperate demand that the effort be made. And dissenters can always be coerced into compliance politically or economically by an alliance of influential nations.
In sum, people everywhere have a serious interest in the healthy sexual development of children and, therefore, in limiting children’s access to Internet pornography. Because Internet material is not easily confined within national borders, we can successfully regulate children’s access to adult materials on the Internet only by way of international cooperation.
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