The Internet offers a rare opportunity to policy-makers, regulators, NGOs and citizens, since it bears the potential for increasing wealth and improving health and education in nations that learn to use it well. At the same time, it brings with it problems, as its inherent anarchy resists regulation and planning. Because of this, success can only come in societies that engage in comprehensive discussion of the issues involved in promoting the Internet.
The Internet is clearly a significant long term strategic threat to authoritarian regimes, one that they will be unable to counter effectively. News from the outside world brought by the Internet into nations subjugated by such regimes will clash with the distorted versions provided by their governments, eroding the credibility of their positions and encouraging unrest. "Personal" contact between people living under such governments and people living in the free world, conducted via e-mail, will also help achieve a more accurate understanding on both ends and further undermine authoritarian controls.
The Internet is giving Asians a heady dose of free expression, providing a conduit for everything from racy pictures to heated political debate. In a region where controls on the press and other limits on freedom of expression are common, the global network of computer networks has become a platform for Asians to criticize their governments. Since the Internet can offer unlimited access to the rest of the world from one's own living room, it is the only means so far to get around Asian government control.
Chinese students at Tiananmen Square and the Russian democrats during the Moscow coup used computer networks to communicate with kindred spirits around the world. The Chinese and Russian autocrats knew how to censor radio, TV, and the print media; however, they could not shut down the computer networks.
The Internet by-passes censorship control and biased reporting of other media channels or authorities, including in "free" Western nations.
The Internet is very useful. But there is nothing to prevent the circulation of undisputed immoral and unethical information on the system, and nothing to prevent any user, including children, from accessing it. People will abuse the system and not everyone can be counted on to behave as responsible citizens. Therefore, (at the very least) censorship that should definitely be undertaken on the Internet is the censorship of pornography, and undisputably immoral information such as satanic literature and hate information.