As the Nationalist leadership elections get closer and closer, questions concerning some hard topics begin to be brought up. So we thought we would ask each of the candidates a question regarding a topic we hear about very frequently within the tech-industry: Online Censorship.
“Do you believe in Internet censorship or do you believe that everyone should have freedom of speech on the internet? “
- Dr. Frank Portelli
“I accept that the Internet is a wonderful tool to spread human knowledge.
Most of us use the first layer, the superficial layer. There are 2 other layers which are the deep layer and the dark layer; these are only accessible through special programs and for criminal purposes such as selling guns, child pornography and terrorism. So we have a responsibility in the use and in monitoring the Internet”.
- Dr. Adrian Delia
Freedom of speech is not up to one’s opinion or belief; it is a fundamental human right recognised and protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Of course I am in favour of freedom of speech, not only on the internet, but also on any other medium at our disposal.
We must always keep in mind however that the exercise of the right to freely express one’s self carries special duties and responsibilities towards others. The author must always ensure that whatever he or she has written does not in any way harm any other individual. This means that the author needs to ascertain that whatever he or she is writing is truthful, factually correct and can in no way incite hatred, prejudice or discrimination towards others.
Censorship, on the other hand, can mean several things at once. It could mean that certain material is prohibited from being published at all (cases such as child pornography, etc). However, censorship could also refer to the regulation of material publication and whether certain material should be accessible only to a restricted audience. This kind of censorship is considered acceptable even in the western world. Other forms of censorship, such as the Chinese Government’s outright prohibition of numerous internet websites, are definitely not acceptable in any democratic country.
One’s freedom of expression should only be limited when that right could have negative consequences on other individuals and/or society at large. Therefore any decision to curtail one’s right to freely express him or herself must always be taken in view of the common good.
- Dr. Chris Said
“Freedom of speech is a freedom I cherish in every medium and with every means. Yet, I also believe that one should be responsible for what is said or written, irrespective of the medium used.”
- Dr. Alex Perici Calascione
“I am a firm believer in freedom of speech whether on the internet or in any other context. Naturally the internet, as also any other context, should not be immune from the principle that we are all, whether legally or otherwise, responsible for the consequences of what we say or do. Open access to internet also raises the added consideration that certain sites be duly marked with the appropriate warning on certain content”.
Ultimately, we appreciate all the responses we have received from the candidates and wish them the best of luck in contesting for PN leadership.