If publishers comply with laws of almost 200 countries, some fear the Internet might come to reflect a combination of Muslim restrictions on discussion of religion, U.S. opposition to online gambling, and Chinese censorship of political discussion. Others argue that companies would adapt and acquire software to handle appropriate screening. Governments often claim to be protecting national culture and values when they impose controls on their citizens to maintain their own power or to benefit special interests within their country. Laws can have ignoble sources. For example, the U.S. defends its ban on offshore gambling sites with the argument that is has the right to ban morally objectionable activities. But the federal and state governments allow and tax many forms of legal gambling and profit from monopolies on their state lotteries. Consequently, our congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. It prohibits credit card and online-payment companies from processing transactions between bettors and gambling sites. Within months of passing the new law, the U.S. government arrested the founders of a British Internet payment company that processed payments for gambling sites. Search the Web for additional information on this issue and write a one pages summary addressing the following Questions: 1. From your point of view is it likely that this actually anti-competitiveness – not morality – that motivates the governments, casinos, and racetracks that oppose offshore online poker playing? 2. Does the US truly ban offshore gambling because of morality? Why or why not? 3. In terms of Social Informatics, discuss where do you stand but try to justify and substantiate your position. You may use examples or refer to known cases or individuaaqwls that are for or against this argument.
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