[November 22, 1997]

Dear Sir,

I am happy that some attention is being paid to the unnecessary censorship of the Internet.

The Internet came on line in Guyana just about the same time that GT&T was being hauled over the coals because of their involvement with "Audio text". Therefore, persons who did not understand what the Internet was all about, decided to regulate our surfing.

Now that the self protectors of our morals have had an opportunity to surf the net they should realize that pornography is not a major attraction on or to the Internet. I might point out that more families in this country own Video Recorder Machines and it is a lot easier to rent XXX rated movies than trying to find still photos on the World Wide Web.

The proxy is time wasting and frustrating because on many occasions the wall comes up on locations that have nothing to do with sex. You must now apply for permission to access that non-sex site.

How would you like to seek permission from the Government every time that you wanted to visit the library or cinema? How many schools in Guyana have computers? How many of them have extra telephone lines to hookup those computers to the Internet? I am sure that the teachers monitor the use of computers in school. The Government has no right to monitor or to decide what information I must access on the World Wide Web in the confines of my home.

I might choose to monitor my children's activity on the net but that is the choice of every family.

Yours faithfully
Joseph A. Lyken
Managing Director
Newburg Funeral Parlour Inc.

Dear Sir,

Allow me to express support for the views and action taken by the Minister of Information regarding blocking access to certain parts of the Internet (letter in SN Nov. 19th). Already, with the access that we do have, there is so much that any right-thinking person will abhor when it comes to using the Net.

In Guyana we have shown that we need to be protected from many things because of our proven inability to exert control over ourselves. We are like children who look with wonder, awe and instant delight at anything even remotely connected with what we view as that great outside world. We adopt its styles of dress, recreation, language, even trade our values for theirs with great joy and a feeling of accomplishment.

The Internet is useful when it is used as a means of communication or as a source of beneficial information. Who will benefit from easy access to pornography? Who will gain from access to information regarding the manufacture of illegal deadly weapons? Maybe some have already given up the desire to forge a strongly moral and upright society here in Guyana, but to claim to speak for the majority is nonsense.

Why do we need to train our police, Customs and Security personnel to enforce the OAS decision to end the manufacture and trade of illicit weapons when we also want to have that information available to all and sundry? Why do we support anti-teenage pregnancy campaigns when we want to allow any of our children who have access to a PC to download pornographic material -at our expense? We can't go on being irresponsible forever. Good for you, schoolmasters!.

Yours faithfully
(Name and address provided)