The Internet is a household word in the West and is responsible for the wide dissemination of information all over the world. It is perhaps the greatest invention of the 20th century and gives great power to its users; with great power comes great responsibility, especially for youths.
The Internet is a new medium for distributing information. It has its own culture, its own way of communicating, no law enforcement, no national boundaries as well as free access to every kind of information known to mankind. Its potential for good and evil is mind-boggling with the possibility of every household being connected. After the September 11th attacks on the United States, it was rumored that Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda organization used the Internet to covertly exchange messages to prepare for the attacks [Kelley, Jack. Terror groups hide behind Web encryption. USA today. 2001.05.20. Available on life. http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/2001-02-05-binladen.htm].
But the Internet has so far mainly served as a very valuable tool to bring mankind closer together and to remove some of the barriers inherent in the “real” world (such as expensive textbooks and far distances to travel to see someone). It has had a great impact on those countries that have adopted its use and provides some kind of measure of the gap between First World and Third World countries. But what exactly is the Internet? And what are some of its uses? And what are its impacts to the society especially youth?
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Many computer literate children and youth access the Internet daily for both educational and recreational purposes. While the Internet provides a wealth of positive information, there has been increased awareness of its potential dangers, especially to young people. To address concerns surrounding Internet safety, in 1999 the Internet Safety Group of New Zealand was established. The Internet Safety Group is comprised of a number of Community groups and...
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