1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The advent of the internet has been one of the most exciting events in the second half of the 20th century. The ancient dream of “a scholar knows all things happening in the world without venturing outdoors” has finally become a reality. Since 1993 when the internet broke into the communication world. At present, the internet has spread to more than 180 countries and regions, connecting more than 6000,000 domestic new networks of various types, hooking up more than 120 million computers available to million users [2% of the entire population] within the interest are the information treasure shared by all human civilizations.
The reason why the internet seems all-powerful is because it has two characteristics beyond the reach of other mechanisms via: The internet contains the biggest resources of information in the entire world; second, it enables people to obtain an interactive mechanism to instantly communicate with one another.
Once connected within the internet, everyone can enjoy the unparalleled richness of global information resources including but not harmful to textual, audio and graphic information.
The information on the internet is so rich that no one can tell what is really out there because, the internet information resources are constantly expanding at a great speed, one can only imagine. The types of information on the internet are also wide ranging from scientific research, education, public policy, legal regulations to commerce, arts, and entertainment, e.t.c. It provides unlimited access for those connected with the internet to reach anybody, anywhere in the world so much that the entire world has became global village.
The internet not only has an inexhaustible amount of information as vast as the ocean, but also has the interactive mechanism, net-to-net; net-to-people and people-to-people communications that makes the internet seems able to take on any task: entertainment, inter-personal exchanges, education, health and medicine, information gathering, securities and investment, trade and settlement of commercial goods, even online voting e.t.c.
All these seemed so remote and unrealistic only yesterday. The exchange and sharing of information among all people has ushered in an omnipotent status in internet application. As long as people develop certain desires, the information to satisfy such desires will quickly and continuously appear on the internet. Such information will gradually satisfy people’s desires for their materials as well as spiritual demands.
With the knowledge of economy gradually ascending to a dominant status and the gradual formation of an information society and that of the characterization of the internet as seemingly “omnipotent” may not be an overstatement. In the past four year, our country has seized the rare opportunity of developing computer networks. By the middle of “July 1998:” our country has 570,000 computer connected with the internet, with a total of 1.175 million users. In order to speed up the application of information’s technology in operations, command and communication, our military has also established computer networks, some of which are connected with the internet, making use of what was originally designed to serve the U.S military and U.S scientific research organization.
However, due to its innate transactional, decentralized, open and unregulated nature, the internet as a free, open and anarchy device has brought various countries to great risks as well as opportunities. While it provides enormous convenience that stimulates economy growth, the internet also brought negative impact that cannot be ignored.
We live in a global village where information now travels in a moment. The barriers of time and spaces have been effectively eradicated through the interplay of science and technology. New communication technology (NCTS) has ultimately revolutionized the ways of doing things. The advent of these NCTS particularly the internet or information super highway as it often called is fast changing the face of mass communication, journalism and advertisement.
The metaphor “Information super Highway” which connotes an international network of computers has been coined to describe the communication revolution characterized by speed and sophisticated with which information travel around the world through incredible-powerful new information communication technologies which enfolds the world into a global village.