Censorship is the process of controlling and limiting the information provided to the public through the mass media and other forms of communication. Historically and currently, governments of various nations have exercised control over information that is published. The rationale may be to protect the public from inappropriate material, such as pornography or other material that offends the standards of the society, or to protect the nation's security as in times of war when details of military strategies and capabilities could threaten the safety of the nation.
The democratic ideal of freedom of speech is naturally threatened by censorship. Thus, it is arguable that such censorship should be minimal if existing at all. In cases where censorship may be justified, it is always argued that it is for the good of the public (not that of the ruling government). In cases of national security, there may be justification, for a government cannot be forced to make public that which it holds in trust for its citizens, if by making that information public it endangers those citizens.
In cases where a moral or ethical standard is being enforced, as in cases of censoring pornography or obscenity, the issue arises as to whether that standard is truly for the good of all members of society. According to Unification thought, it is clear that universal values are needed, and until humankind can reach a level of awareness of what such values are, censorship will continue to be controversial.
Ultimately, however, the issue of censorship is one that implies problems in human relationships and standards of morality. If human beings were to achieve maturity, as individuals united in mind and body, they would have integrity as individuals and also the desire and ability to enter into and maintain harmonious relationships with others. Under such circumstances, censorship is not necessary, since no one would desire to publish or obtain material that would offend others, nor that which would endanger society.