Communications Decency Act, The Fight For Freedom Of Speech On The Internet

1625 words - 7 pages

The Communication Decency Act is a bill which has insulted our right as Americancitizens. It's a bill which SHOULD not pass. I'll share with you how Internet users arereacting to this bill, and why they say it is unconstitutional.Some individuals disagree with one part of the bill. According tohttp://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ query/z?c104:s.652.enr:, which has the CommunicationsDecency Act on-line for public viewing,: 'Whoever uses an Internet service to send to aperson or persons under 18 years of age......any comment, request, suggestion, proposal,image,........or anything offensive as measured by contemporary community standards,sexual or excretory activities or organs.....shall be fined $250,000 if the person(s) is/areunder 18....... imprisoned not more than two years.......or both.'The wording of that section seems sensible. However, if this one little paragraph isapproved, many sites such as the: Venus de Milo site located at:http://www.paris.org/Musees/Louvre/Treasures/gifs/venusdemilo.gif; the Sistine Chapelat: http://www.oir.ucf.edu/wm/paint/auth/michelangelo/michelangelo.creation andMichelangelo's David @ http://fileroom.aaup.uic.edu/FileRoom/images/image201.gifcould not be accessed and used by anybody under the age of 18. These works of art andmany other museum pictures would not be available. The bill says these sites showindecent pictures.The next part of the CDA has everybody in a big legal fit. We, concerned Internetusers, took the writers of this bill to court, and we won.This part of the bill states: 'Whoever....makes, creates, or solicits...........anycomment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communicationwhich is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent.......with intent to annoy, abuse,threaten, or harass another person......by means of an Internet page..........shall be fined$250,000 under title 18......imprisoned not more than two years....or both......'The writer of that paragraph of the bill forgot something. It violates theconstitution. The First Amendment states: 'Congress shall make no law....prohibiting orabridging the freedom of speech......the right of the people peaceably to assemble.....and topetition the Government..............'This bill does exactly that. It says we cannot express our feelings cleanly. Iunderstand that what may be of interest to me, may be offensive to others. Many peopleput up warning signs on their websites stating, 'This site may contain offensive material.If you are easily offended you may not want to come here.' If the writers of this billwould have listed that as a requirement there would have been no trouble.Here is the way I look at it. I think that some things should be censored on theInternet. Child pornography, for instance, is already illegal, so it follows that it should alsobe illegal on the Internet. Besides, psychologically, it damages the children involved.Something else that should be banned from the Internet are 'hacker' programsmeant to harm other Internet...

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