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Internet And Child Pornography Essay

1561 words - 7 pages

The Internet has become such a vast and quickly growing technology that law makers have had difficulty keeping up with the technological advances within the internet grid and the sick minds of individuals. One specific area of concern is internet safety regarding minors, especially in the area of pornography. There is a controversy that surrounds the policing of the Internet for illicit activities such as pornography that has been going on since the early 1990’s between the U.S. government and the American Civil Liberties group that claims policing the Internet would take away personal freedoms from Americans in the form of freedom of speech. This issue has even gone to the highest court in our country, the United States Supreme Court. “Leaving the Internet alone” has been the nations Internet policy since the Internet was first commercialized in the mid-1990’s. The primary government imperative then was just to get out of the way to encourage its growth (Strickland, 2012). In 1998 President Clinton signed COPA (Child Online Protection Act) into law, but it was never enforced (Information Week, Nov. 2006). The rate of pornography viewed in the United States has grown, and continues to grow in viewership to this day with few arrests being made for those distributing the sites or for those who are viewing them where minors are concerned.
In 1998, when President Clinton signed the Child Online Protection Act, or COPA, it was supposed to place restrictions on websites concerning pornography. It was supposed to require that a user submit their name and age to verify that the person viewing the material was at least 18 years of age. However, the American Civil Liberties group filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, or DoJ, saying that COPA was illegal because it violated certain freedoms of speech and privacy laws. In regards to viewing pornography and our civil liberties, “There is not yet a way to identify that somebody is an adult without identifying who they are.” “And, in this country, adults are allowed to view legal pornography without having to identify who they are.” (Information Weekly Jan. 2006). The case went to court many times, and it was finally decided that COPA was, in fact, illegal. So, since 2006, there have been very few laws made concerning websites and servers regarding the way that they verify viewership and keep underage kids from viewing pornography or from them being the object of pornography.
In an effort to protect the safety of minors from predators and protect the Global Information Grid from further destruction from corrupt porn sites, the Department of Justice asked large search engine companies for their cooperation and wanted records to the queries of their customers. Companies such as Yahoo, AOL, Bing, and Google were being asked to give information that they deemed was a violation of privacy laws for their customers who were legally viewing pornography. According to Patience Wait, who...

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