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Internet Censorship Essay

1834 words - 7 pages

Internet CensorshipInternet CensorshipInternet CensorshipBrandon HeberlingComposition 2Internet Censorship Means No Freedom of Speech. On February 8, 1996, President Clinton signed the Exon Bill, part of the Communications Decency Act; a bill which makes the possibility to allow the government to censor the Internet, by any means it deems necessary. Under the CDA the "seven dirty words", as well as anything the government considers sexually explicit or "indecent", will be banned from the Internet. The CDA, however, will not be enforceable until all appeals made against it by organizations such as the Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition (CIEC), and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), are resolved. Comment by Jill: This is a great 1st sentence. Catches the eyeThe Internet is a worldwide medium for communication and the transfer of information. Restrictions such as censorship should not be placed upon the Internet. Instead of censorship and regulation by the government, we as users of the Internet should be able to practice self-regulation. Censorship of the Internet violates the First Amendment of the Constitution, and thus robs us of our right to freedom of speech. Since cyberspace is a fairly new concept, any restrictions placed on the Internet by the CDA will determine the degree of freedom we enjoy on the Internet in future years. Enforcement of the CDA will rob us of a valuable source of information on subjects ranging from abortion and AIDS to birth control.Despite the restrictions imposed by the CDA (Communications Decency Act), and the restrictions it places our First Amendment rights, many still support it, feeling that the Internet should be censored so that minors are not exposed to indecent, obscene, or pornographic materials when using it. Everyone should be made aware of the fact that there are currently several systems available, such as lockout programs, and several more being developed, such as Web site rating systems, which allow parents to screen and regulate what their child sees, according to their own standards, without government interference.Others support the CDA maintaining that the Internet needs to be censored so that pedophiles will not have access to and prey upon our children through the Internet. However, these people should understand that pedophiles are everywhere, and they habitually insert themselves into the most wholesome of situations (schools and churches, for example), gaining the trust of children. Lisa Schmeiser says, "There are undoubtedly a small percentage of people on the Internet who are predatory pedophiles. These people will not get better and they will use every chance they have to get access to kids". Today children need to be educated by their parents about sexual abuse, and how to avoid it; this should include content the Internet. Children need to know where not to go, and parents should screen their activities on the Internet, just as they would in any other aspect of the...

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