The Communications Decency Act Essay

1621 words - 6 pages

The U.S. Government should not attempt to place restrictions on the internet. The Internetdoes not belong to the United States and it is not our responsibility to save the world, so whyare we attempting to regulate something that belongs to the world? TheTelecommunications Reform Act has done exactly that, put regulations on the Internet.Edward Cavazos quotes William Gibson says, 'As described in Neuromancer, Cyberspacewas a consensual hallucination that felt and looked like a physical space but actually was acomputer-generated construct representing abstract data.' (1) When Gibson coined thatphrase he had no idea that it would become the household word that it is today. 'Cyberspacenow represents a vast array of computer systems accessible from remote physical locations.'(Cavazos 2)The Internet has grown explosively over the last few years. 'The Internet's growth since itsbeginnings in 1981. At that time, the number of host systems was 213 machines. At thetime of this writing, twelve years later, the number has jumped to 1,313,000 systemsconnecting directly to the Internet.' (Cavazos 10)'Privacy plays a unique role in American law.' (Cavazos 13) Privacy is not explicitlyprovided for in the Constitution, yet most of the Internet users remain anonymous. Cavazossays, 'Computers and digital communication technologies present a serious challenge tolegislators and judges who try to meet the demands of economic and social change whileprotecting this most basic and fundamental personal freedom.' Networks and the Internetmake it easy for anyone with the proper equipment to look at information based around theworld instantly and remain anonymous. 'The right to conduct at least some forms of speechactivity anonymously has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.' (Cavazos 15) Incyberspace it is extremely uncommon for someone to use their given name to conductthemselves, but rather they use pseudonyms or 'Handles'. (Cavazos 14) Not only is it notillegal to use handles on most systems, but the sysop (System Operator) does not have toallow anyone access to his data files on who is the person behind the handle. Some sysopsmake the information public, or give the option to the user, or don't collect the information atall.The Internet brings forth many new concerns regarding crime and computers. With movieslike Wargames, and more recently Hackers, becoming popular, computer crime is beingblown out of proportion. 'The word Hacker conjures up a vivid image in the popularmedia.' (Cavazos 105) There are many types of computer crime that fall under the umbrellaof 'Hacking'. Cavazos says, 'In 1986 Congress passed a comprehensive federal lawoutlawing many of the activities commonly referred to as 'hacking.'' (107) Breaking into acomputer system without the proper access being given, traditional hacking, is illegal;hacking to obtain financial information is illegal; hacking into any department or agency ofthe United States is illegal; and passing passwords out with the...

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