In the essay, I outline why I believe that the Internet should not be censored in any way for two reasons. First, any law advocating censorship of the Internet is too broad and unenforceable on this global information medium. Second, Internet censorship is a breach of First Amendment rights for those users residing in the United States. The essay will provide insight into why self regulation is the only viable solution to the problems that have and will be presented to the Internet. Should it be illegal to publish literature with "indecent" content on the Internet but perfectly legal to publish that same work in print?
The truth is, however, that computerized networks like the Internet are in desperate need of regulations. People can say, do, or create anything they wish, and as America has proved in the past, this type of situation just doesn't work. Though governments cannot physically regulate the Internet, cyberspace needs regulations to prevent illegal activity, the destruction of morals, and child access to pornography. First, censoring the online community would ease the tension on the computer software industry. Since the creation of the first computer networks, people have been exchanging data back and forth, but eventually people stopped transferring text, and started sending binaries, otherwise known as computer programs.
The people and not the government should have the right to choose on what to view on the internet. Consequently, control of the internet by a government often leads to invasion of privacy of internet users. Can the government read your emails? Apparently it can. Most governments monitor the emails of unsuspecting users with... ... middle of paper ... ...ood reason to censor the internet, but there are simpler ways to solve this problem without involvement of the government.
Censorship can be delegated by not only the government, but also private organizations both by their own discretion and at the request of government. The question is whether or not censorship, specifically internet censorship is a violation of the First Amendment. The First Amendment states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. (U.S. Const. Am.
Unfortunately, every society has its downside and the Internet is no exception. The nature of the Internet makes policing this new domain practically impossible. During the past few years the Government has stepped in to control this form of communication. This issue of whether it is necessary to have censorship on the Internet is being argued all over the world. Censorship would damage the freelance atmosphere on the Internet where freedom to express ideas is what most of us enjoy so much.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) strongly opposes this idea in their article "Fahrenheit 451.2-Is Cyberspace Burning?". Carr explains that with "rating systems" the "cyber-libertarians see not enhanced consumer choice, but new tools being fashioned to allow authoritarian interests to 'lock out' unpopular views, or otherwise to control the content of the Internet by requiring all ISP's to run it on their servers." In short, they fear that minority opinions or tastes will be excluded. Overall, Carr finalizes with the point that, "If we do nothing to curb some of the more rampant exce... ... middle of paper ... ... are looking, in good faith, for new answers to the new problems thrown up by the new technology." Works Cited Krantz, Michael.
In cyberspace, it is hard to set up a pool of judges to censor what could be displayed on the net. Thirdly, censorship works against democratic spirit, it opposes the right of free speech and is a breach of the First Amendment.
First of all, censoring the Internet as a whole is not possible, so why even try? Cyberspace is the most decentralized form of communication today making policing the Internet a virtually futile task. Unlike television or radio, the Internet consists of thousands of individual computers and networks, with thousands of speakers, information providers and information users, and no centralized distribution point (ACLU vs. Reno Brief 1). No guards watch to see who goes where and if that place is appropriate. The Internet has grown to be a global network.
The Communications Decency Act is unconstitutional by banning speech that is protected by the First Amendment in a medium in which the user is giving the ability to select what he or she does or does not want to receive. The government gives citizens the privilege of using the internet, but it has never given them the right to use it. If we have a "Constitution" and, supposedly, a "First Amendment"- why is the Government using legislation to stop us from expressing ourselves? We seem to be a ironic and paradox country. We didn’t want to be the first to use nuclear weapons and the atomic bomb, but were the first and, so far to present day, the last to use them.