Internet Censorship Essay - America Needs Censorship of Cyberspace

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America Needs Censorship of Cyberspace

In June of 1998 the country was horrified to learn of the death of James Byrd Jr. He was a 49-year-old black man who had been found horribly mutilated after being dragged to death. Authorities have charged three men with murder and violation of civil rights ("A Fatal Ride in the Night" 33). Obviously, if convicted, these men are guilty of a horrible crime, but what if this crime had been committed after viewing a racist website? If a person reads an emotionally charged, hate-filled website and then commits an act of violence, can the creator and owner of the website also be found guilty?

No laws have yet been established to censor material in cyberspace. The Communications Decency Amendment, which sought to ban pornography and other offensive material on the web, was struck down in Congress last year. The Internet has exploded in the past decade. It is everywhere and millions of people have access to it, through work, school, and home. As the Internet becomes a part of daily life for more and more people, laws need to be made to banning pornographic, racist, and other offending websites, to protect citizens from the threats these websites pose. Although some may see this as an infringement of their First Amendment rights, it is important for us as a society to reject these ideas and ban these websites.

Many lawmakers want to establish laws to control what is available on the Internet. Their number one reason is the availability of everything on the Internet to children. Even though parental controls, software that blocks offensive sites to children, are available many parents fail to use them. Senator J. James Exon, who proposed the amendme...

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Stamper, Chris. ".XXX Marks the Porn Site." July 17, 1998. <>

Thomas, Pierce. "Judge Delays Internet Porn Restrictions." CNNinteractive. Nov. 19, 1998. <>

Von Boven, Sarah and Anne Belli Gesalman. "A Fatal Ride in the Night." Newsweek. 22 June, 1998: 33.

Walsh, Mary Roth. Women. Men, Gender. Yale University Press, 1997.

Wayne, Stephen J., G. Calvin MacKenzie, David M. O'Brien, Richard L. Cole. The Politics of American Government. St. Martin's Press, Inc. 1997.

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