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We Don't Need Internet Censorship

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We Don't Need Internet Censorship

Censorship is an extremely controversial issue. There have been hundreds of thousands of essays written about whether or not censorship on the Internet is right or wrong, but so far, no precise conclusion has surfaced. I've researched into the topic, but I haven't completely sided with one or the other. There are just good reasons against censorship. This essay briefly discusses some reasons why the Internet should be censored, but will then mainly focus on reasons why the Internet should not be censored.

The most prominent issue dealing with censorship is the fact that there is child pornography readily available. Besides the fact that children as well as adults shouldn't be able to access it, it's illegal. "Our children must be able to surf safely," stated John Carr in his article, "It's time to tackle cyberporn." (Carr, 1998) Carr mentioned the buzz phrase "rating system" as an example of a way to censor the Internet. This "rating system" is a way in which certain issues, pictures, information, etc. can be censored. However, not everyone is in favor of these "rating systems." 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...

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... are looking, in good faith, for new answers to the new problems thrown up by the new technology."

Works Cited

Krantz, Michael. Time. "Censor's Sensibility." http://cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1997/08/04/time/internet.html

Ethical Spectacle, The. Volume II, Number 2, February 1996. "Congress Censor's the Net." http://www.spectacle.org/

Bruce, Marty. Censorship on the Internet. "Why Censorship is Wrong." April 1996. http://www.purplenet.net/~marty/ip.htm

Buechner, Maryanne Murray. Time. Time Digital Supplement. "Filter out the Filth." Page 22. April 27,1998.

Carr, John. New Statesmen. "It's Time to Tackle Cyberporn." February 20,1998. V IIn 492, pages 24-25.

Education Digest. "Filtering the Internet." December, 1997. V 63n4, page 75.

Lewis, Peter H. Cyber Reader. "No More 'Anything Goes': Cyberspace Gets Censors." Pages 66-69.
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