In mid March of 1998, a scientific break through occurred for the engineers at NASA. The space probe that they sent to Mars came back and, for the first time, contained readable and usable photographs of the planet's landscape. Full of pride over their latest achievement, NASA posted the information on the Internet. This allowed astronomy enthusiasts, students, and other interested individuals to take a first hand look at the, never before seen, Martian Landscape. (NASA)
One month later, two men in New Jersey were arrested for posting inappropriate information on the Internet. They had been caught displaying pornographic images of children as young as seven years old. These men were promptly prosecuted and sentenced to jail time and over $600,000 worth of fines. (Business Week)
Most recently the Supreme Court had to decide whether it was fair or not for music fans to download their favorite songs free of any royalties to the artists. The program, design by two college students, is named Napster and its designed to allow the sharing of mp3 music files over the Internet. Currently, the program is still available and operating with much support from its users.
Support is something the Internet is not lacking. The examples listed are a fragment of the cases brought before our judicial system concerning the content on the information super highway. Not only are these examples pulled out of a pool of many, but also it's also quite evident that the content is rather vast itself. Justice Stevens of the Supreme Court was quoted as saying "Internet content is as diverse as human thought." Herb Brody from Technology Review describes the Net as "the ultimate intellectual jumble…where brainy ...
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...on would turn the information super highway into a children's reading room" (Internet Society). A children's reading room is exactly where a child should be. If they are not and such controversial material is made available, then something besides the information is at blame. As Gary Bauer, president of the Family Research Council, stated so succinctly, "too man parents are looking to the so-called village to care for their children instead of meeting this precious responsibility themselves" (Diamond). This statement is a wake up call to those who are blaming media for humanity's discontent. It is blatantly obvious that we are responsible for our actions as individuals in the legal structure that surrounds our culture. It needs to become equally obvious that we are responsible as parents and as a community for the growth and development of the next generation.
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