The Communication Decency Act: The Fight For Freedom Of Speech On The Internet Essay, Research Paper
The Communication Decency Act: The Fight For Freedom of Speech on the Internet
The Communication Decency Act is a measure which has insulted our right as
American citizens. It a measure which SHOULD non base on balls. I & # 8217 ; ll portion with you how
Internet users are responding to this measure, and why they say it is
Some persons disagree with one portion of the measure. Harmonizing to
hypertext transfer protocol: //thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ query/z? c104: s.652.enr: , which has the
Communications Decency Act online for public screening, : & # 8220 ; Whoever uses an
Internet service to direct to a individual or individuals under 18 old ages of age & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; any
remark, petition, suggestion, proposal, image, & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; ..or anything violative as
measured by modern-day community criterions, sexual or excretory activities or
variety meats & # 8230 ; ..shall be fined $ 250,000 if the individual ( s ) is/are under 18 & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; .
imprisoned non more than two old ages & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; .or both. & # 8221 ;
The diction of that subdivision seems reasonable. However, if this one small
paragraph is approved, many sites such as the: Venus de Milo site located at:
hypertext transfer protocol: //www.paris.org/Musees/Louvre/Treasures/gifs/venusdemilo.gif ; the Sistine
hypertext transfer protocol: //www.oir.ucf.edu/wm/paint/auth/michelangelo/michelangelo.creation and
Michelangelo & # 8217 ; s David @ hypertext transfer protocol: //fileroom.aaup.uic.edu/FileRoom/images/image201.gif
could non be accessed and used by anybody under the age of 18. These plants of
art and many other museum images would non be available. The measure says these
sites show indecorous images.
The following portion of the CDA has everybody in a large legal tantrum. We, concerned
Internet users, took the authors of this measure to tribunal, and we won.
This portion of the measure states: & # 8220 ; Whoever & # 8230 ; .makes, creates, or
solicits & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; ..any remark, petition, suggestion, proposal, image, or other
communicating which is obscene, obscene, lewd, foul, or indecent & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; .with
purpose to rag, maltreatment, endanger, or hassle another individual & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; by agencies of an
Internet page & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; .shall be fined $ 250,000 under rubric 18 & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; imprisoned
non more than two old ages & # 8230 ; .or both & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ;
The author of that paragraph of the measure forgot something. It violates
the fundamental law. The First Amendment provinces: & # 8220 ; Congress shall do no
jurisprudence & # 8230 ; .prohibiting or foreshortening the freedom of address & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; the right of the
people pacifically to piece & # 8230 ; ..and to petition the Government & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; .. & # 8221 ;
This measure does precisely that. It says we can non show our feelings
flawlessly. I understand that what may be of involvement to me, may be violative to
others. Many people put up warning marks on their web sites saying, & # 8220 ; This site
may incorporate violative stuff. If you are easy offended you may non desire to
come here. & # 8221 ; If the authors of this measure would hold listed that as a demand
at that place would hold been no problem.
Here is the manner I look at it. I think that some things should be
censored on the Internet. Child erotica, for case, is already illegal,
so it follows that it should besides be illegal on the Internet. Besides,
psychologically, it amendss the kids involved.
Something else that should be banned from the Internet are & # 8220 ; hacker & # 8221 ;
plans meant to harm other Internet users. Some illustrations of such plans are
AOHell which can give you entree to America On-line for free and E-mail Bomb, or
otherwise harass others utilizing the service ( American On-line merely passed a measure
that gave them the right to let users to allow them scan their mail for such
harmful things. ) Another thing that could be banned are text files which
depict how to finish illegal actions, such as brand bombs. The most celebrated
is the & # 8220 ; Anarchist Cook Book, & # 8221 ; which shows Internet users some of the above
I besides believe that the usage of log-ins, watchwords, and evaluation systems on
pages for the Internet are a good thought, and are non misdemeanors of our civil
rights. They merely let the user to take what they want to see. Some of
these systems are already in usage today, along with plans that watch for
obscene and profane keywords, and links to pornographic sites.
What have Internet users learned from the tribunals? After all was said
and done, we have learned that go throughing unconstitutional Torahs like the CDA is non
the exclusion but the regulation these yearss in Washington, DC.
Next, the people responsible for giving us the CDA are respectable
Republicans and Democrats, non progressives and conservativists. If person would hold
asked an Internet user who is opposed to the CDA to vote for Clinton or Dole
this past autumn, they would state, & # 8220 ; Wouldn & # 8217 ; t that have been like being given a
pick between malignant neoplastic disease and bosom disease? & # 8221 ; In other words, discourtesy for the
President and Congress seem appropriate.
Third, the White House recognizes that it is cheaper to go through this measure,
by stating, this is the jurisprudence. Live with it. Making this would turn out to me this
state is run by politicians who do non care about the people, their rights, or
the jurisprudence. This measure, if passed, would merely turn out to me that all the authorities
attentions about is themselves and their money. A great president by the name of
Abraham Lincoln one time said, & # 8220 ; This state was made for the people, and run by the
people & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; America can now merely hope, for another adult male like Lincoln, to step up,
and take this state, conveying it back to what it used to be.
Besides, it is clip to concentrate on the things we need to hold in this state,
like constructing a new society. After World War II and Vietnam, I
believe it is the
computing machine coevals & # 8217 ; s destiny to reconstruct our household and give community abilities
to germinate, work out jobs, generate and distribute wealth, advance peace, and
Finally, freedom is struggle, by definition. Freedom on the Internet
is non a gift. It & # 8217 ; s the infinite we ourselves ain, in the face of the authorities
and the media, who have apparently tried to take that infinite off from us.
CDA will besides take away some sites such as: The Library of Congress Card
Catalog, which some say contains & # 8220 ; indecent & # 8221 ; linguistic communication. We will non be able to
position such literature as Mark Twain & # 8217 ; s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and
Nathaniel Hawthorne & # 8217 ; s The Scarlet Letter, because the CDA says those & # 8220 ; classics & # 8221 ;
contain violative stuff. The act besides prevents any sites in being which
Tell teens about safe sex and Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Most online
newspapers such as USA TODAY, will hold to be blackened out when the proctor & # 8217 ; s
screen shows them articles about sex.
& # 8220 ; Ignorance is caused by stupidity! & # 8221 ; That has become a familiar & # 8220 ; conflict & # 8221 ;
call of Internet users. The goverment knows barely nil about the pride
Internet users take in holding their ain & # 8220 ; world. & # 8221 ; That is the stupidity portion of
it. The ingnorance is the politicians declining to listen to us. They do non
privation to understand.
Some ways you can assist contend this awful measure would be to process
through Washington, DC on July 30, 1997. Many people have turned their web
pages backgrounds black to demo they are protesting. Some show bluish threads
to demo an Internet users & # 8217 ; displeasure with the CDA.
Another manner to demo you care is to e-mail high political officers. I
hold e-mailed the current president ( 9:23 PM, 11-5-96 ) Bill Clinton and the
vice-president Al Gore. I have besides mailed Bob Dole and Jack Kemp.
On the more local degree I have e-mailed Senators: Rick Santorum and
Arlen Specter and Representatives: Jon Fox, Paul Kanjorski, Paul McHale, John
Murtha, Robert Walker, and Curt Weldon. I have mailed: Gov. Tom Ridge, Lt. Gov.
Mark Schweiker and Senators Roy Afflerbach, Gibson Armstrong, Clarence Bell,
David Brightbill, J. Doyle Corman, Daniel Delp, Vincent Fumo, Jim Gerlach,
Stewart Greenleaf, Melissa Hart, F. Joseph Loeper, Roger Madigan, Robert Mellow,
Harold Mowery Jr. , John Peterson, James Rhoades, Robert Robbins, Allyson
Schwartz, Joseph Uliana, Noah Wenger, Rep. Lisa Boscola, Rep. Italo Cappabianca
and Rep. Lawrence Curry have been contacted by myself every bit good. I have e-mailed
Happy Fernandez, a Philadelphia City Councilwoman. The message I sent them is a
smaller version of this 1: & # 8220 ; To whom it may concern,
I am composing to you about the Communications Decency Act. I believe the
act is unconstitutional. Amendment I provinces: & # 8220 ; Congress shall do no
jurisprudence & # 8230 ; & # 8230 ; foreshortening the freedom of address & # 8230 ; . & # 8221 ; This alone should forbid this
act. The Communications Decency Act will coerce many educational Internet sites
to shut. I, as a pupil, utilize the Information Super Highway for precisely that,
information. It is really helpful to hold updated facts and so forth. With the
Communications Decency Act such sites as the Library of Congress Electronical
Card Catalog would be kept off from me because of & # 8220 ; indecent & # 8221 ; rubrics. I use the
word indecent in citation Markss because I feel it is being used improperly.
Some other sites, will be closed because of nakedness. Such sites as
Michelangelo & # 8217 ; s David, because of the & # 8220 ; nudity. & # 8221 ; There once more I use citations.
Sites informing adolescents such as myself of the dangers of Unprotected Sex and
AIDS, every bit good as other STD & # 8217 ; s will non be allowed to be shown.
I know I may be taking this the incorrect manner, so I would appreciate
response stating me why this act should go through. I hope you consider what I, and
many others, have been stating.
Thank you for your clip, Ryne Crabb & # 8221 ;
Another immense portion of this global protest was the Electronic March on
Washington, DC. People, of all ages, who care about the unconstitutionality of
the CDA, went to the White House and made marks, etc. while processing around the
White House & # 8217 ; s belongings. Besides, everybody was asked to email the president in
protest. President Clinton got over 10,000 e-mail messages on that twenty-four hours. I
believe it opened a batch of eyes.
Black Thursday was another large issue. Over 82 % of the Internet & # 8217 ; s
web sites had a & # 8220 ; blackout. & # 8221 ; & # 8220 ; Yahoo! & # 8221 ; the celebrated hunt engine besides blackened all
of their pages in protest. It was beautiful how many caputs were turned. Major
concerns such as AT & A ; T and ESPN besides did their portion in this conflict by doing
remarks about it to less informed Internet users.
Although there are other things go oning in internet, this issue
remains a major job. Opportunities are, nevertheless, when this piece of legal muss is
settled, merrily or non, another will come up. I can about see what is following on
the list. Some states are taxing the Internet. Trust me, we do non even WANT
to acquire into that, yet.
I hope this opened your eyes as to the importance of this battle. We
demand to demo the authorities this state still is made for the people, and run
by the people. That is written in the fundamental law. We do non desire to alter
the papers our sires wrote showing their wants for our hereafter
coevalss. That papers protects our freedoms. It is of import that the
fundamental law remains integral so that it can continue all of our freedoms
including usage of the Internet as we see fit.