Free Speech Online

Essay by SelsticeCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 1996

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The Internet's free speech rights are a hot topic in the news currently for a wide variety of reasons. People are abusing the Internet and putting things that have no business being on there. Complete software packages ranging from $60-$1000 can be found for free on any random page if you look hard enough. Different people have been harassed and stalked in a number of ways. Also many 'Hate Groups' are getting their message to too many people and causing an uproar in the community.

Pornography is running rampantly on the Internet and is the main reason for all the controversy over free speech. This pornography is also far too available to just about anyone. Young kids with minor computer knowledge can get into these sites and view the material on them ('Microsoft'). Some or most of these pages that contain this have only a check at the beginning ask you if you are 18 or older.

Seriously if you went to this page, you went here for a reason so almost immediately you are going to say yes ( Also a major problem is the type of material on these pages. As if porn on the Internet was not bad enough you have some people who feel the need to put Child Pornography, Bestiality, and S&M pictures on their pages. The thought of a young mind on the Internet searching for knowledge and finding one of these pages is unthinkable and should never happen ('Microsoft').

One of the most expensive crimes that occur on the Internet is copyright infringement. Ken Wasch executive directory of the SPA (Software Protection Agency) says, 'Pirated software costs the industry $9 billion a year and this has even caused a trade war with China of pirated materials.' (Sussman 54-60). The attainment of...