Internet Censoship

Essay by PhaZeCollege, UndergraduateB, November 1996

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The subject of censorship on the Internet was one of heated debate not one year ago. The debate has since lost its steam but the issue itslef has not died out. There are several points upon which people on both sides of the debate argue over. These same issues have now become a source of embarassment to many people who sought to exploit their severity and prevalence on the Internet. The government officials used slanderous rumors and outright lies to decry situations that either didn't exist, or exaggerated ones that did.

A team of 'investigators' attempted to show the Congree the various ways in which a person, specifically a curious child, could access inappropriate material. These men, using TVs attached to their computers, flew through various sources on the Internet to find pornography. They did not slowing down to describe all of the complex actions they were taking to access the material.

Actions that a youngster would find incomprehensible. They gained access to pornographic material to make a point about how easy it would be for a child to access. They were describing this process, however, to hundreds of computer illiterate Congressmen.

The Congress passed the CDA, Communications Decency Act, and was immediately ridiculed across the nation. Not in recent memory had a legislative body in the US been so blatantly unconstitutional. The CDA banned any and all transactions, postings, and messages that contained pornographic material or 'inappropriate' material such as swears, in any way that made it easily accessable to minors. Within hours of passing the law, millions of people on the Internet made their Web pages black in protest. The issue went to the Supreme Court, and it was finally decided to be unconstitutional. The bill was repealed, and with it arose America's hopes of once again...