Freedom Of Speech: Censorship On The Internet



With more and more frequency the newspapers are reporting instances of school children distributing disks of pornographic images which they have downloaded from the net and recently a university student was found to be operating such a site for material. On November 11, an Associated Press release (Phillips,1994) reported that Carnegie Mellon University had decided to block its users from accessing sexually explicit materials through the Internet: the university's president feared that the university could be prosecuted under state pornography laws if it did not control the access. Within the last week Towson State has prevented access to all of the alt.* groups on the Usenet which ...

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be raised in some unexpected places: one newsgroup is the rec.humor list, which is a collection of jokes submitted to subscribers. There are straightforwardly rude jokes but others are politically incorrect, focusing on sexual stereotypes, mothers-in-law, women and so on. It has been suggested (Interpersonal Computing and Technology, 1994) that discretionary warning labels could be attached to potentially offensive material. With warning labels like those on records this may serve to whet appetites. Warning labels involve some sort of judging and then the question is raised as to who shall be the judge. The Internet is world-wide so would the First Amendment apply in Germany? The material on the Internet which is grossly offensive by any standards, such as paedophile material, is extremely difficult to find because of its small amounts. Of the 976 obscenity cases handled between 1991 and 1993 only 11 involved computer files, while 0.3% of the obscene material seized by Customs ...

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telecommunications, is the most important fact that the Internet is not controlled by any single authority. The Internet Society (ISOC) is a voluntary organization responsible for technical standards while the Internet Engineering Task Force (ITF) handles operational and technical problems, but no single body can be said to control the internet and what is distributed over it.

Quality and content

The previous fact leads to two related issues. First, there is no overall set of standards to apply to the quality of material available over the Internet, quality meaning factors like accuracy, currency, editing and updating policies. Right now quality control is only exercised by ...

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Added: 6/28/2006 07:09:39 AM
Category: Legal Issues
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2186
Pages: 8

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