Communications Decency Act: Regulation in Cyberspace

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Communications Decency Act: Regulation In Cyberspace

David Hembree
October 23, 1996
Dr. Willis

Being one of millions of surfers throughout the Internet, I see that fundamental civil liberties are as important in cyberspace as they are in traditional contexts. Cyberspace defined in Webster's Tenth Edition dictionary is the on-line worlds of networks. The right to speak and publish using a virtual pen has its roots in a long tradition dating back to the very founding of democracy in this country. With the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, Congress has prepared to turn the Internet from one of the greatest resources of cultural, social, and scientific information into the online equivalent of a children's reading room. By invoking the overboard and vague term "indecent" as the standard by which electronic communication should be censored, Congress has insured that information providers seeking to avoid criminal prosecution will close the gates on anything but the most tame information and discussions.

The Communications Decency Act calls for two years of jail time for anyone caught using "indecent" language over the net; as if reading profanities online affects us more dramatically than reading them on paper. Our First Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...." The Act takes away this right. The Constitution- defying traitors creating these useless laws do not they understand the medium they're trying to control. What they "claim" is that they are trying to protect our children from moral threatening content.

This "protect our helpless children" ideology is bogus. If more government officials were more knowledgeable about online information they would realize the huge flaw the Communication Decency Act contains. We don't need the government to patrol fruitlessly on the...
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