Propaganda in the Online Free Speech Campaign

Topics: First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Internet / Pages: 21 (5081 words) / Published: Oct 9th, 1999
Propaganda in the Online Free Speech Campaign

Propaganda and Mass Communication

July 1, 1996

In February 1996, President Bill Clinton signed into law the
Telecommunications Act of 1996, the first revision of our country's communications laws in 62 years. This historic event has been greeted with primarily positive responses by most people and companies. Most of the
Telecommunications act sets out to transform the television, telephone, and related industries by lowering regulatory barriers, and creating law that corresponds with the current technology of today and tomorrow. One part of the
Telecommunications act, however, is designed to create regulatory barriers within computer networks, and this has not been greeted with admirable commentary. This one part is called the Communications Decency Act (CDA), and it has been challenged in court from the moment it was passed into law. Many of the opponents of the CDA have taken their messages to the Internet in order to gain support for their cause, and a small number of these organizations claim this fight as their only cause. Some of these organizations are broad based civil liberties groups, some fight for freedom of speech based on the first amendment, and other groups favor the lowering of laws involving the use of encrypted data on computers. All of these groups, however, speak out for free speech on the Internet, and all of these groups have utilized the Internet to spread propaganda to further this common cause of online free speech and opposition to the CDA.

Context in which the propaganda occurs

Five years ago, most people had never heard of the Internet, but today the
Internet is a term familiar to most people even if they are not exactly sure about what the Internet is. Along with the concept of the Internet, it is widely known that pornography and other adult related materials seem to be readily available on the Internet, and this seems to be a problem with most people. Indeed, it

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