Internet Censorship

Everyone has heard of the Internet and how it is going to help set the world free. The Internet is the fastest growing form of communication and is becoming more and more common in the home. Companies these days do big business over the Internet, and online shopping has grown tremendously in the last few years. For instance, the online auction site eBay sells millions of items every year online. Many companies are making even more plans to expand their business to the Internet. Unfortunately, there have been numerous attempts lately to censor the Internet.

If the Internet is controlled, regulated, restricted, or censored it will have harsh effects on its capabilities. In recent years, Americas economy has become increasingly dependent on the need to instantly move large amounts of information across long distances. Computerization has changed everyones life in ways that were never before possible. The global network of interconnected computers allows people to send electronic mail messages across the world in the blink of an eye and stay updated on world events as they happen; the world has become a much smaller place as a result of this global communication and exchange of ideas.

There have also become thousands of online communities of people who share common interests through message boards, chat rooms, and electronic mailing lists (Wilmott 106). Right now, the Internet is the ultimate demonstration of the first amendment: free speech. A place where people can speak their mind without being punished for what they say or how they choose to say it. The Internet owes its incredible worldwide success to its protection of free speech, not only in America, but also in countries where freedom of speech is not guaranteed.

For some, it is the only place where they can speak their mind without fear of political or religious persecution. (Cyberchaos). The Internet is also one of America’s most valuable types of technology; scientists use email for quick and easy communication. They post their current scientific discoveries on online newsgroups so other scientists in the same field of study all over the world can know in minutes. Ordinary people use the Internet for communication, expressing their opinions in the newsgroups, obtaining new information from the WWW, downloading all types of media files, or just surfing for their own personal enjoyment.

Users of the Internet have the freedom to express anything they believe. The fact that the Internet has no single authority figure creates a problem about what kind of materials should be available on the Internet. (Hentoff 12) The largest controversy that surrounds censoring the Internet is what information should be considered offensive. The Internet can be viewed in many different ways. It can be considered a carrier of common data, similar to a phone company, which must ignore what is broadcast for privacy reasons.

Or, it can be considered a distributor and broadcaster of information, much like a television or radio station, which is responsible for what it broadcasts and has to conform to federal standards and regulations. This argument is the main concern of the censorship matter. The Internet is a carrier of information, and not a broadcaster, since it only provides the basic structure for information transfer and sharing. (Cyberchaos) But this angers lawmakers. The current laws existing today do not apply well to the Internet.

The Internet cannot be viewed as one type of transfer medium under current broadcast definitions (Muzzling the Internet). One large difference that sets the Internet apart from a broadcasting media is the fact that one cant stumble across a vulgar or obscene site without first entering an address or following a link from another page. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part, if one wants to find dirty material on the Internet, they have to go out and look for it. The Internet is much more like going into a bookstore and choosing to look at adult magazines than it is like channel surfing on television (Miller 75).

The Internet is a great place of entertainment and education, but like all places used by millions of people, it has some bad influences that people would rather not have their children view. Parents usually try to protect their children, but there are no boundaries to the Internet. For this reason, there have been many attempts at censoring the Internet in the name of protecting children. One example is the Communications Decency Act of 1995.

The Communications Decency Act, also known as the Internet Censorship Act, was introduced in the U. S. Congress in 1995. It would make it a crime to make anything available to a child that is indecent, or to send anything indecent with “intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass. The goal of this bill was to try to make all public material on the Internet suitable for young children. The bill would have made certain commercial servers that carry pictures of nudity, like those run by Penthouse or Playboy, be shut down immediately or face prosecution. The same goes for any amateur web site that features nudity, sex talk, or dirty language.

Posting any dirty words in an online discussion group, which occurs often, could make one liable for a $50,000 fine and six months in jail (Levy 78-79). Why does it suddenly become illegal to post something that has been legal for years in print? If it had passed, the bill would also have criminalized private mail. … I can call my brother on the phone and say anything – but if I say it on the Internet, it’s illegal” (Levy 53). Most Internet users are enjoying their freedom of speech on the Net, which is supposed to be protected by the First Amendment of the United States.

It is believed by many that the Internet provides greater freedom of speech and press than anything before in our history. “Heavy-handed attempts to impose restrictions on the unruly but incredibly creative anarchy of the Net could kill the spirit of cooperative knowledge-sharing that makes the Net valuable to millions” (Rheingold). The freedom of ideas and expression is what makes the Internet important and enjoyable, and it should not be suppressed for any reason. Additionally, only a very small portion of the Internet contains offensive material.

Most people do not use the Internet for pornography. There is no doubt that porn is popular. But the Net is mostly being used for communication and information exchange, and only a tiny portion of the Net contains pornography and other offensive material. While people are concerned about Internet pornography, it is true that it is often perfectly legal; for example, pornography is legal in video and magazines. Therefore, it is contradictory to ban the Internet equivalents (Legal Definition… ). “Citizens should have the right to restrict the information flow into their homes.

They should be able to exclude from their home any subject matter that they do not want their children to see. But sooner or later, their children will be exposed to everything from which they have shielded them… ” (Rheingold). The Internet is definitely not the only means for teenagers to find inappropriate material. If kids want to get a hold of dirty pictures or magazines, there are many other ways to find them besides the Internet. If the purpose of censorship is to prevent minors from being exposed to indecent material, not only the Internet has to be censored.

Censoring the Net will only eliminate one way for children to find this material. Government censorship is not the solution to the problem, and other measures that have the same effects as censorship can be used. For example, there are many software programs that can be purchased or downloaded for free which block out web sites with offensive language or words. Programs such as Net Nanny, Cyber Patrol, and Net Watch can be set up by parents to block access to websites that contain any words, or foul language that may be unsuitable for children.

While these programs have many flaws (a completely appropriate website on breast cancer could be blocked), they are definitely a much smarter and fairer alternative to government censorship (Parental Control Ware). To conclude, the Internet is one of the worlds greatest resources to freedom of speech and expression, and it has the potential to bring education and better communication to every part of the world. All types of people use it, and its free speech and equality has made it incredibly popular.

However, government attempts to censor the Internet in the name of protecting children can only have harmful effects. Censoring the Internet will only contribute to limiting its potential. It also has to be taken into account that indecent or pornographic websites only make up a tiny portion of the Net, and much pornography is legal. The solution to keeping kids from getting into inappropriate websites is to monitor their access, use filtering software, and teach them morals. Censoring the Internet can only be harmful to everyone else who uses it.

Internet Censorship Essay

The Internet is a wonderful place of entertainment and education, but like all places used by millions of people, it has some murky corners people would prefer children not to explore. In the physical world, society as a whole wants to protect children, but there are no social or physical constraints to Internet surfing. During the past decade, our society has become based solely on the ability to move large amounts of information across large distances quickly. Computerization has influenced everyone’s life.

The natural evolution of computers and this need for ultra-fast communications has caused a global network of interconnected computers to develop. This global net allows a person to send E-mail across the world in mere fractions of a second, and enables even the common person to access information worldwide. Is the Internet really a Global phenomenon? Since the beginning of time, mankind has been involved in a never-ending quest to learn more about the world in which he lives.

Our natural curiosity leads us to question everything and investigate the way in which the world around us works. Human beings also have a natural tendency to want to explore and see things in the world around them, which they have never seen before. It is in that sense that the Internet is a perfect extension of human nature. It is a medium, which transcends boundaries and makes the world a smaller place much as the media of printing, radio and television did before it. The Internet is the largest most versatile source of information in the world today.

With its web sites and chat rooms, it is a means of communicating with people in places all over the face of the earth. Since its conception in 1973, the Internet has grown at a whirlwind rate. 51 million adults, were on-line as of the second quarter 1997 in the United States alone With advances such as software that allows users with a sound card to use the Internet as a carrier for long distance voice calls and video conferencing, this network is key to the future of the knowledge society. At present, this net is the epitome of the first amendment: free speech.

It is a place where people can speak their mind without being reprimanded for what they say, or how they choose to say it. The key to the worldwide success of the Internet is its protection of free speech, not only in America, but also in other countries where free speech is not protected by a constitution. To be found on the Internet is a huge collection of obscene graphics, Anarchists’ cookbooks and countless other things that offend some people.

With over 30 million Internet users in the U. S. one (only 3 million of which surf the net from home), everything is bound to offend someone. The newest wave of laws floating through law making bodies around the world threatens to stifle this area of spontaneity. Recently, Congress has been considering passing laws that will make it a crime punishable by jail to send “vulgar” language over the net, and to export encryption software. No matter how small, any attempt at government intervention in the Internet will stifle the greatest communication innovation of this century.

The government wants to maintain control over this new form of communication, and they are trying to use the protection of children as a smoke screen to pass laws that will allow them to regulate and censor the Internet, while banning techniques that could eliminate the need for regulation. Censorship of the Internet threatens to destroy its freelance atmosphere, while wide spread encryption could help prevent the need for government intervention. The current body of laws existing today in America does not apply well to the Internet.

Is the Internet like a bookstore, where servers cannot be expected to review every title? Is it like a phone company who must ignore what it carries because of privacy? Is it like a broadcasting medium, where the government monitors what is broadcast? The trouble is that the Internet can be all or none of these things depending on how it’s used. The Internet cannot be viewed as one type of transfer medium under current broadcast definitions. The Internet differs from broadcasting media in that one cannot just happen upon a vulgar site without first entering a complicated address, or following a link from another source.

The Internet is much more like going into a book store and choosing to look at adult magazines. ” (Miller 75). Jim Exon, a democratic senator from Nebraska, wants to pass a decency bill regulating the Internet. If the bill passes, certain commercial servers that post pictures of unclad beings, like those run by Penthouse or Playboy, would of course be shut down immediately or risk prosecution. The same goes for any amateur web site that features nudity, sex talk, or rough language.

Posting any dirty words in a Usenet discussion group, which occurs routinely, could make one liable for a $50,000 fine and six months in jail. Even worse, if a magazine that commonly runs some of those nasty words in its pages, The New Yorker for instance, decided to post its contents on-line, its leaders would be held responsible for a $100,000 fine and two years in jail. Why does it suddenly become illegal to post something that has been legal for years in print? Exon’s bill apparently would also “criminalize private mail,” …

I can call my brother on the phone and say anything–but if I say it on the Internet, it’s illegal” (Levy 53). Congress, in their pursuit of regulations, seems to have overlooked the fact that the majority of the adult material on the Internet comes from overseas. Although many U. S. government sources helped fund Arpanet, the predecessor to the Internet, they no longer control it. Many of the new Internet technologies, including the World Wide Web, have come from overseas. There is no clear boundary between information held in the U. S. and information stored in other countries.

Data held in foreign computers is just as accessible as data in America; all it takes is the click of a mouse to access. Even if our government tried to regulate the Internet, we have no control over what is posted in other countries, and we have no practical way to stop it. The Internet’s predecessor was originally designed to uphold communications after a nuclear attack by rerouting data to compensate for destroyed telephone lines and servers. Today’s Internet still works on a similar design. The very nature this design allows the Internet to overcome any kind of barriers put in its way.

If a major line between two servers, say in two countries, is cut, then the Internet users will find another way around this obstacle. This obstacle avoidance makes it virtually impossible to separate an entire nation from indecent information in other countries. If it were physically possible to isolate America’s computers from the rest of the world, it would be devastating to our economy. Recently, a major university attempted to regulate what types of Internet access its students had, with results reminiscent of a 1960’s protest.

A research associate at Carnegie Mellon University conducted a study of pornography on the school’s computer networks. Martin Rimm put together quite a large picture collection (917,410 images) and he also tracked how often each image had been downloaded (a total of 6. 4 million). A local court had recently declared pictures of similar content obscene, and the school feared they might be held responsible for the content of its network. The school administration quickly removed access to all these pictures, and to the newsgroups where most of this obscenity is suspected to come from.

A total of 80 newsgroups were removed, causing a large disturbance among the student body, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, all of who felt this was unconstitutional. After only half a week, the college had backed down, and restored the newsgroups. This is a tiny example of what may happen if the government tries to impose censorship (Elmer-Dewitt 102). Altered views of an electronic world translate easily into altered views of the real world. “When it comes to our children, censorship is a far less important issue than good parenting.

We must teach our kids that the Internet is an extension and a reflection of the real world, and we have to show them how to enjoy the good things and avoid the bad things. This isn’t the government’s responsibility. It’s ours (Miller 76). ” Not all restrictions on electronic speech are bad. Most of the major on-line communication companies have restrictions on what there users can “say. ” They must respect their customer’s privacy, however. Private E-mail content is off limits to them, but they may act swiftly upon anyone who spouts obscenities in a public forum.

Self-regulation by users and servers is the key to avoiding government-imposed intervention. Many on-line sites such as Playboy and Penthouse have started to regulate themselves. Both post clear warnings that adult content lies ahead and lists the countries where this is illegal. The film and videogame industries subject themselves to ratings, and if Internet users want to avoid government imposed regulations, then it is time they begin to regulate themselves. It all boils down to protecting children from adult material, while protecting the first amendment right to free speech between adults.

Government attempts to regulate the Internet are not just limited to obscenity and vulgar language; it also reaches into other areas, such as data encryption. By nature, the Internet is an insecure method of transferring data. A single E-mail packet may pass through hundreds of computers from its source to destination. At each computer, there is the chance that the data will be archived and someone may intercept that data. Credit card numbers are a frequent target of hackers. Encryption is a means of encoding data so that only someone with the proper “key” can decode it.

Why do you need PGP (encryption)? It’s personal. It’s private. And it’s no one’s business but yours. You may be planning a political campaign, discussing our taxes, or having an illicit affair. Or you may be doing something that you feel shouldn’t be illegal, but is. Whatever it is, you don’t want your private electronic mail (E-mail) or confidential documents read by anyone else. There’s nothing wrong with asserting your privacy. Privacy is as apple-pie as the Constitution. Perhaps you think your E-mail is legitimate enough that encryption is unwarranted.

If you really are a law-abiding citizen with nothing to hide, then why don’t you always send your paper mail on postcards? Why not submit to drug testing on demand? Why require a warrant for police searches of your house? Are you trying to hide something? You must be a subversive or a drug dealer if you hide your mail inside envelopes. Or maybe a paranoid nut. Do law-abiding citizens have any need to encrypt their E-mail? What if everyone believed that law-abiding citizens should use postcards for their mail?

If some brave soul tried to assert his privacy by using an envelope for his mail, it would draw suspicion. Perhaps the authorities would open his mail to see what he’s hiding. Fortunately, we don’t live in that kind of world, because everyone protects most of their mail with envelopes. So no one draws suspicion by asserting their privacy with an envelope. There’s safety in numbers. Analogously, it would be nice if everyone routinely used encryption for all their E-mail, innocent or not, so that no one drew suspicion by asserting their E-mail privacy with encryption.

Think of it as a form of solidarity (Zimmerman). ” Until the development of the Internet, the U. S. government controlled most new encryption techniques. With the development of faster home computers and a worldwide web, they no longer hold control over encryption. Even the FBI and the NSA have discovered new algorithms that are reportedly uncrackable. This is a major concern to the government because they want to maintain the ability to conduct wiretaps, and other forms of electronic surveillance into the digital age.

To stop the spread of data encryption software, the U. S. government has imposed very strict laws on its exportation. One very well known example of this is the PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) scandal. PGP was written by Phil Zimmerman, and is based on “public key” encryption. This system uses complex algorithms to produce two codes, one for encoding and one for decoding. To send an encoded message to someone, a copy of that person’s “public” key is needed. The sender uses this public key to encrypt the data, and the recipient uses their “private” key to decode the message.

As Zimmerman was finishing his program, he heard about a proposed Senate bill to ban cryptography. This prompted him to release his program for free, hoping that it would become so popular that its use could not be stopped. One of the original users of PGP posted it to an Internet site, where anyone from any country could download it, causing a federal investigator to begin investigating Phil for violation of this new law. As with any new technology, this program has allegedly been used for illegal purposes, and the FBI and NSA are believed to be unable to crack this code.

When told about the illegal uses of him programs, Zimmerman replies: “If I had invented an automobile, and was told that criminals used it to rob banks, I would feel bad, too. But most people agree the benefits to society that come from automobiles — taking the kids to school, grocery shopping and such — outweigh their drawbacks. ” (Levy 56). Currently, PGP can be downloaded from MIT. They have a very complicated system that changes the location on the software to be sure that they are protected. All that needs to be done is click “YES” to four questions dealing with exportation and use of the program, and it is there for the taking.

This seems to be a lot of trouble to protect a program from spreading that is already world wide. The government wants to protect their ability to legally wiretap, but what good does it do them to stop encryption in foreign countries? They cannot legally wiretap someone in another country, and they sure cannot ban encryption in the U. S. The government has not been totally blind to the need for encryption. For nearly two decades, a government sponsored algorithm, Data Encryption Standard (DES), has been used primarily by banks.

The government always maintained the ability to decipher this code with their powerful supercomputers. Now that new forms of encryption have been devised that the government can’t decipher, they are proposing a new standard to replace DES. This new standard is called Clipper, and is based on the “public key” algorithms. Instead of software, Clipper is a microchip that can be incorporated into just about anything (Television, Telephones, etc. ). This algorithm uses a much longer key that is 16 million times more powerful than DES.

It is estimated that today’s fastest computers would take 400 billion years to break this code using every possible key. (Lehrer 378). “The catch: At the time of manufacture, each Clipper chip will be loaded with its own unique key, and the Government gets to keep a copy, placed in escrow. Not to worry, though the Government promises that they will use these keys to read your traffic only when duly authorized by law. Of course, to make Clipper completely effective, the next logical step would be to outlaw other forms of cryptography (Zimmerman).

If privacy is outlawed, only outlaws will have privacy. Intelligence agencies have access to good cryptographic technology. So do the big arms and drug traffickers. So do defense contractors, oil companies, and other corporate giants. But ordinary people and grassroots political organizations mostly have not had access to affordable “military grade” public-key cryptographic technology. Until now. PGP empowers people to take their privacy into their own hands. There’s a growing social need for it. That’s why I wrote it (Zimmerman).

The most important benefits of encryption have been conveniently overlooked by the government. If everyone used encryption, there would be absolutely no way that an innocent bystander could happen upon something they choose not to see. Only the intended receiver of the data could decrypt it (using public key cryptography, not even the sender can decrypt it) and view its contents. Each coded message also has an encrypted signature verifying the sender’s identity. The sender’s secret key can be used to encrypt an enclosed signature message, thereby “signing” it.

This creates a digital signature of a message, which the recipient (or anyone else) can check by using the sender’s public key to decrypt it. This proves that the sender was the true originator of the message, and that the message has not been subsequently altered by anyone else, because the sender alone possesses the secret key that made that signature. “Forgery of a signed message is infeasible, and the sender cannot later disavow his signature(Zimmerman). ” Gone would be the hate mail that causes many problems, and gone would be the ability to forge a document with someone else’s address.

The government, if it did not have alterior motives, should mandate encryption, not outlaw it. As the Internet continues to grow throughout the world, more governments may try to impose their views onto the rest of the world through regulations and censorship. It will be a sad day when the world must adjust its views to conform to that of the most prudish regulatory government. If too many regulations are inacted, then the Internet as a tool will become nearly useless, and the Internet as a mass communication device and a place for freedom of mind and thoughts, will become non-existent.

The users, servers, and parents of the world must regulate themselves, so as not to force government regulations that may stifle the best communication instrument in history. If encryption catches on and becomes as widespread as Zimmerman predicts it will, then there will no longer be a need for the government to meddle in the Internet, and the biggest problem will work itself out. The government should rethink its approach to the censorship and encryption issues, allowing the Internet to continue to grow and mature.

The Freedom Of Speech

In my research, I found out that censorship goes against our freedom of speech. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, censorship would shut out parents from deciding what television programming is acceptable for their children, and giving that right to bureaucrats and to executives. In June1996, the Supreme Court rules out a censorship law during the case Alliance for Community Media vs. Federal Communications Commission.

Where this Commission attempted to use cable operators as cover in order to censor speech protected by the 1st Amendment. If this Commission wouldve continued with its project it would have enabled the operator to prohibit programming on public, educational, or governmental access cable channels based on content. Educational programs affected by censorship include breast cancer self-examination, AIDS/HIV prevention, abortion, childbirth, as well as some art because they would involve nudity.

Producers that make violent drama movies like Schindlers List, Gone with the Wind, or television mini-series about the bloody Civil War would be blocked out because of the violence involved. Finally, the ACLU believes that censorship would actually takes the parents right to decide what their kids should or shouldnt watch. Also, that Government shouldnt decide or deprive other citizens on what they could watch.

Internet privacy and Internet censorship

During the last decade, our society has become based on the sole ability to move large amounts of information across great distances quickly. Computerization has influenced everyone’s life in numerous ways. The natural evolution of computer technology and this need for ultra-fast communications has caused a global network of interconnected computers to develop.

This global network allows a person to send E-mail across the world in mere fractions of a second, and allows a common person to access wealths of information worldwide. This newfound global network, originally called Arconet, was developed and funded solely by and for the U. S. vernment. It was to be used in the event of a nuclear attack in order to keep communications lines open across the country by rerouting information through different servers across the country.

Does this mean that the government owns the Internet, or is it no longer a tool limited by the powers that govern. Generalities such as t! hese have sparked great debates within our nation’s government. This paper will attempt to focus on two high profile ethical aspects concerning the Internet and its usage. These subjects are Internet privacy and Internet censorship. At the moment, the Internet is epitome of our first amendment, free speech.

It is a place where a person can speak their mind without being reprimanded for what they say or how they choose to say it. But also contained on the Internet, are a huge collection of obscene graphics, Anarchists’ cookbooks, and countless other things that offend many people. There are over 30 million Internet surfers in the U. S. alone, and much is to be said about what offends whom and how. As with many new technologies, today’s laws don’t apply well when it comes to the Internet. Is the Internet like a bookstore, where servers can not be expected to review every title?

Is it like a phone company who must ignore hat it carries because of privacy; or is it like a broadcast medium, where the government monitors what is broadcast? The problem we are facing today is that the Internet can be all or none of the above depending on how it is used. Internet censorship, what does it mean? Is it possible to censor amounts of information that are all alone unimaginable? The Internet was originally designed to “find a way around” in case of broken communications lines, and it seems that explicit material keeps finding its “way around” too.

I am opposed to such content on the Internet and therefore am a firm believer in Internet censorship. However, the question at hand is just how much censorship the government impose. Because the internet has become the largest source of information in the world, legislative safeguards are indeed imminent. Explicit material is not readily available over the mail or telephone and distribution of obscene material is illegal. Therefore, there is no reason this stuff should go unimpeded across the Internet. Sure, there are some blocking devices, but they are no substitute for well-reasoned law.

To counter this, the United States has set regulations to determine what is categori! zed as obscenity and what is not. By laws set previously by the government, obscene material should not be accessible through the Internet. The problem society is now facing is that cyberspace is like a neighborhood without a police department. “Outlaws” are now able to use powerful cryptography to send and receive uncrackable communications across the Internet. Devices set up to filter certain communications cannot filter that which cannot be read, which leads to my other topic of interest: data encryption.

By nature, the Internet is an insecure method of transferring data. A single E-mail packet may pass through hundreds f computers between its source and destination. At each computer, there is a chance that the data will be archived and someone may intercept the data, private or not. Credit card numbers are a frequent target of hackers. Encryption is a means of encoding data so that only someone with the proper “key” can decode it. So far, recent attempts by the government to control data encryption have failed. They are concerned that encryption will block their monitoring capabilities, but there is nothing wrong with asserting our privacy.

Privacy is an inalienable right given to us by our onstitution. For example, your E-mail may be legitimate enough that encryption is unnecessary. If you we do indeed have nothing to hide, then why don’t we send our paper mail on postcards? Are we trying to hide something? In comparison, is it wrong to encrypt E-mail? Before the advent of the Internet, the U. S. government controlled most new encryption techniques. But with the development of the WWW and faster home computers, they no longer have the control they once had. New algorithms have been discovered that are reportedly uncrackable even by the FBI and NSA.

The government is oncerned that they will be unable to maintain the ability to conduct electronic surveillance into the digital age. To stop the spread of data encryption software, they have imposed very strict laws on its exportation. One programmer, Phil Zimmerman, wrote an encryption program he called PGP (Pretty Good Privacy). When he heard of the government’s intent to ban distribution encryption software, he immediately released the program to be public for free. PGP’s software is among the most powerful public encryption tool available. The government has not been totally blind by the need for encryption.

The banks have sponsored an algorithm called DES, that has been used by banks for decades. While to some, its usage by banks may seem more ethical, but what makes it unethical for everyone else to use encryption too? The government is now developing a new encryption method that relies on a microchip that may be placed inside just about any type of electronic equipment. It is called the Clipper chip and is 16 million times more powerful than DES and today’s fastest computers would take approximately 400 billion years to decipher it. At the time of manufacture, the chips are loaded with their own nique key, and the government gets a copy.

But don’t worry the government promises that they will use these keys only to read traffic when duly authorized by law. But before this new chip can be used effectively, the government must get rid of all other forms of cryptography. The relevance of my two topics of choice seems to have been conveniently overlooked by our government. Internet privacy through data encryption and Internet censorship are linked in one important way. If everyone used encryption, there would be no way that an innocent bystander could stumble upon something they weren’t meant to ee.

Only the intended receiver of an encrypted message can decode it and view its contents; the sender isn’t even able to view such contents. Each coded message also has an encrypted signature verifying the sender’s identity. Gone would be the hate mail that causes many problems, as well as the ability to forge a document with someone else’s address. If the government didn’t have ulterior motives, they would mandate encryption, not outlaw it. As the Internet grows throughout the world, more governments may try to impose their views onto the rest of the orld through regulations and censorship.

If too many regulations are enacted, then the Internet as a tool will become nearly useless, and our mass communication device, a place of freedom for our mind’s thoughts will fade away. We must regulate ourselves as not to force the government to regulate us. If encryption is allowed to catch on, there will no longer be a need for the government to intervene on the Internet, and the biggest problem may work itself out. As a whole, we all need to rethink our approach to censorship and encryption and allow the Internet to continue to grow and mature.

Censorship and the ideology

Censorship and the ideology supporting it reiterates concepts from ancient times. In early Greek civilization, Socrates was accused of worshipping strange gods and corrupting the minds of the youth. He preferred to sacrifice his life rather than accept the censorship of his teachings. Socrates advocated free discussion, and is the first person in recorded history to formulate a philosophy of intellectual freedom. Ancient Roman society endorsed that only members of the Senate, or persons of vast authority, enjoyed the privilege of free speech.

However, the extensive Roman Empire could not have remained intact for four centuries if it had not maintained a tolerant attitude toward the diverse religions and cults of the races it ruled. In our own country, the American Revolution branded the beginning of an era with an emphasis on toleration and liberty the Age of Enlightenment. It affected all aspects of society, from religious belief and political life, to science and literature. The Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the U. S. Constitution sanctioned that restraint on publication is unconstitutional.

Such repression is only justified in extreme cases, such as times of war. In modern times, censorship refers to the examination of books, plays, periodicals, films, television and radio programs, news reports and the internet for the purpose of suppressing material thought to be objectionable or offensive. Censorship can be defined as the supervision and control of the information and ideas that are circulated among the people within a society. It concerns objectionable materials, such as those which may be considered to be immoral, obscene, treasonable or injurious to national security.

The rationale of censorship is that it is necessary for the protection of basic social institutions: the family, the church and the state. It is a guardian of morals, and intrudes in many aspects of society: it supervises our communications, suppresses our freedom of speech, alters and edits our media and reduces the knowledge base that we can gain access to. It is claimed that permissiveness in the arts and mass media debases the public taste and corrupts all sense of decency. One aspect of censorship is that it omits some of our freedoms of speech when addressing a large group of people.

For example, no person has the right to shout Fire! in a crowded theatre when no fire is present, or urge an angry mob to riot. This, as stipulated by Congress, would be a clear and present danger to the peace and security of the community. In some local communities, school boards have exerted pressure on publishers to omit certain areas of text relating to various sensitive issues, such as evolution, the biblical account of creation, or discussions of racial or religious groups.

When publishers, authors or broadcasters trespass the political or moral boundaries set by law, they may be subject to fines, imprisonment and confiscation of their publication. The U. S. film industry practices a form of self-censorship. The Motion Picture Association of America imposed on its constituents a system of film classification. The Federal Communications Commission implemented vague rules for television and radio about program content. They restrict the use of explicit language and direct references to sex.

Religious, ethnic and racial groups have attempted to prevent plays, movies, and television programs because of elements they find offensive. In terms of my own opinions concerning censorship, I do not believe that it should be completely eliminated from our society. Instead of the materials we have access to being filtered and limited, I believe that the information should be available to those who choose to, and are mature enough to view it. One aspect I feel strongly about is that any individual should be able to openly criticize, through speech or publication, any government or public official.

If we do not have the right to question or criticize our authority figures, than there is nothing to set our democratic society apart from that of a dictatorship. I do not believe that censorship should interfere with our correspondence, privacy, family or with our freedom of thought, religion or opinion. In terms of how censorship should be dealt with in our classroom, I think that omitting all profanity from music selection would eliminate a huge portion of songs that we might find very expressive and valid.

I think that as long as the profanity is minimal, and adds to the expression of the music rather than just be excessive and repetitive, the majority would be open-minded and mature enough to accept it. However, there appears to be a trend in some forms of modern music that is very degrading to race and gender. I do not appreciate those lyrics, and believe that people should not be subject to the embarrassment or shame that they may cause. As we look back at history, censorship has been gradually introduced and eliminated.

Idolized role models have taken their own stand against censorship, such as the rap group 2 Live Crew, defending censorship against their own music. The Internet has added a whole new dimension to the issue, and introduced a whole new form of media that is virtually impossible to control. With the advances in technology, and the numerous new methods of transmitting media, it is a possibility that censorship will be unable to exist in future years.

Internet Censorship Paper

“Inevitably, being an uncontrolled system, means that the Internet will be subjected to subversive applications of some unscrupulous users. ” (Kershaw) The concept of the Internet was created in answer to a strategic problem faced by the United States government during the Cold war era. A nuclear attack would easily disrupt a traditional computer network and hence make communication impossible. The solution was found in a new type of network. A network where all nodes would be equal in status, that is to say each could send and receive messages.

The resulting projects were the first steps towards the birth of the Internet, as we know it. Today, the Internet consists of several parts, which include the World Wide Web, News groups, and Email. The Internet is continuing to grow at a rate of 40% a year, with roughly 20 million users to date. Over the past few years, the issue of Internet censorship has been subject to an unprecedented amount of controversy. Both sides of the debate present very strong arguments about why the Internet should or should not be censored.

The point most often brought forward by advocates of Internet censorship is that “inappropriate” material can all too easily land in the hands of children via this powerful new medium. “Inappropriate” mostly describes the sexually explicit and racist material that is easily found on the Internet. The debate that currently rages however center mainly on pornographic material. The essay is divided into three content-based sections. The first section examines the data that is available about pornography on the Internet. Conclusions on significance of the data are offered.

Section two examines the legal issues and difficulties surrounding the idea of censorship. The final section discusses alternative ways of protecting children from pornography and offers a final conclusion on the attributes of the problem and the suggestion of a solution. Censorship of Internet is a big issue and not much of it can be covered in an essay at this level. In early 1995, a research team at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania released one of the most revealing studies into online pornography.

The value of study, titled “Marketing Pornography on the Information Superhighway” is realised mainly due to its massive sample size. There are several issues about pornography on the Internet that were highlighted by the study. The research team surveyed 917,410 “sexually explicit pictures, descriptions, short stories and film clips”. Of special interest were Usenet newsgroups, which are basically electronic forums. It was found that 83. 5 percent of the digitised images stored on these newsgroups were pornographic pictures.

This finding indicates that there clearly is a substantial amount of pornography on the net. This however does not necessarily indicate that this material is easy to find. To come to a conclusion, this student conducted several experiments using the on-line “Altavista” search engine. The key searchword “sex” was entered. 616,156 links were returned. Out of the first 20 entries listed on the first page only 2 links were to pornographic sites. The search keyword “tits” however, returned 69,920 links. Out of the first 20 links listed on the first page 17 were to pornographic websites or bulletin boards.

Amidst all these links was one that led to a French children’s pen-pal club called “Les P’tits Garnements. After reviewing the posted messages and photographs on one of the bulletin boards that showed up as a link, it was apparent that the purpose of the site was purely for exchange of child pornography. It is most likely that a minor would come across explicit areas of the Internet through search engines. Children are very likely to search using traditionally rude four-letter words more as a source of childish amusement than anything else.

There can be no argument that the resulting links do not justify the level of parental anxiety that we are witnessing today. Explicit sexual material on the Internet is not the result of an unfounded moral panic. Anyone that takes the time to conduct a few experiments as detailed above will realize that this is a most serious issue. The survey also determined that 71 percent of the sexual images on the newsgroups surveyed originate from adult-oriented computer bulletin-board systems (BBS) whose operators are trying to lure customers to their private collections of X-rated material.

There are thousands of these BBS services, which charge fees (typically $10 to $30 a month) and take credit cards; the five largest have annual revenues in excess of $1 million. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, explicit material is not being circulated by “perverted socially reclusive computer nerds”. This is a commercial activity. As long as people are willing to pay for it, it will be supplied. This is not a new problem that society faces. Prostitution and drug trading are other older facets of this same concept. The Internet has simply brought a new face of the same issue.

Perhaps the most disturbing discovery of the Carnegie Mellon study is one that relates to the changing face of pornography. It is no longer “just naked women”. There is great demand and inevitably great supply of “pedophilia” (nude photos of children), “hebephilia” (youths) and what the researchers call “paraphilia” (“a mixture of deviant material that includes images of bondage, sadomasochism, urination, defecation, and sex acts with a barnyard full of animals”). Anti-censorship activists often argue that censoring the net “makes no difference” because “obscene” material is available from any old corner shop.

These newer “types” of pornography may actually render this argument obsolete. Children are certainly exposed to material that even the most adventurous of them would not have normally come across. Most societies like to think of themselves as at least doing something to limit the development of “problems” such as pornography on the Internet. Governments of the United Kingdom and United States have both taken legislative steps towards this effect. It has not been easy in either case and the outcomes have arguably been altogether unsatisfactory.

United Kingdom legislation includes several statutes that are of particular interest. Section 1(1) of the 1959 Obscene Publications Act provides the following test for obscenity: “For the purposes of this Act an article shall be deemed to be obscene if its effect or (where the article comprises two or more distinct items) the effect of any one of its items is, if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it.

This definition of “obscene” stems from the opinion of Lord Cockburn concerning the case Regina v. Hicklin (1868), enunciated the first important guide in determining what material was obscene. It is open to serious criticism. The fundamental problem with this definition is that it can condemn material that may legitimately dealt with sex. Section 43 of the Telecommunications 1984 Act makes it an offence to send by means of a public telecommunications system, a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character’ and is an imprisonable offence with a maximum term of six months.

When carefully scrutinised it is clear that the Act itself does not penalise the act of procuring a message to be sent. As usual, there are loopholes abound. When a telecommunication system located outside the jurisdiction is used to send obscene materials into the country, no offence has been committed. The 1984 Act will also not apply to cases where the data is transmitted by using a local area network unless part of the transmission is routed through a public telecommunications system.

Even though UK legislation has recently been amended by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (CJPOA 1994′), in order to keep up with technological changes, there are still wrinkles in its enforcement with respect to the Internet. United State legislation has gone through many different tests of “obscenity” for reasons too many and varied to be discussed here. The current definition of obscenity is based on several conditions as opposed to a single one. On June 14, 1995, the Senate debated and voted on Title IV of the Telecommunications Competition and Deregulation Act of 1995 (S. 652).

Also known as the Communications Decency Act of 1995, it proposed to amend Section 223 (47 U. S. C. 223) to read: “Whoever, by means of telecommunications device knowingly makes, creates, or solicits, and initiates the transmission of, any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent, with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass another person,” will be charged with a felony punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 or up to two years in prison, or both. ” There are two immediately obvious reasons why the CDA was doomed to fail.

Firstly, it may have severely restricted the flow of information and free speech. In its online analysis the “Electronic Frontier Foundation” (EFF), stated: “[T]he legislation not only fails to solve the problems it is intended to address, but it also imposes content restrictions on computer communications that would chill First Amendment-protected speech and, in effect, restrict adults in the public forums of computer networks to writing and reading only such content as is suitable for children. ” A second problem was the uncompromising nature of the bill.

A particular example would perhaps best illustrate this point. An online appeal from an organisation called Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) stated the following: “This proposed law could mean the demise of the Seattle Community Network (SCN), a 6,500-member free, public access computer network established to benefit the public. Under the proposed legislation, if an individual member of the SCN posted a message on an SCN forum or from SCN that was later deemed to be “indecent,” SCN could be fined $100,000, and SCN’s board of Directors and staff could face two-year prison sentences.

Yet without community networks like SCN, the Internet would be out of reach to millions of citizens. ” It is easy to admire the ideals that the CDA stands for. The Senate approved the Act with a vote of 84-16. The approach of the legislation however, is much too naive. In June of 1997 the CDA was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on the grounds that it “violates constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression”. The general problem with legislation with respect to the Internet is the fact that regulation laws have for so long been focused on traditional media channels such as radio and television.

The Internet is new and extreme form of media. It is thus incompatible with existing laws. New and equally extreme laws would be necessary to regulate the Internet. However, as experience with the CDA has shown, extreme laws are not very popular and are likely to be contested and overthrown. Section 3 Even the most zealous censorship advocate would be blind not to realise that a world-wide censorship programme would be futile. National laws and community standards vary from nation to nation and even between regions of the same country.

It would be virtually impossible to get every nation on earth to agree to a single censorship act. Thus, the Internet, in its entirety, can never truly be censored. Even if the politics of it could be appeased, there are too many sources of pornography. Even the most ambitious regulatory agency could not hope to control them all. So the question of how to keep pornography away from children still remains. Following the 1996 period of extensive controversy over pornography on the Internet, many sexually explicit websites introduced password protection schemes.

Before being allowed access to the site a password is required. To obtain a password a user must subscribe to company such as “Adultcheck”. Online credit card payment is required before passwords are dispensed, the idea being that minors will not have access to credit cards. It seems like an attractive solution. Legislation could be used to compel the pornography industry to self-regulate itself in order to safeguard their substantial profits. There are two reasons however, why this would be an incomplete solution.

Firstly, many websites would be out of the jurisdiction of the legislation and thus free to operate without password schemes. There would probably even be a significant number of renegade sites that would ignore legislation and get away with it. Secondly, many people simply give away their passwords on bulletin boards, which defeats the whole purpose of the scheme. The solution that parents and educators are currently turning to most is the censor software approach. Censor or filtering software works by denying access to “objectionable” websites on the Internet. There are two main reasons why this approach is at most inadequate.

The first drawback relates to technological imperfections and was well highlighted in a study titled “Faulty filters”, released by the Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) in November 1997. The study involved the conducting of up to 100 searches using a normal search engine and then the conducting of the same searches via one of the new search engine that claim to return only “family-friendly” links. It was found that the search engine “typically blocked access to 95-99 percent of the material available on the Internet that might be of interest to young people”.

The study also noted that even when strict “blocking criteria were used links to “objectionable” material still showed up. The conclusion of the study seriously questioned the filtering software approach to Internet censorship on the basis of its potential to “ultimately diminish the educational value of the Internet”. The study is not optimistic about any improved performance of filtering software with the passage of time. The second drawback is concerned with a much more sinister aspect of censor software. In the February 1998 edition of “. net. ” magazine; an article about filtering software presented some disturbing facts.

The article revealed that that Solid Oaks’ CYBERsitter, a popular filtering program, actually blocked sites of groups such as “The National Organisation for Women” and “The Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation”. An even more worrying revelation was that among the list of words and phrases that were to be blocked by the program were the phrases “dontbuycybercitter” and “bennethasleton” the name of an 18 year old anti-censorship activist. This implies that there are serious political and commercial agendas behind the facade of “censorship”. This may perhaps be the general problem with censorship.

It tries to promote a particular rigid set of morals and values on everybody concerned and at times is abused in order to advance other hidden agendas. Whatever the solution to the problem of pornography on the Internet it is unlikely to have anything to do with technically unsophisticated software that considers “gay rights” to be an objectionable topic. In August 1995, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a twenty-two company consortium gathered under the held a conference discuss the need to create self-imposed ratings systems which would allow parents to control what children are allowed to see on the Internet.

The result of the group’s work, to date, is the Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS). PICS is similar to the V-chip technology that was suggested for shielding children from sex and violence on television. In this case websites voluntarily “label” their content. What this technology may mean for parents is the ability to specify viewing levels for their children according to what they feel their children should be exposed to. Intuition suggests that a complete censorship program would be practically impossible.

There are too many obstacles including the inability of current legislation to deal with the unique nature of the Internet without resorting to extreme and unpopular measures. The Internet, to be utilised to its full value, simply must remain as it is. Protection of minors from “obscene” material must be a sort of add-on. Filtering software is an attractive concept, but as discussed above, has enough shortcomings to make it a questionable approach. The only hope lies in the advancement of technology.

The MIT consortium and their work with PICS illustrates the kind of solution that would be most ideal. PICS is simply a technical standard that will supposedly allow concerned parents and educators to tighten their control over what children can see on the Internet. Unlike filtering software, it does not impose any scheme of values on its user population or advance any hidden agendas. Hopefully, with the advancement of fifth generation computers and artificial intelligence schemes such as this will eventually approach minimal defect.

The question that will then remain will be a much more of a human one. Technology can never really replace parental guidance. Children absorb sexually explicit material because of their basic curiosity, which stems from inexperience in the ways of the world. Parents and educators must recognise their duty to nurture the growth of children and encourage broad-minded yet ethically aware mental development. Only then will society be facing up to its basic problems as opposed to merely trying to diminish their effects.

Censorship and the Internet

The concept of the Internet was created in answer to a strategic problem faced by the United States government during the Cold war era. A nuclear attack would easily disrupt a traditional computer network and hence make communication impossible. The solution was found in a new type of network. A network where all nodes would be equal in status, that is to say each could send and receive messages. The resulting projects were the first steps towards the birth of the Internet, as we know it. Today, the Internet consists of several parts, which include the World Wide Web, FTP, IRC, News groups, Gopher, WAIS, Archie, and Email.

The Internet is continuing to grow at a rate of 40% a year, with roughly 20 million users to date. Over the past few years, the issue of Internet censorship has been subject to an unprecedented amount of controversy. Both sides of the debate present very strong arguments about why the Internet should or should not be censored. The point most often brought forward by advocates of Internet censorship is that “inappropriate” material can all too easily land in the hands of children via this powerful new medium. “Inappropriate” mostly describes the sexually explicit and racist material that is easily found on the Internet.

The debate that currently rages however centres mainly on pornographic material. The essay is divided into three content-based sections. The first section examines the data that is available about pornography on the Internet. Conclusions on significance of the data are offered. Section two examines the legal issues and difficulties surrounding the idea of censorship. The final section discusses alternative ways of protecting children from pornography and offers a final conclusion on the attributes of the problem and the suggestion of a solution.

Censorship of Internet is a big issue and not much of it can be covered in an essay at this level. The essay deliberately focuses only on pornography. While many aspects had to be left out and others discussed minimally, the result of this essay remains a brief synopsis of relevant issues and conclusions on these issues. Section 1 In early 1995, a research team at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania released one of the most revealing studies into online pornography. The value of study, titled “Marketing Pornography on the Information Superhighway” is realised mainly due to its massive sample size.

There are several issues about pornography on the Internet that were highlighted by the study. The research team surveyed 917,410 “sexually explicit pictures, descriptions, short stories and film clips”. Of special interest were Usenet newsgroups, which are basically electronic forums. It was found that 83. 5 percent of the digitised images stored on these newsgroups were pornographic pictures. This finding indicates that there clearly is a substantial amount of pornography on the net. This however does not necessarily indicate that this material is easy to find.

To come to a conclusion, this student conducted several experiments using the on-line “Altavista” search engine. The key searchword “sex” was entered. 616,156 links were returned. Out of the first 20 entries listed on the first page only 2 links were to pornographic sites. The search keyword “tits” however, returned 69,920 links. Out of the first 20 links listed on the first page 17 were to pornographic websites or bulletin boards. Amidst all these links was one that led to a French children’s pen-pal club called “Les P’tits Garnements.

After reviewing the posted messages and photographs on one of the bulletin boards that showed up as a link, it was apparent that the purpose of the site was purely for exchange of child pornography. It is most likely that a minor would come across explicit areas of the Internet through search engines. Children are very likely to search using traditionally rude four-letter words more as a source of childish amusement than anything else. There can be no argument that the resulting links do not justify the level of parental anxiety that we are witnessing today.

Explicit sexual material on the Internet is not the result of an unfounded moral panic. Anyone that takes the time to conduct a few experiments as detailed above will realise that this is a most serious issue. The survey also determined that 71 percent of the sexual images on the newsgroups surveyed originate from adult-oriented computer bulletin-board systems (BBS) whose operators are trying to lure customers to their private collections of X-rated material. There are thousands of these BBS services, which charge fees (typically $10 to $30 a month) and take credit cards; the five largest have annual revenues in excess of $1 million.

This finding is a valuable one. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, explicit material is not being circulated by “perverted socially reclusive computer nerds”. This is a commercial activity. As long as people are willing to pay for it, it will be supplied. This is not a new problem that society faces. Prostitution and drug trading are other older facets of this same concept. The Internet has simply brought a new face of the same issue. Perhaps the most disturbing discovery of the Carnegie Mellon study is one that relates to the changing face of pornography.

It is no longer “just naked women”. There is great demand and inevitably great supply of “pedophilia” (nude photos of children), “hebephilia” (youths) and what the researchers call “paraphilia” (“a grab bag of deviant material that includes images of bondage, sadomasochism, urination, defecation, and sex acts with a barnyard full of animals”). Anti-censorship activists often argue that censoring the net “makes no difference” because “obscene” material is available from any old corner shop. These newer “types” of pornography may actually render this argument obsolete.

Children are certainly exposed to material that even the most adventurous of them would not have normally come across. Section 2 Most societies like to think of themselves as at least doing something to limit the development of “problems” such as pornography on the Internet. Governments of the United Kingdom and United States have both taken legislative steps towards this effect. It has not been easy in either case and the outcomes have arguably been altogether unsatisfactory. United Kingdom legislation includes several statutes that are of particular interest.

Section 1(1) of the 1959 Obscene Publications Act provides the following test for obscenity: “For the purposes of this Act an article shall be deemed to be obscene if its effect or (where the article comprises two or more distinct items) the effect of any one of its items is, if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it. ”

This definition of “obscene” stems from the opinion of Lord Cockburn concerning the case Regina v. Hicklin (1868), enunciated the first important guide in determining what material was obscene. It is open to serious criticism. The fundamental problem with this definition is that it can condemn material that may legitimately dealt with sex. Section 43 of the Telecommunications 1984 Act makes it an offence to send by means of a public telecommunications system, a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character’ and is an imprisonable offence with a maximum term of six months.

When carefully scrutinised it is clear that the Act itself does not penalise the act of procuring a message to be sent. As usual, there are loopholes abound. When a telecommunication system located outside the jurisdiction is used to send obscene materials into the country, no offence has been committed. The 1984 Act will also not apply to cases where the data is transmitted by using a local area network unless part of the transmission is routed through a public telecommunications system.

Even though UK legislation has recently been amended by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (CJPOA 1994′), in order to keep up with technological changes, there are still wrinkles in its enforcement with respect to the Internet. United State legislation has gone through many different tests of “obscenity” for reasons too many and varied to be discussed here. The current definition of obscenity is based on several conditions as opposed to a single one. On June 14, 1995, the Senate debated and voted on Title IV of the Telecommunications Competition and Deregulation Act of 1995 (S. 652).

Also known as the Communications Decency Act of 1995, it proposed to amend Section 223 (47 U. S. C. 223) to read: “Whoever, by means of telecommunications device knowingly makes, creates, or solicits, and initiates the transmission of, any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent, with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass another person,” will be charged with a felony punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 or up to two years in prison, or both. ” There are two immediately obvious reasons why the CDA was doomed to fail.

Firstly, it may have severely restricted the flow of information and free speech. In its online analysis the “Electronic Frontier Foundation” (EFF), stated: “[T]he legislation not only fails to solve the problems it is intended to address, but it also imposes content restrictions on computer communications that would chill First Amendment-protected speech and, in effect, restrict adults in the public forums of computer networks to writing and reading only such content as is suitable for children. ” A second problem was the uncompromising nature of the bill.

A particular example would perhaps best illustrate this point. An online appeal from an organisation called Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) stated the following: “This proposed law could mean the demise of the Seattle Community Network (SCN), a 6,500-member free, public access computer network established to benefit the public. Under the proposed legislation, if an individual member of the SCN posted a message on an SCN forum or from SCN that was later deemed to be “indecent,” SCN could be fined $100,000, and SCN’s board of Directors and staff could face two-year prison sentences.

Yet without community networks like SCN, the Internet would be out of reach to millions of citizens. ” It is easy to admire the ideals that the CDA stands for. The Senate approved the Act with a vote of 84-16. The approach of the legislation however, is much too naive. In June of 1997 the CDA was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on the grounds that it “violates constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression”. The general problem with legislation with respect to the Internet is the fact that regulation laws have for so long been focused on traditional media channels such as radio and television.

The Internet is new and extreme form of media. It is thus incompatible with existing laws. New and equally extreme laws would be necessary to regulate the Internet. However, as experience with the CDA has shown, extreme laws are not very popular and are likely to be contested and overthrown. Section 3 Even the most zealous censorship advocate would be blind not to realise that a world-wide censorship programme would be futile. National laws and community standards vary from nation to nation and even between regions of the same country.

It would be virtually impossible to get every nation on earth to agree to a single censorship act. Thus, the Internet, in its entirety, can never truly be censored. Even if the politics of it could be appeased, there are too many sources of pornography. Even the most ambitious regulatory agency could not hope to control them all. So the question of how to keep pornography away from children still remains. Following the 1996 period of extensive controversy over pornography on the Internet, many sexually explicit websites introduced password protection schemes.

Before being allowed access to the site a password is required. To obtain a password a user must subscribe to company such as “Adultcheck”. Online credit card payment is required before passwords are dispensed, the idea being that minors will not have access to credit cards. It seems like an attractive solution. Legislation could be used to compel the pornography industry to self-regulate itself in order to safeguard their substantial profits. There are two reasons however, why this would be an incomplete solution.

Firstly, many websites would be out of the jurisdiction of the legislation and thus free to operate without password schemes. There would probably even be a significant number of renegade sites that would ignore legislation and get away with it. Secondly, many people simply give away their passwords on bulletin boards, which defeats the whole purpose of the scheme. The solution that parents and educators are currently turning to most is the censor software approach. Censor or filtering software works by denying access to “objectionable” websites on the Internet. There are two main reasons why this approach is at most inadequate.

The first drawback relates to technological imperfections and was well highlighted in a study titled “Faulty filters”, released by the Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) in November 1997. The study involved the conducting of up to 100 searches using a normal search engine and then the conducting of the same searches via one of the new search engine that claim to return only “family-friendly” links. It was found that the search engine “typically blocked access to 95-99 percent of the material available on the Internet that might be of interest to young people”.

The study also noted that even when strict “blocking criteria were used links to “objectionable” material still showed up. The conclusion of the study seriously questioned the filtering software approach to Internet censorship on the basis of its potential to “ultimately diminish the educational value of the Internet”. The study is not optimistic about any improved performance of filtering software with the passage of time. The second drawback is concerned with a much more sinister aspect of censor software. In the February 1998 edition of “. net. ” magazine; an article about filtering software presented some disturbing facts.

The article revealed that that Solid Oaks’ CYBERsitter, a popular filtering program, actually blocked sites of groups such as “The National Organisation for Women” and “The Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation”. An even more worrying revelation was that among the list of words and phrases that were to be blocked by the program were the phrases “dontbuycybercitter” and “bennethasleton” the name of an 18 year old anti-censorship activist. This implies that there are serious political and commercial agendas behind the facade of “censorship”. This may perhaps be the general problem with censorship.

It tries to promote a particular rigid set of morals and values on everybody concerned and at times is abused in order to advance other hidden agendas. Whatever the solution to the problem of pornography on the Internet it is unlikely to have anything to do with technically unsophisticated software that considers “gay rights” to be an objectionable topic. In August 1995, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a twenty-two company consortium gathered under the held a conference discuss the need to create self-imposed ratings systems which would allow parents to control what children are allowed to see on the Internet.

The result of the group’s work, to date, is the Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS). PICS is similar to the V-chip technology that was suggested for shielding children from sex and violence on television. In this case websites voluntarily “label” their content. What this technology may mean for parents is the ability to specify viewing levels for their children according to what they feel their children should be exposed to. Intuition suggests that a complete censorship program would be practically impossible.

There are too many obstacles including the inability of current legislation to deal with the unique nature of the Internet without resorting to extreme and unpopular measures. The Internet, to be utilised to its full value, simply must remain as it is. Protection of minors from “obscene” material must be a sort of add-on. Filtering software is an attractive concept, but as discussed above, has enough shortcomings to make it a questionable approach. The only hope lies in the advancement of technology.

The MIT consortium and their work with PICS illustrates the kind of solution that would be most ideal. PICS is simply a technical standard that will supposedly allow concerned parents and educators to tighten their control over what children can see on the Internet. Unlike filtering software, it does not impose any scheme of values on its user population or advance any hidden agendas. Hopefully, with the advancement of fifth generation computers and artificial intelligence schemes such as this will eventually approach minimal defect.

The question that will then remain will be a much more of a human one. Technology can never really replace parental guidance. Children absorb sexually explicit material because of their basic curiosity, which stems from inexperience in the ways of the world. Parents and educators must recognise their duty to nurture the growth of children and encourage broad-minded yet ethically aware mental development. Only then will society be facing up to its basic problems as opposed to merely trying to diminish their effects.

Anti-Censorship Essay

For a long time, censorship has existed. In the ancient Egyptian empire, nothing negative could be said about the gods. When America was an English colony, if anyone spoke out against the King of England, it was considered treason. In the pre-civil war period, books like “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” were banned in the south. And even today, censorship laws have been implemented on the internet. In all these cases ,it did nothing positive. The Egyptian empire collapsed, The United States had a revolution, the Civil War broke out, and pornography has spread even more across the internet.

If there is nothing to gain with censorship, then schools shouldn’t try to censor the books we read. Besides not working in the past, there are more reasons why books shouldn’t be censored. First, if one can’t read a book because it is censored, then he is losing some of his freedom. Imagine having to secretly get a copy of a book, just because the school deems it unfit. Also, how would the school decide if a book is safe to read. If a teacher inds a book to be trash, a student may the same book educational, and worth reading.

Not only do the people reading the book lose freedom, but the writers lose the freedom to express what they are feeling. Some of the greatest pieces of writing have come from the heart, and if writers are worrying about how they are writing, then they won’t be worried about what they are writing. Many books that are part of American society could be banned because of their content. If a book says a few curse words, then the school could say than it an’t be read even if it teaches us an important lesson.

Many books important to society have local color in them, and censorship takes away from the connotation if the local color is taken out. A lot of famous books would be banned because they accurately portray the way people spoke. Books with violence would also be the target of censorship. A book about the Vietnam War could be censored just because it was truthful and discussed the death and suffering during the war. Where would people learn about these things if the books about hem were banned.

A third reason why books shouldn’t be censored is very simple. One may miss out on a good book. Of all the great books ever written, at least 10% of them wouldn’t be published because of their content. Books like “Jurassic Park” portray violence, but are entertaining to children. Lately, it’s been difficult to get students to read at all, with distractions like television, and the internet. And if we take away some of the better books, then soon kids may decide reading isn’t fun at all, and isn’t worth the time nd thinking required to understand a book.

Censorship in the past has done no good, and won’t this time either. Students will feel entrapped because they can’t read the books of their choosing. Writers won’t be able to express their feelings, because they are worried about if the writing is censored or not. Censorship would also change American society by eliminating most local color. . Finally, many good books may not exist, because the violence and action wouldn’t be allowed in the book.

Rap Censorship Essay

Our society today largely views censorship as a method that has disappeared from liberal cultures since the enlightenment with the exception of restrictions in time of war. The enlightenment served to cripple the intolerance of incisive religious and government leaders, but did not obliterate censorship altogether. Instead, the job of expurgating unacceptable ideas has simply fallen into new hands using new tactics. Censors now assume the guise of capitalist retailers and distributors, special-interest groups, and less influential but still passionate religious and government authorities.

Their new techniques are market-censorship (dominating the marketplace), constituitive censorship (the control of language), power-knowledge (restricting knowledge), as well as the traditional regulative censorship (law). These new forces can be as equally effective as the forces of remote history. We notice the effect of post-enlightenment civilization as early as the nineteenth-century in the great Russian humanist Aleksandr Herzin.

Herzin left his native country in protest of Czarist censorship only to feel “profound disillusionment with the extremely narrow limits of permission imposed on freedom of expression by market censorship in the West” (Jansen 1991). This author will explore how these forces are affecting the free expression of musicians and lyricists of popular music in the United States, show how censorship has failed to work as planned, and provide a solution to the problem. Music as Literature and Art Music lyrics are essentially composed as poems, ballads, monologues, and the like, and set to music.

They may take the form of actual spoken or sung sounds or of written words, as literature does. Any form of literature can be sung with musical accompaniment and become lyrics. Remove the music and we are left with literature. Lyrics are therefore a form literature. All the concepts that apply to literature can therefore apply to lyrics. This author shall employ such concepts, including laws regarding public speech and public press, in my analysis of music censorship.

Censors throughout history are familiar with this association of music and the press, attacking each in similar fashion. Jeremy Collier, a seventeenth-century Englishman, thought that music was “almost as dangerous as gunpowder” and might require “looking after no less than the press” (Rodnitzky 1972). Lyrics also constitute an art form. Musicians are artists who create something new using a certain amount of creativity. The result displays an aesthetic quality, though it may also have other emotional and analytical attributes.

Lyrics can then be considered art and concepts concerning art may be applied to them, as this author chooses to do. The Importance of Art Before this author can discuss how and why music is being censored, it is vital to explain the significance of art in our lives. Picasso said, “All art is a lie that helps us to see the truth better. ” All art is a lie in that it attempts to imitate truth or to reveal something about reality outside the piece of art. Art can be a window, a passage way for our minds to perceive the external world.

Art can also be a mirror, a way of looking out and perceiving ourselves. It is important for the images in the mirror to keep changing so they may accurately reflect ourselves. Peter Michelson said: The responsibility of society, if it accepts poetry as a mode of knowledge, is to remain open to what poets of all genres, including the pornographic, have to say. Otherwise all mirrors will soon reflect the same imbecilic smile (Michelson 1971). Someone once said, “Fish will be the last animal to discover water, simply because they are always immersed in it.

Sometimes truth can be hard to examine because we have difficulty in recognizing it. We have difficulty in recognizing truth because we are constantly subjected to it and gradually become numb to it. Art, whether it be literature, theatre, visual arts, or music, by way of its difference from reality, gives us a mental pinch so that we may awake and perceive the truth with new eyes. Art can communicate in ways that other media cannot. By manipulating the environment, art can link directly to the emotions.

Sue Curry Jansen explained: … is also frequently the ragged cutting edge of emancipatory communication, for even in the most permissive times the artful evocations and contra-factuality of Aesopean mischief have a freer range than the language of theory (Jansen 1991). And Herbert Marcuse noted: Art breaks open a dimension inaccessible to other experience, a dimension in which human beings, nature, and things no longer stand under the law of the established reality principle. Subject and objects encounter the appearance of the autonomy which is denied them in their society.

The encounter with the truth of art happens in the estranging language and images which make perceptible, visible, and audible that which is no longer or not yet, perceived, said, and heard in everyday life (Marcuse 1978). Some may say that the music they consider offensive, rock n’ roll and rap music, is not art at all because it is of a lesser quality and is therefore a lower form of entertainment. This opinion relies on the musical taste of the individual and is too subjective to concede.

Besides, rap and rock n’ roll, being within the genre of popular music, will have many more subjective patrons than will styles of “high art,” such as classical music. Even if we accepted this view, based on the general complexity of classical music verses popular music, there is still a case to be made for simplicity: … the danger exists then of assuming that the other audience, the audience one does not converse with, is more passive, more manipulated, more vulgar in taste, than may be the case.

One can easily forget that things that strike the sophisticated person as trash may open new vistas for the unsophisticated; moreover, the very judgment of what is trash may be biased by one’s own unsuspecting limitations, for instance, by one’s class position or academic vested interest (Riesman 1950). On a less profound, but no less important point, people gain pleasure from the arts. Indeed, to some people, art’s sole purpose is to provide pleasure. Philosophers from Aristotle to Immanuel Kant to John Stuart Mill have argued that happiness is our ultimate goal, the end to all our means.

As Americans, we proclaim the “pursuit of happiness” is an inalienable right included in our Declaration of Independence. Music can improve the quality of our life and inspire great feelings within ourselves. Thoreau said, “When I hear music I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times and to the latest” (Rodnitzky 1972). The Importance of Art to Artists The desire or need to invoke expressions unusual in everyday life is a passion for some artists. It is not present in everyone, and not everyone who feels this passion has the talent neccessary to succeed as an artist.

So then, the artist is a minority among professions, a small voice with a delicate product. This great desire or need to create and share with those in everyday life is important enough for a person to pursue the profession of an artist, a career of spiritual as well as economic need. Once an artist, an individual produces art, something that may be thought of as a commodity. A censor who seeks to limit the distribution of this commodity not only harms the artist economically, but also professionally, because the artist cannot share her best work as she feels the need.

The actions of the censor become a dual hardship for the artist. Laurie Anderson, an influential singer/songwriter, summed up her feelings on the subject: What’s this morality play about? Mostly about fear. I’m an artist because it’s one of the few things you can do in this country that has no rules, and the idea of someone writing rules for that makes me crazy. Ideas can be crushed, artists can be crushed, and I think this is an emergency (Flanagan 1990).

On Censorship My ideas on the necessity of free expression are guided in part by the ideas of George Bernard Shaw found in his essay, “On Censorship. ” Shaw views censorship as an inherently conservative action, that is, performed by those who desire to preserve tradition. He pointed out that morality is a phenomenon dependent on the majority: Whatever is contrary to established manners and customs is immoral. An immoral act or doctrine is not necessarily a sinful one: on the contrary, every advance in thought and conduct is by definition immoral until it has converted the majority.

For this reason it is of the most enormous importance that immorality should be protected jealously against the attacks of those who have no standard except the standard of custom, and who regard any attack on custom – that is, on morals – as an attack on society, on religion, and on virtue. Henry Miller, whose novel, Tropic of Cancer, was banned in the United States for some time, cited the difficulty an artist faces when dealing with the morality of the majority: The artist must conform to the current, and usually hypocritical, attitude of the majority.

He must be original, courageous, inspiring, and all that – but never too disturbing. He must say Yes while saying No (Miller 1947). Shaw conceded the need for morality in those that are not capable of “original ethical judgment,” for they have no other means for guiding their lives. But for the rest of us, It is immorality, not morality, that needs protection: it is morality, not immorality that needs restraint; for morality, with all the dead weight of human inertia and superstition to hang on the back of the pioneer, and all the malice of vulgarity and prejudice to threaten him, is responsible for many persecutions and many martyrdoms.

For Shaw, as well as John Stuart Mill, immoral doctrines lead us in new directions that may bring us truth, and which we would not find if it were not for dissenting opinions. Without the writings of Thomas Paine and Henry Miller, the theories of Charles Darwin and Galileo, and even the blasphemy of Jesus, our civilization would be less cultured and truthful than it is. Shaw said … an overwhelming case can be made out for the statement that no nation can prosper or even continue to exist without heretics and advocates of shockingly immoral doctrines.

To those who said that some ideas may harm society in the same manner as other crimes, Shaw said there is even more harm done by the censor: whereas no evil can conceivably result from the total suppression of murder and theft, and all communities prosper in direct proportion to such suppression, the total suppression of immorality, especially in matters of religion and sex, would stop enlightenment… Shaw also recognized the interpretation that says freedom of expression should entail some kind of good sense in what is expressed.

There have been several examples of this view through history. Plato wrote that art should display socially acceptable, responsible messages. In the 1950s, Michigan Representative Charles C. Digge thought the altering of lyrics was “just a matter of good taste” (Volz 1991). Recently, a letter by Tipper Gore of the Parents Music Resource Group asked the record industry for “self-restraint” (Haring 1990).

And an editorial in The New Republic defines freedom through contradiction: “… really is wise restraints that make us genuinely free… ” (Norwood 1989). Shaw rejected these views as hopelessly relative and bias: … what he means by toleration is toleration of doctrines that he considers enlightened, and, by liberty, liberty to do what he considers right… The First Amendment to our Constitution allows us freedom of speech and press provided we do not violate any other laws in the process. As we shall see, there are no laws providing for music censorship.

Music Censorship Throughout the history of music, would-be censors have primarily targeted controversial lyrics as a problem, but there have been efforts to blame the actual music for causing societys ills. Every unusual advancement has met with disputes, whether it be Johann Sebastian Bachs complex counterpoint or heavy metals distorted guitars. In this century, jazz, bebop, swing, rock n’ roll, and rap have all had detractors.

Such attacks have traditionally been initiated by adults ready to attribute juvenile delinquency on a musical form that appeals almost exclusively to young people and which “few of its detractors comprehend” (Epstein 1990). There is definitely a factor of time at work here chiseling away at societys standards of morality. When once Elvis pelvic gyration would not be televised, it is now an accepted entertainment technique. Bachs adventuresome textures that threatened his employment can sound boring now.

Today we become offended by explicit sex or violence or language pertaining to such threats to morality. Robert L. Gross pointed out: … this controversy is a replay of the age old generation gap, in a new and, perhaps, more striking form. Iron Maiden may strike todays adults as alien to their culture, but the author suspects that a similar reaction occurred when adults first heard the lyrics to “Good Golly, Miss Molly” (Gross 1990). At one time these attacks were even racially motivated: In the 50s, petitions were circulated which said, “Dont allow your children to buy Negro records. “

Censorship Report Essay

Censorship is berated and attacked verbally by proponents of freedom of expression. Yet these same individuals seek solutions to the problems needling society. A cause is always sought after and more often than not one of its causes, the freedom of expression, particularly in television, is not given enough consideration. Our free speech and our decisions to act and behave according to how we see fit is covered under the (#) Amendment(s). However, the First Amendment is not an excuse to allow networks and their shows writers to pass on just nything to the viewing public.

Andrew Carnegie himself was a patron of the arts and thus said in his dedication address at the library of Pittsburgh: There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing elseMy aspirations take a higher flight. Mine be it to have contributed to the enlightenment and the joys of the mind, to the things of the spirit, to all that tends to bring into the lives of the toilers of Pittsburgh sweetness and light. I hold this the noblest possible use of wealth.

Imagine the look on Mr. Carnegies face if he were to witness the noblest possible use of his wealth going towards not the high-minded art of producing noteworthy things, but to the production of such adulterated shows as Temptation Island or the tasteless jokes told on late-night television. An argument frequently made that it is the parents responsibility, and not a government to impose on the public what is good and bad to watch. The invention and introduction of the V-chip wrenches the control from parents and laces it into the television set, an already untrustworthy source of images prone to create more of a harmful dependence than enlightened independence.

The V-ship, in its technological glory, is supposed to read a program and search for the very things the parent has dictated to be unsuitable, and then filter out those images. Unfortunately, the coding of ratings is voluntary, and though compliance is progressing or has progressed, it still remains to be seen whether information of the V-chip itself will be made readily available to the arenting owners of television sets. The July 5, 1999 deadline for half of all TV sets to be installed with the new technology has since been past and met.

Most major companies (Philips, Sanyo, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Thomson and Zenith) have fully complied, with the hope that the remaining companies fall readily into compliance. Last but not least is the trumpeting cry for the children. When learning tasks, skills, and non(acceptable) behaviors, children take a monkey see, monkey do approach. Perhaps the reason why Sesame Street is so popular is because hildren are allowed to imitate the Count counting or repeat the sound of words being sounded out from the television screen.

In the same way that television can aid in the learning of young children, it can also help foster within them aggression. : The average American child will have watched 100,000 acts of televised violence, including 8000 depictions of murder, by the time he or she finishes sixth grade (approximately 13 years old). These acts of violence that flash across the pupils of the young does harm from the fact that children follow examples.

Speak Your Mind: The Censorship Controversy In American Culture

On a rainy morning in Detroit, Michigan, a twenty-something year old man by the name of Marshall Mathers awakes to hear a pounding on his front door. After muttering a few obscene phrases, he rolls out of bed and stumbles to his front door. However, instead of facing another autograph seeker, the rapper best known by his alias Eminem (or the real Slim Shady) is face to face with two police officers. “Mr. Mathers,” one says, “we’re here to serve you with an arrest warrant.

You have subjected much of America’s population to obscenity, homophobic comments, sexism, and racism, and frankly, it offends many people. We don’t want culture to face your type of commentary any more. You have the right to remain silent” Needless to say, this scenario would never occur in the American democracy of the present. However, many in America today are advocating censorship to such an extreme that someday events such as this may become a reality.

And, though time and time again court cases have ruled against censorship, many continue to fight to limit free speech in America. However, in restraining what the constitution guarantees, there is much at stake. Although many argue that censorship is necessary to protect America’s citizens, it violates one’s freedom of speech found in the First Amendment and should therefore not be practiced. Granted, there are many reasons for advocating censorship that could be justified.

Much material that is available in magazines, at the movie theater, and on the internet is considered by many to be extremely offensive. For example, the rock band Rage Against the Machine at times seems to glorify violence. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine High School gunmen, were fond of this band, and some of Rage Against the Machine’s lyrics have been assumed to have inspired the boys’ violent act. In many cases, evil can be advocated in forms of speech, causing many to believe that in order to prevent wrong from prevailing, censorship must be practiced with a fervor.

In his essay “Censorship Can Be Beneficial,” Thomas Stork says, “Now if we can identify certain evils, and if advocacy of those evils seems likely to encourage people to commit them, then why should we not take the next and logical step and prohibit such advocacy Must the authorities be helpless to restrain the source of the evil? ” (20) This statement is a logical one, for one of the American government’s greatest concerns is protecting its citizens from violent acts.

Citizens of the United States want not only to be protected from violence, but they also want to keep material out of the hands of those in the American public who would not be able to handle the ideas and themes presented in such material. Who could possibly argue that small children have the maturity to view pornographic material or be exposed to extreme violence on television? Indeed, exposing young children to “entertainment” of this sort would be detrimental to their development. And, as one lawyer reports, many believe that pornography is harmful to adults as well.

The moral values endorsed by pornographic magazines, photographs, and videos are often considered offensive. Therefore, pornography has been met by a ethical firing squad that continues to fight to censor magazines such as Hustler and Playboy (Smolla 3-4). The ethical issues that are protested in many of the works that the public desires to have censored are at the forefront of the debate regarding First Amendment rights, guaranteeing that the debate over the concept of censorship will not die down any time soon. Ethics, however, is not the issue addressed in the First Amendment.

The Constitution is not concerned with Americans’ moral behavior, but rather with ensuring equal rights for all. As the document itself says, “Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” (qtd. in ACLU, “Free Speech: American Civil Liberties Union Freedom Network” 1). Therefore, neither the government nor individuals have the constitutional right to censor another person’s work. People value their First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

Citizens want to be able to practice this right to any extent that they so desire. The view of forbidding censorship supports this right by declaring that any speech, even if hateful or prejudicial, is allowable, regardless of popularity. This view also allows there to be no exceptions to the right to freedom of speech. Furthermore, it allows Americans to be able to express how they feel without having to worry about “political correctness”. Regardless of a person’s ideas on an issue, he or she has the guaranteed right to express these thoughts vocally without fear of retaliation.

Even more than having a freedom from this fear, anti-censorshipism allows citizens free thought. Censorship can greatly cripple beliefs, and furthermore it prohibits many from expressing their views. As Jonathan Rauch says in the essay “Censorship is Harmful”, “In universities and on Capitol Hill, in workplaces and newsrooms, authorities are declaring that there is no place for racism, sexism, homophobia, Christian-bashing, and other forms of prejudice in public debate or even in private thought”(27). Although prejudice is agreed to be wrong by an overwhelming majority, the risks that are taken by censoring such beliefs are tremendous.

In limiting certain types of speech, the government becomes inconsistent, unreliable, and unpredictable. Furthermore, government officials replace the constitution, and with each progressive act of censorship, more limitations on free speech are placed upon the American public. Obviously, putting more limitations on Americans would not be welcomed by most citizens, and the underlying truth is that citizens of the United States value their freedom of speech to an extent that they do not realize. Every day, citizens exercise their First Amendment rights in ways that they take for granted.

Therefore, censorship must not be permitted in the United States. However, the question still remains: How can the American public prevent some sorts of literature (e. g. pornography) from degrading society? The answer is by using discernment. Every person, regardless of age or ethical position, has common sense as well as a knowledge of right and wrong. It is each citizen’s responsibility to use this discernment. A parent has to use discernment in what he or she allows his or her child to watch. An individual has to use sound judgment when speaking his or her views in order to not destroy his or her reputation.

Censorship is not the answer; rather, the encouragement of using one’s astuteness should be emphasized. Although the primary intention of censorship is to protect others, due to its violation of First Amendment rights, it should not be allowed. Censorship gives many a feeling of security because citizens know that what they view is controlled; however, the underlying danger is that in the process of protecting citizens, First Amendment rights will be pushed aside. Indeed, censorship should not be accepted as a form of protection.

Exercising constitutional rights is one of the greatest benefits of living in America, and American citizens should not attempt to find ways to deny these rights. Instead, these privileges should be taken advantage of, and Americans should be able to exercise their freedom of speech with no fear of the government or specific individuals retaliating. When this philosophy is practiced and Americans are able to exercise their liberty how they desire, then the United States truly becomes “the land of the free and the home of the brave”.

Rap Cenorship Essay

Our society today largely views censorship as a method that has disappeared from liberal cultures since the enlightenment with the exception of restrictions in time of war. The enlightenment served to cripple the intolerance of incisive religious and government leaders, but did not obliterate censorship altogether. Instead, the job of expurgating unacceptable ideas has simply fallen into new hands using new tactics. Censors now assume the guise of capitalist retailers and distributors, special-interest groups, and less influential but still passionate religious and government authorities.

Their new techniques are market-censorship (dominating the marketplace), constituitive censorship (the control of language), power-knowledge (restricting knowledge), as well as the traditional regulative censorship (law). These new forces can be as equally effective as the forces of remote history. We notice the effect of post-enlightenment civilization as early as the nineteenth-century in the great Russian humanist Aleksandr Herzin.

Herzin left his native country in protest of Czarist censorship only to feel “profound disillusionment with the extremely narrow limits of permission imposed on freedom of expression by market censorship in the West” (Jansen 1991). This author will explore how these forces are affecting the free expression of musicians and lyricists of popular music in the United States, show how censorship has failed to work as planned, and provide a solution to the problem. Music as Literature and Art Music lyrics are essentially composed as poems, ballads, monologues, and the like, and set to music.

They may take the form of actual spoken or sung sounds or of written words, as literature does. Any form of literature can be sung with musical accompaniment and become lyrics. Remove the music and we are left with literature. Lyrics are therefore a form literature. All the concepts that apply to literature can therefore apply to lyrics. This author shall employ such concepts, including laws regarding public speech and public press, in my analysis of music censorship. Censors throughout history are familiar with this association of music and the press, attacking each in similar fashion.

Jeremy Collier, a seventeenth-century Englishman, thought that music was “almost as dangerous as gunpowder” and might require “looking after no less than the press” (Rodnitzky 1972). Lyrics also constitute an art form. Musicians are artists who create something new using a certain amount of creativity. The result displays an aesthetic quality, though it may also have other emotional and analytical attributes. Lyrics can then be considered art and concepts concerning art may be applied to them, as this author chooses to do.

The Importance of Art Before this author can discuss how and why music is being censored, it is vital to explain the significance of art in our lives. Picasso said, “All art is a lie that helps us to see the truth better. ” All art is a lie in that it attempts to imitate truth or to reveal something about reality outside the piece of art. Art can be a window, a passage way for our minds to perceive the external world. Art can also be a mirror, a way of looking out and perceiving ourselves. It is important for the images in the mirror to keep changing so they may accurately reflect ourselves.

Peter Michelson said: The responsibility of society, if it accepts poetry as a mode of knowledge, is to remain open to what poets of all genres, including the pornographic, have to say. Otherwise all mirrors will soon reflect the same imbecilic smile (Michelson 1971). Someone once said, “Fish will be the last animal to discover water, simply because they are always immersed in it. ” Sometimes truth can be hard to examine because we have difficulty in recognizing it. We have difficulty in recognizing truth because we are constantly subjected to it and gradually become numb to it.

Art, whether it be literature, theatre, visual arts, or music, by way of its difference from reality, gives us a mental pinch so that we may awake and perceive the truth with new eyes. Art can communicate in ways that other media cannot. By manipulating the environment, art can link directly to the emotions. Sue Curry Jansen explained: … it is also frequently the ragged cutting edge of emancipatory communication, for even in the most permissive times the artful evocations and contra-factuality of Aesopean mischief have a freer range than the language of theory (Jansen 1991).

And Herbert Marcuse noted: Art breaks open a dimension inaccessible to other experience, a dimension in which human beings, nature, and things no longer stand under the law of the established reality principle. Subject and objects encounter the appearance of the autonomy which is denied them in their society. The encounter with the truth of art happens in the estranging language and images which make perceptible, visible, and audible that which is no longer or not yet, perceived, said, and heard in everyday life (Marcuse 1978).

Some may say that the music they consider offensive, rock n’ roll and rap music, is not art at all because it is of a lesser quality and is therefore a lower form of entertainment. This opinion relies on the musical taste of the individual and is too subjective to concede. Besides, rap and rock n’ roll, being within the genre of popular music, will have many more subjective patrons than will styles of “high art,” such as classical music.

Even if we accepted this view, based on the general complexity of classical music verses popular music, there is still a case to be made for simplicity: … e danger exists then of assuming that the other audience, the audience one does not converse with, is more passive, more manipulated, more vulgar in taste, than may be the case. One can easily forget that things that strike the sophisticated person as trash may open new vistas for the unsophisticated; moreover, the very judgment of what is trash may be biased by one’s own unsuspecting limitations, for instance, by one’s class position or academic vested interest (Riesman 1950). On a less profound, but no less important point, people gain pleasure from the arts.

Indeed, to some people, art’s sole purpose is to provide pleasure. Philosophers from Aristotle to Immanuel Kant to John Stuart Mill have argued that happiness is our ultimate goal, the end to all our means. As Americans, we proclaim the “pursuit of happiness” is an inalienable right included in our Declaration of Independence. Music can improve the quality of our life and inspire great feelings within ourselves. Thoreau said, “When I hear music I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times and to the latest” (Rodnitzky 1972).

The Importance of Art to Artists The desire or need to invoke expressions unusual in everyday life is a passion for some artists. It is not present in everyone, and not everyone who feels this passion has the talent neccessary to succeed as an artist. So then, the artist is a minority among professions, a small voice with a delicate product. This great desire or need to create and share with those in everyday life is important enough for a person to pursue the profession of an artist, a career of spiritual as well as economic need.

Once an artist, an individual produces art, something that may be thought of as a commodity. A censor who seeks to limit the distribution of this commodity not only harms the artist economically, but also professionally, because the artist cannot share her best work as she feels the need. The actions of the censor become a dual hardship for the artist. Laurie Anderson, an influential singer/songwriter, summed up her feelings on the subject: What’s this morality play about? Mostly about fear.

I’m an artist because it’s one of the few things you can do in this country that has no rules, and the idea of someone writing rules for that makes me crazy. Ideas can be crushed, artists can be crushed, and I think this is an emergency (Flanagan 1990). On Censorship My ideas on the necessity of free expression are guided in part by the ideas of George Bernard Shaw found in his essay, “On Censorship. ” Shaw views censorship as an inherently conservative action, that is, performed by those who desire to preserve tradition.

He pointed out that morality is a phenomenon dependent on the majority: Whatever is contrary to established manners and customs is immoral. An immoral act or doctrine is not necessarily a sinful one: on the contrary, every advance in thought and conduct is by definition immoral until it has converted the majority. For this reason it is of the most enormous importance that immorality should be protected jealously against the attacks of those who have no standard except the standard of custom, and who regard any attack on custom – that is, on morals – as an attack on society, on religion, and on virtue.

Henry Miller, whose novel, Tropic of Cancer, was banned in the United States for some time, cited the difficulty an artist faces when dealing with the morality of the majority: The artist must conform to the current, and usually hypocritical, attitude of the majority. He must be original, courageous, inspiring, and all that – but never too disturbing. He must say Yes while saying No (Miller 1947).

Internet Censorship Essay

Presently, it seems that the Internet is playing a very important role in everyone’s daily life. This multipurpose network has many different functions useful for everyday work and entertainment. Due to the freedom of the Internet various debates and protests have come to disagree with its open form of communication.

Because of the misuse of the internet many people believe that there should be some kind of internet censorship, while others are against internet censorship stating that “it is both unnecessary impossible to implement and that because of its nature the internet should be afforded the same freedom and protection as the print media” (Bradsher 2). People that are in favor of internet censorship believe that the internet in unregulated and that unlike any other form of communication available today is open to abuse and misuse in many different ways.

Anyone can use the Internet to send almost any type of data to anyone. This leaves it open to abuse in ways unheard before because data can be transmitted anonymously and secretly. While these people fight for Internet censorship others argue against it. The basic argument made by people who oppose Internet censorship is that it should be granted the same rights as any other means of communication. These people state that the Internet “allows for the first time for everyone in a group to have the same opportunities of engaging in and partaking of debates” (Bradsher 2).

It doesn’t discriminate against anyone because of sex, religion or race and its open for with disabilities who are very often excluded from other media outlets to access and contribute equally. The magazine Society states that “the Internet has been shown to be used by pedophile rings across the world to trade in pictures and to encourage their depraved and sick habits” (37). This makes it impossible to stop juveniles using it to access pornography because there is no way of knowing someone’s age.

People can use the Internet to impose themselves on others; anonymous email can be sent by people; people can log onto chat servers and interrupt by saying things, which offend or upset those already communicating. “People who have had no access to pornography and other depravities are using the Internet to get at something that they would otherwise never be able to see” (Society 38). While there are people favoring Internet censorship there are others that are against it. Bradsher sates that “to censor the Internet would fundamentally harm it and destroy the equality, which makes it most popular – its freedom” (3).

People like and use the Internet because they feel they can come onto it, talk and email hundreds of others across the world. Debaters against Internet censorship believe that there are simply too many users of the Internet to be able to ensure that one doesn’t offend anyone. Many of the most important newspapers and news organizations are moving to the Internet. “If censorship is introduced our national media will be severely curtailed in a way which would never be acceptable if it were to be done to the print media” (Bradsher 3).

Those against Internet censorship state that “making commercial providers responsible for the activities or their customers is fundamentally unfair” (Society 38). If a costumer is allowed use the Internet then unless you watch and monitor every word or data they send then it is very easy for them to do something unwanted. To try and carry out this from of control would make the entire Internet unworkable. While those in favor of Internet censorship sate that “all other forms of communication TV Radio Satellite are regulated and strictly controlled.

Why should the Internet not be” (Society 38). The rights of the child to protection from pedophilia and pornography outweigh the rights of users who wish full freedom. The web is unlike any other form of publishing today. It allows people to publish quickly and quietly. People can set up pages that are unavailable unless one knows the address. This allows for the publishing of child porn and other dangerous material such as instructions for bomb making available without even the owner of the computer knowing about it.

People believe it must be strictly controlled; they can set up links to bring people to web pages they don’t want to see and can subject them to images and text about the basest forms of immorality. Children can use the web to find pictures, videos, and texts about subjects that are not suitable. Bradsher sates that “the web should be afforded the same protections as currently apply to the printed word” (4). To ban certain newsgroups and web sites would force the pornography “underground” (Bradsher 4). People would still post their files but would have to do so under cover.

This would mean those not wanting that material could have it forced upon them. “Individual users and parents, not the government, should decide what material is appropriate for their children” (Bradsher 4). Parents can make use of the new porn blocking software to stop children accessing sites, which they feel, are inappropriate for children. Bradsher states that “blanket censorship effects very serious and worthwhile organizations like those involved in the fields of breast cancer, rape, HIV/aids and others working on behalf of marginalized and disadvantaged groups” (4).

People must be entitled to view and obtain whatever information they want to as long as they are not hurting other people in the process. Those in favor of internet censorship propose different measures to deal with the internet such as: “make it a criminal offense to transmit child pornography across the internet; make it illegal to send unwanted emails to people when they make it clear they are not interested; instigate some way of controlling all forms of communication to ensure compliance with regulation, and outlaw the publishing of offensive and obscene information” (Society 39).

Bradsher propses that “the making available of new technologies to parents which block all unwanted sites to ensure their children can ‘surf safely’” (4) and that “the introduction of a rating system where each page contains a few bytes of data which identify content type, whether suitable for minors, Christians etc. and would warn those concerned before loading up data” (4). As a result, Internet censorship is a topic of many debates and those in favor and against it state their own ideas and perceptions of what is appropriate and not appropriate for the benefit of our society.

Censorship in Public Schools

-A principal in a California high school bans five books written by Richard Brautigan because he thinks they might contain “obscenities or offensive sexual references” (Berger 59). -A Vermont high school librarian is forced to resign because she fought the school board’s decision to remove Richard Price’s The Wanderers, and to “restrict” the use of Stephen King’s Carrie and Patrick Mann’s Dog Day Afternoon (Jones 33). -An Indiana school board takes action that leads to the burning of many copies of a textbook that deals with drugs and the sexual behavior of teenagers (Berger 61).

These cases of censorship in public schools are not unusual and there is evidence that such challenges are increasing (Woods 2). These challenges are actually typical of the ones being leveled against school libraries today. These challenges can come from one person or a group concerned with the suitability of the material in question. In almost every case, the effort to ban books is said to be “justified by fear of the harmful effects that the books may have on young children” (Berger 59).

The result of these censorship attempts has been two opposing sides: one side believes that “more suitable materials can sually be found from among the wealth of materials available on most subjects (Woods 1), and the other side believes that students’ “intellectual freedom” can be upheld only if students are allowed to examine “any available relevant materials in order to gain the insights needed to reach their own conclusions” (Woods 1). In the simplest terms, the debate is between censorship and the freedom to read.

The most important question when discussing censorship deals with its constitutionality; does censorship violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech? Censorship advocates actually use the words of the First Amendment to make their point; “the amendment reads, ‘Congress shall make no law… “, it does not say, “There shall be no law… ‘” (Berger 69). They believe that, although the federal government is forbidden to censor, it is not unconstitutional for states and local communities to pass censorship laws (Berger 69).

Also, since the US Supreme Court does not believe the First Amendment protects all forms of expression (child pornography, etc. ), then proponents of censorship believe that censorship laws are onstitutional (Berger 69). Anti-censorship has the upper-hand, constitutionally, at least, since “judges, from local courts to the Supreme Court, seem firmly on the anti-censorship side” (Berger 61). The courts have time and again ruled that the Constitution prohibits Congress from censorship of any form.

These two opposing sides have butted heads again and again leaving behind landmark cases for future legal actions. One of the most famous of those cases was Pico vs. Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District No. 26, which was the irst school library censorship case to reach the Supreme Court (Jones 35). In March 1976, the Island Trees School Board in New York removed eleven books that they deemed “anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and just plain filthy” (Berger 59) from the high school library shelves.

Among these books were Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, A Hero Ain’t Nothing but a Sandwich by Alice Childress, and Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver (Jones 37). The board felt that it had “a moral obligation to protect the children in our schools from this moral danger” (Berger 60). Five students then sued the school board on grounds that their decision violated their First Amendment rights. The suit was passed around the courts until June 1982 when the Supreme Court took up the cause and ruled that the school board would have to defend its removal of the books.

The Supreme Court decided that since the library is used voluntarily, they can choose books there freely and that, as Justice Brennan stated, “the First Amendment rights of students may be directly and sharply implicated by the removal of books from the shelves of a school library (Jones 45). The Supreme Court’s decision was that “courts may act our of concern for the First Amendment rights of those affected by school officials’ action” (Jones 45).

On August 12, 1982, the school board voted to put the books back on the shelves; (special note: the librarian was told to inform the parents of students who checked out those books) (Berger 60). The advocates of school library book censorship believe that adults must have control over what children read. They feel that unless responsible adults oversee what students are reading, students will be exposed to the worst in literature.

This literature can go from simply causing offense, to “resulting in emotional damage and even leading to anti-social behavior” (Berger 61). Their beliefs lead them to pull the offending books from the shelves so that young readers are protected, as was the case in Pico and as was the case when “Robin Hood was considered communistic, Tarzan was living with Jane without benefit of clergy, and Huckleberry Finn was a racist” (Woods 13).

Each time they use words like controversial, filthy, immoral, lascivious, lewd, obscene, sacrilegious, and violent, they are actually using only one word, censorship. The anti-censorship group believes that students have the same constitutional freedoms as everyone else, including the right to read whatever they want. They feel that it is only in this way “that children can develop the taste and understanding to distinguish between trash and serious literature” (Berger 61). And it is with this group that I make my stand against censorship.

The purpose of education remains what it has always been in a free society: to develop a free and reasoning human being who can think for himself, who understands his own and other cultures, who lives compassionately and ooperatively with his fellow man, who respects both himself and others, who has developed self-discipline and self-motivation, who can laugh at the world, and who can successfully develop survival strategies for existence in the world. (Jones 184) As one who is striving to be an English teacher I know that literature has a significant part in the education of man.

I am aware that I have responsibilities to my students, for knowing “many books from many cultures”, for “demonstrating a personal commitment to the search for truth through wide reading”, for “respecting the unique qualities and otential of each student” and for “exhibiting the qualities of the educated man” (Jones 184). With these responsibilities, I believe that I would not be serving my students to the best of my abilities if I were not a strong advocate against the censorship of books. As the NCTE writes, “to deny the freedom of choice in fear that it may be unwisely used is to destroy the freedom itself” (Jones 181).

As stalwart and idealistic as I am, I still understand that at some point in my career I will come under attack from a censorship group unhappy with my selection of curricula. The American School Board Journal gives a list of nine strategies that can be used to help reduce the chances of an attack; these include “involving citizens in the book selection process”, “giving objecting parents and students and out”, and “don’t ban or remove books until they’ve been afforded a fair trial” (Woods 35).

A similar list by Diane Divoky is a little more extreme but no less helpful. Her list includes hints like, “if you’re going to use a book with obscenities, check to see if there are approved books in the school library containing the same words”, “before you take on a high-risk project, try to lign yourself with a veteran staff member”, and “at the moment you suspect a problem lies down the line, call the best lawyer within your reach” (Woods 34).

As for my personal opinion as a citizen and a reader, I have always been leery of censors. Censors of school library books never announce that it is their morality that has been damaged. It is always “they” who will be damaged, it is always someone else’s moral fiber that is being protected. In an excerpt from possibly the most banned book of the modern era, The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caufield reacts to an obscenity scrawled on a wall: It drove me damn near crazy.

I though how Phoebe and all the other little kids would see it, and how they’d wonder what the hell it meant, and then finally some dirty kid would tell them what it meant and how they’d all think about it and maybe even worry about if for a couple of days. I kept wanting to kill whoever’d written it. (Salinger 165) This phrase from Salinger’s classic novel, for me, illustrates exactly how censors react when they find anything they deem objectionable in the school. Why will people react emotionally, even violently, to certain spoken or written words, while in many cases aving mild reactions to the actions described by the words?

While D. H. Lawrence has seen considerable censorship due to his affinity for sexual content, Shakespeare has enjoyed relative peace even though Othello and his lover made “the beast with two backs” (I. I, 119-120). I, myself, will continue to struggle against the censors who seek to control written expression in our schools while waving the banner of freedom, for it is censorship that we must fear, not words, and hope that in the future, the true obscenities of the world (poverty, hunger, war) will be what we shall strive to censor.

Internet Censorship Report

The freedom of speech that was possible on the Internet could now be subjected to governmental approvals. For example, China is attempting to restrict political expression, in the name of security and social stability. It requires users of the Internet and electronic mail (e-mail) to register, so that it may monitor their activities. In the United Kingdom, state secrets and personal attacks are off limits on the Internet. Laws are strict and the government is extremely interested in regulating the Intern et with respect to these issues. 10 Laws intended for other types of communication will not necessarily apply in his medium.

Through all the components of the Internet it becomes easy to transfer material that particular governments might find objectionable. However, all of these means of communicating on the Internet make up a large and vast system. For inspectors to monitor every e-mail, every article in every Newsgroup, every Webpage, every IRC channel, every Gopher site and every FTP site would be near impossible. Besides taking an ext raordinary amount of money and time, attempts to censor the Internet violate freedom of speech rights that are included in democratic constitutions and international aws. 1 It would be a breach of the First Amendment.

The Constitution of the United States of America declares that 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; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redr ess of grievances 12 Therefore it would be unconstitutional for any sort of censorship to occur on the Internet and affiliated services. Despite the illegality, restrictions on Internet ccess and content are increasing worldwide under all forms of government.

In France, a co untry where the press generally has a large amount of freedom, the Internet has recently been in the spotlight. A banned book on the health history of former French president Francois Mitterrand was republished electronically on the World Wide Web (WWW). Apparently, the electronic reproduction of Le Grand Secret by a third party wasn’t banned by a court that ruled that the printed version of the book unlawfully violated Mitterrand’s privacy.

To enforce censorship of the Internet, free societies find hat they become more repressive and closed societies find new ways to crush political expression and opposition. 3 Vice – President Al Gore, while at an international conference in Brussels about the Internet, in a keynote address said that [Cyberspace] is about protecting and enlarging freedom of expression for all our citizens … Ideas should not be checked at the border. 14 Another person attending that conference was Ann Breeson of the Ame rican Civil Liberties Union, an organization dedicated to preserving many things including free speech.

She is quoted as saying, Our big victory at Brussels as that we pressured them enough so that Al Gore in his keynote address made a big point of stre ssing the importance of free speech on the Internet. 5 Many other organizations have fought against laws and have succeeded.

A prime example of this is the fight that various groups put on against the recent Communication Decency Act (CDA) of the U. S. Se nate. The Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition on 26 February 1996 filed a historic lawsuit in Philadelphia against the U. S. Department of Justice and Attorney General Janet Reno to make certain that the First Amendment of the U. S. A. ould not be compr omised by the CDA.

The sheer range of plaintiffs alone, including the American Booksellers Association, the Freedom to Read Foundation, Apple, Microsoft, America Online, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Commercial Internet eXchange Association , Wired, and HotWired, as well as thousands of netizens (citizens of the Internet) shows the dedication that is felt by many different people and groups to the cause of free speech on the Internet. 16 Words like *censored*, *censored*, piss, and tits. Words of which our mothers (at least some of them) would no doubt disapprove, but hich by no means should be regulated by the government.

But it’s not just about dirty words. It’s also about words like AIDS, gay, a nd breasts. It’s about sexual content, and politically controversial topics like drug addiction, euthanasia, and racism. 17 Just recently in France, a high court has struck down a bill that promoted the censorship of the Internet. Other countries have attempted similar moves. The Internet cannot be regulated in the way of other mediums simply because it is not the same as anyt hing else that we have. It is a totally new and unique form of communication and deserves to be given a hance to prove itself.

Laws of one country can not hold jurisdiction in another country and holds true on the Internet because it has no borders. Although North America (mainly the United States) has the largest share of servers, the Internet is still a worldwide network. This means that domestic regulations cannot oversee the rules of foreign countries. It would be just as easy for an American te en to download (receive) pornographic material from England, as it would be from down the street. One of the major problems is the lack of physical boundaries, making it ifficult to determine where violations of the law should be prosecuted.

There is no one place through which all information passes through. That was one of the key points that was stressed during the original days of the Internet, then called ARPANET. It started out as a defense project that would allow communication in the event of an e mergency such as nuclear attack. Without a central authority, information would pass around until it got where it was going. 18 This was intended to be similar to the road system. It is not necessary to take any specific route but rather anyone goes. In th e same way the nformation on the Internet starts out and eventually gets to it’s destination.

The Internet is full of anonymity. Since text is the standard form of communication on the Internet it becomes difficult to determine the identity and/or age of a specific person. Nothing is known for certain about a person accessing content. There are no signatures or photo-ids on the Internet therefore it is difficult to certify that illegal activities (regarding minors accessing restricted data) are taking place. Take for example a conversation on IRC. Two people could people talking to one another, bu t all that they see is text.

It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain the gender and/or age just from communication of this sort. Then if the conversationalist lies about any points mentioned above it would be extremely difficult t o know or prove otherwise. In this way governments could not restrict access to certain sites on the basis of ages. A thirteen-year-old boy in British Columbia could decide that he wanted to download pornography from an adult site in the U. S. The site may have warnings and age restrictions but they have no way of stopping him from receiving their material if he says e is 19 years of age when prompted.

The complexity in the way information is passed around the Internet means that if information has been posted, deleting this material becomes almost impossible. A good example of this is the junk mail that people refer to as spam. These include e-mails ad vertising products, usenet articles that are open for flames. Flames are heated letters that many times have no founding behind them. These seem to float around for ages before dying out because they are perfect material for flamewars. Flamewars are long, drawn out and highly heated discussions consisting of lames, which often time, obscenely, slander one’s reputation and personae.

Mostly these are immature arguments that are totally pointless except to those involved. The millions of people that partici pate on the Internet everyday have access to almost all of the data present. As well it becomes easy to copy something that exists on the Internet with only a click of a button. The relative ease of copying data means that the second information is posted to the Internet it may be archived somewhere else.

There are in fact many sites on the Internet that are devoted to the archiving of information including: tp. cdrom. com (which archives an extraordinary amount of software among others), www. rchive. org ( which is working towards archiving as much of the WWW as possible), and wuarchive. wustl. edu (which is dedicated towards archiving software, publications, and many other types of data).

It becomes hard to censor material that might be duplicated or triplic ated within a matter of minutes. An example could be the recent hacking of the U. S. Department of Justice’s Homepage and the hacking of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Homepage. Someone illegally obtained access to the omputer on which these homepages were stored and modified them.

It was done as a prank; however, both of these agencies have since shut down their pages. 2600 (www. 2600. com), a magazine devoted to hacking, has republished the hacked DoJ and CIA homepages on their website. The magazine ei ther copied the data straight from the hacked sites or the hacked site was submitted to the magazine. I don’t know which one is true but it does show the ease that data can be copied and distributed, as well it shows the difficulty in preventing material deemed inappropriate from appearing where it shouldn’t.

The Internet is much too complex a network for censorship to effectively occur. It is a totally new and unique environment in which communications transpire. Existing laws are not applicable to this medium. The lack of tangible boundaries causes confusion as to where violations of law take place. The Internet is made up of nameless interaction and anonymous communication. The intricacy of the Internet makes it near impossible to delete data that has been publicized. No one country should be allowed to, or could, regulate or censor the Internet.

Censorship In Music

Censorship in music is a topic that has brought about much controversy in the past two decades. There have been many different arguments on the topic, however the question still remains as if it should be censored or it should not be censored. Before one can form an opinion on this, one must hear both sides of the argument. Some believe that music should be censored so all audiences can hear it without it containing any controversial lyrics. Others believe it should not be censored and musical artists should be able to speak, sing, rap, or rhyme freely without anyone censoring them.

Whether a person finds a work obscene depends largely on his or her moral or religious beliefs. These views change with each generation and further complicate the censorship dilemma. Religious or moral beliefs have a great influence on how a person feels about censorship, and as generations pass on the common beliefs on it may change. Right now, America is more uncensored than ever. However, things were very different a few generations ago. Some people believe music should be censored. They believe some of the language musical artists use is vulgar, obscene, and crude.

Also the fact that music is played on forms of media such as radio and television. Those are broadcasted to all audiences, and there are many parents that would not wish for their kids to hear foul language. So on radio and television any controversial language is either silenced, or edited out by a soft sound. Some artists make two versions of their songs; one that is made for the artist’s album, which is uncensored; and one for television and radio with any controversial words change to be acceptable for all audiences.

This does not include cable television, which can be audited by parents since the parents must order and pay for the channel to be viewed. When one really thinks about it, it is a violation of the First Amendment. The First Amendment guarantees the right to freedom of speech, and censorship is violating peoples’ rights to say whatever they want to say. It is sometimes difficult to understand when a child gets punished for using foul language meanwhile the child’s parents have the right to criticize and petition the government whenever they feel the need to do so.

Many musical artists feel that when they are forced to change lyrics their rights are being violated. In some artists’ songs they like to express their feelings towards somebody or something, and it hurts them to be censored because the new words implemented are not from his or her heart. They feel that they are being held down. Due to the amendment made by our founding fathers, it is hard to decide if there will ever be an answer to the question whether or not music should be censored. The way I see it, it should not be censored.

Many children often hear explicit language from older siblings or parents at an early age. They believe that since someone they look up to uses those words, they should too. Eventually, everyone will be exposed to language they do not find acceptable. Foul language is not permitted on media such as television or radio because it is an all audience media. However, on albums the artist is allowed to use any words he or she sees fit. The troublesome question, of course, is, who should decide what one should read or. However in order to avoid violation of our Constitutional rights.

The answer should be the individual himself. However it is unnecessary to censor stations generally viewed by older audiences. It is now a requirement by law for record companies to put stickers on tapes and compact discs that say: “Parental Advisory. Explicit Lyrics”. The reason that law was passed was because many angry parents sued artists and record companies for releasing albums that contained explicit lyrics. Reason for lawsuit was that their child goes and repeats their newly learned words to people such as their teachers, principals, and other friends who then spread word around to their parents.

It is likely though, that many of those parents used those same bad words in front of their children at one time or another. They probably did not say it to their face, but the fact still remains that the child heard his or her parents say those words, thus the child assumes it is normal to say that word. Many parents also complain that the art on music albums’ covers and insides. They argue saying that too is vulgar and should not be allowed. Music should not be censored due to our First Amendment right.

The government is doing all they legally can to protect the childrens’ young ears from the foul language that is out there. If a parent hears their child listening to foul language, they should not complain to anyone but themselves. If they do not wish for their child to hear foul language they should have supervised their children more closely. If they take their child to a record store and buy them a new tape or CD, the parent should have listened to the music by him or herself and scan for anything questionable.

If they don’t like the content, they can always return it to the store. This way parents can be positive that their child is listening to music that is acceptable in their eyes. In conclusion, censorship in music is wrong in my opinion. Artists should be allowed to say whatever they want. That is what our founding fathers based this country upon, freedom. The government is doing an excellent job in making the First Amendment suitable for all. If parents have a problem with it, it is because they did not properly supervise their children.

A View on Censorship in Music and the Government

The censorship of music and other forms of entertainment by the government have long been the topic of discussion among social and political circles. Some forms of censorship such as warning labels for parents can be helpful. However the censorship of music is just not right, and the government has no right to do so. All too often the government gets this self righteous feeling and thinks that it has the right to control what goes in or out of this so called “free nation’s” mind.

Censorship in music falls into one of those categories in which the people and the government, which is supposed to be a representation of the people, have extremely conflicting ideas on the subject. Some say that the government should regulate the music industry. They say that the people don’t know what is best for them as a whole. Their proof is in the increase in violence, crime, unadulterated sex and other “taboos” that has been on the rise in recent years. There are those that say that the government should only slightly be involved.

These are the proponents of warning labels and the like, and that is about the extent of what they want the government to interfere with. The remainder generally says that the government has no right infringing on entertainment at all. They say that the government does not have the right to decide what the people can or cannot see, read, or listen to. Most of those who are of the opinion to let government help regulate the entertainment industries take the all too familiar tragic occurrence at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado as proof of their position.

On April 20, 1999, two students interred the school and killed twelve other students, a teacher, and then themselves, and set the media and the entertainment worlds ablaze. The two killers were said by their peers to be avid fans of Marilyn Manson, and were even said to almost idolize him. Marilyn Manson is an accused shock-rocker who has been described by the music press as an “ultra-violent satanic rock monstrosity”. There have also been several other reports of teenage killers who have been big fans of the rocker.

Thurston High School student Kip Kinkell, who murdered his parents and two students in Springfield, Ohio, was said to be a listener of Marilyn Manson. In Edinboro, Pennsylvania, Andrew Wurst killed a teacher at his eighth-grade dance. In Pearl, Mississippi, Luke Woodham murdered his parents and a classmate. All of these kids were heavy listeners of Marilyn Manson. People are using the increase in violence among children as proof that violent-themed music is causing a change for the worse in kids and young adults today.

It appears to me that this is a case in which people want to blame someone or something, and he is the easiest and most obvious choice. An easy assumption, but it is just that, an assumption. When asked for proof, as has occurred in recent years, various reports are mentioned that supposedly have scientific proof of the correlation between the increase in violence and violence in music. A recent article by the American Medical Association was quoted as saying “the link between media violence and real life violence has been proven by science time and again”.

How can the American Medical Association have jurisdiction over the music industry and say what its product effects? Music has nothing to do with medicine. Psychology, maybe, but definitely not medicine. A vast majority of media publications refer to these reports, but never give the information to find the reports themselves. This to me is no coincidence. Every article that I have read in my research has quoted lines out of context in an effort to emotionally sway the reader. Out of context of the feeling of the songwriter, not of the lyric. First of all, songwriters write for themselves.

Even with more songwriters today openly saying that they like being rock stars for the money, they began writing for themselves. Even if they didn’t get paid to write, they would still write. Therefore their songs are representations of their mood and thoughts at the time. Every person has their own deep dark thoughts that would shock others, and they keep them intensely private. However some choose to express them in their lyrics, but they are still just words. The problem comes when people fail to realize this. The problem also comes when people have to be spoon-fed their thoughts, because they can’t form an opinion for themselves.

People today need a mind of their own. I say that people need to blame themselves for the things they do. People need to stop avoiding the issues of personal integrity and respect. People need to pressure parents to raise their kids in such a way as to teach these things to them. A few decades ago, Elvis was thought of by many as the devil. They thought that his dancing was too sexually explicit for the young girls of the day to be seeing. Led Zeppelin was thought of in much the same way. Today, Elvis is considered a “king”, and Led Zeppelin is considered to be one of the most influential bands of all time.

Today’s society harshly criticizes artists, and even go as far as calling them satanic. Countless social problems dealing with youth were and are blamed on music. The trend is sadly spreading to other nations as well. French rapper NTM was arrested for so called offenses against “public authority” in 1996. In Pakistan, a popular rock group called Junoon has been repeatedly banned because of the content of their lyrics. Nigerian Afrobeat artist Fela Kuti was regularly imprisoned. His son now leads his Movement Against Second Slavery (Naylor). There is evidence of what is happening.

Strauss Zelnick, the head of BMG Entertainment, has said that the Federal Trade Commission’s survey shows that seventy-four percent of parents are satisfied with the current system of parental advisory stickers, which warn parents of explicit lyrics. If the people supposedly need their entertainment screened for their own good, then why do so many of them say that they are satisfied with the current limited form of warning labels? Why does the government want to increase the level of censorship, when the people say that they like the current level?

The incident at the Woodstock ’99 Festival in rural New York is another attempted example of violent actions and violent music. On the last day of the festival, the crowd was whipped into a frenzy consisting of burning cars and speakers and people dancing naked among the flames. Ironically, the band playing at the time was the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who were naked except for a sock, which covered their male anatomies. Even more ironic is the fact that they were doing a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire”. Five hundred riot police were called in. Later that evening, Limp Bizkit stirred the spectators into an even greater frenzy.

The mob eventually destroyed the entire park. Many had the nerve to say that it was the actions and words of Limp Bizkit that caused the actions of the crowd. This is also the same festival that had five-dollar hamburgers, two and a half-dollar cokes, and unsanitary toilets of which were few and far between. Again, an example of using the first and most obvious scapegoat that is available. The bottom line is that music is not cause of action, violent or otherwise. Music consists of thoughts, feelings, moods, attitudes, and ideas. Music is not a tool to affect the nation and its actions, and there has been no conclusive evidence otherwise.

Censorship In Europe

Americans think of Europeans as essentially like themselves. They believe European societies are like their own-rooted in the rule of law, freedom of religion, democratic government, market competition, and an unfettered press. In recent years, however, Europeans have given up an essential liberty: freedom of speech. It is true that in the United States prevailing orthodoxies on some questions are ruthlessly enforced but it is still legal to say just about anything. Not so in much of Europe.

In the last decade or so countries we think of as fellow democracies-France, Germany, Switzerland and others-have passed laws that limit free speech for the same crude ideological reasons that drove the brief, unsuccessful vogue of campus speech codes in the United States. Today in Europe there are laws as bad as anything George Orwell could have imagined. In some countries courts have ruled that the facts are irrelevant, and that certain things must not be said whether they are true or false.

In others, a defendant in court who tries to explain or defend a forbidden view will be charged on the spot with a fresh offense. Even his lawyer can be fined or go to jail for trying to mount a defense. In one case a judge ordered that a bookseller’s entire stock-innocent as well as offending titles-be burned! Just as Eastern Europe is emerging from it, Western Europe has entered the thought-crime era, in a return to the mentality that launched the Inquisition and the wars of religion.

It is a tyranny of the left practiced by the very people who profess shock at the tactics of Joseph McCarthy, an exercise of raw power in the service of pure ideology. The desire not merely to debate one’s opponents but to disgrace them, muzzle them, fine them, jail them is utterly contrary to the spirit of civilized discourse. It is profoundly disturbing to find this ugly sentiment codified into law in some of the countries we think of as pillars of Western Civilization. At the same time, these laws cannot help but draw attention to the very ideas they forbid.

Truth does not generally require the help of censors. There are two subjects about which Europeans can no longer speak freely. One is race and the other is Nazi Germany. “Anti-racism” laws generally take the form of forbidding the expression of opinions that might stir up “hatred” against any racial or ethnic group. In some countries, it is now risky to say that genetic differences explain why blacks have, on average, lower IQs than whites or to say that non-white immigration should be prevented so as to preserve a white majority.

There are probably parts of every issue of American Renaissance that could be banned in some European country, and we have an obvious interest in opposing censorship of this kind. Far more prosecutions have taken place, however, in connection with what is called “Holocaust revisionism” or “Holocaust denial. ” This appears to cover any skepticism about the generally-accepted view that the Nazis had a plan to exterminate Jews and managed to kill some six million, mostly by gassing.

There is considerable variety in the laws that forbid disagreement on this matter (see sidebar, page 6), but the Jewish Holocaust has become the one historical event on which people in France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Holland, Poland, Austria, Lithuania (and Israel) can be legally compelled to agree. It is still legal to dissent from Holocaust orthodoxy in Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Britain, Ireland, and Croatia, but there is powerful pressure in some of these countries to join the censors. Third Reich Jewish polices are of no special interest to AR, but it is outrageous that any point of view on any question be forbidden.

In the United States there is widespread complacency over this blatant thought control practiced by our closest allies. This complacency proves the utter lack of integrity of those who make principled free-speech claims for Communists, pornographers, rap “artists,” and flag-burners, but who will not lift a finger to stop the persecution of “racists” and “Nazis. ” Liberals get dewy-eyed over the First Amendment only when it suits them, and are quietly delighted to see their opponents dragged off to jail because of their opinions.

Indeed, several thousand Europeans are arrested every year who, if they were leftists, would be lionized as “prisoners of conscience. ” Indifference, even joy, over their fate is the contemptible sentiment that prevails across the political spectrum even in America. France has had perhaps the most colorful history of modern European censorship, perhaps because it has the longest history of Holocaust revisionism. The leftist Paul Rassinier cast doubt on accepted views as early as the 1950s, but it was in 1978 that revisionism came to the attention of a larger European public.

In that and the following year Prof. Robert Faurisson of the University of Lyon published two articles in the newspaper Le Monde asserting that there were no execution gas chambers in the Nazi concentration camps. Mr. Faurisson, an expert at textual analysis who made his case from original documents, provoked a storm of opposition. Nine anti-racist and concentration-camp survivor organizations brought civil and criminal suits against Prof. Faurisson for “falsification of history in the matter of the gas chambers,” a curious charge brought under the French anti-racial-discrimination law of 1972.

In April 1983, the Paris Court of Appeals found Prof. Faurisson innocent of “falsification of history” but found him guilty of the equally curious crime of “reducing his research to malevolent slogans,” and made him pay a small fine. At the same time, the court upheld the right to express any opinion on the existence of Nazi gas chambers (presumably so long as it was not expressed “malevolently”), concluding that “the value of the conclusions defended by Faurisson rests therefore solely with the appraisal of experts, historians, and the public.

This was a setback to the suppressers of free speech, who responded with what is known as the Gayssot law-named for the Communist deputy who promoted it-signed into law in 1990 by President Franois Mitterand. This law made it a crime punishable by up to 250,000 French francs (at that time approximately $50,000) or one year in prison or both to dispute the truth of any of the “crimes against humanity” for which Nazi leaders were charged at the Nuremberg trials. Prof.

Faurisson, who had continued to publish views on the Holocaust, was the first to be convicted under this law, and was fined 100,000 francs in April, 1991, a penalty reduced on appeal to 30,000 francs. He has not given up his work and has been repeatedly found guilty of the same crime. At last count, he has also been physically assaulted ten times and on at least one occasion was nearly killed. Although the Gayssot law was controversial when it was passed, the French are now happy with it.

According to a 1998 Sofres poll, 79 percent think it necessary “because one does not have the right to say anything one likes about the extermination of the Jews. ” The extent of this sentiment explains why there were other convictions for Holocaust-related comments before passage of the 1990 Gayssot law. In 1987 the leader of the French National Front Jean-Marie Le Pen was fined under anti-racism laws, not for denying the existence of Nazi gas chambers but merely for describing them as a “detail” or “minor point” in the history of the Second World War.

Astonishingly enough, not only must a Frenchman affirm a certain historical fact, he must attribute to it a certain prescribed importance. Another French celebrity-turned-thought criminal is Brigitte Bardot, the former actress. In retirement she has become an ardent animal-rights activist and has often denounced the ritual slaughter of sheep by French Muslims during the festival that marks the end of the Ramadan fast. She has also spoken in more general terms, lamenting that “my country, France, my homeland, my land is again invaded by an overpopulation of foreigners, especially Muslims. ” Like Prof.

Faurisson, she is impenitent and has been fined at least three times-in 1997, 1998 and 2000-under the 1972 anti-racism law. A judge concluded that Miss Bardot was guilty of inciting “discrimination, hatred or racial violence,” and that her condemnation of Muslim practices went beyond any possible concern for animal rights. There has been a host of other less-well-known Frenchmen convicted under the censorship laws. In May, 1999, the editor of a small-circulation magazine Akribeia was fined 10,000 francs ($2,000) and given a suspended six-month sentence for writing favorably about Paul Rassinier, the founder of French revisionism.

At his arrest, police strip-searched Jean Plantin and confiscated his two computers and a dozen computer disks, destroying the results of several years’ research. In September 2000, a 53-year-old French high school teacher in Lemberg in the Moselle region was fined 40,000 Francs ($8,000) and given a one-year suspended sentence for telling his students that the Third Reich gas chambers were used for delousing clothes and that the concentration camps were not extermination centers. Censorship cases now get little attention in France unless there are unusual circumstances or the defendant is a celebrity.

In July 2000, a local National Front politician in the Rhne-Alpes region, Georges Theil, was charged with “disputing the existence of crimes against humanity. ” In what he thought was a private e-mail exchange and using a screen name, he had written, “Homicidal gas chambers never existed for the simple reason that they were simply and profoundly impossible. ” Mr. Theil had not counted on the diligence of the French police, who tracked him down through his Internet service provider, Wanadoo, and hauled him into court where prosecutors asked for a six-month suspended sentence.

Cases of this kind, which show how deeply the French police are willing to burrow into what people think are their private lives, have been completely ignored in the United States. Two recent censorship trials that did receive international attention were “the Garaudy affair” and the successful attempt to shut down certain activities by the American Internet portal Yahoo. The Garaudy scandal is particularly instructive because it shows how willingly the left will sacrifice its own to the gods of Third Reich orthodoxy.

Roger Garaudy was born in 1913, served in the French army, joined the war-time Resistance, and sat in the French National Assembly as a Communist, first as a deputy and later as a senator. For 25 years he was a major theoretician for the Communist Party, but broke with the comrades over the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. He continued to teach philosophy and promote anti-racism and socialism. He converted to Islam, and enjoyed great prestige as one of France’s most influential public intellectuals.

Over the years he took an increasing interest in the Palestinian cause, and came to believe Jews were exaggerating the horrors of the Holocaust in order to squelch criticism of Israel. This and other views expressed in his 1995 book The Founding Myths of Modern Israel (published in English in 2000 by the California-based Institute for Historical Review) unleashed not only a flood of criticism but likewise brought the octogenarian into court for violation of the Gayssot law. Prof.

Garaudy’s impeccable credentials as a leftist and anti-racist were no defense. In February, 1998, he was duly fined the equivalent of $40,000 after a trial that caused a sensation in France and throughout the Islamic world. Probably no event has prompted more interest in Holocaust revisionism among Arabs than the trial of this French Muslim who defended Palestinians. Religious and political leaders from Egypt to Iran denounced France for putting him on trial, and the wife of the president of the United Arab Emirates contributed $50,000 to his defense.

Egyptian Nobel laureate in literature Naguib Mahfouz wondered about the health of Western societies in which it is commonplace to deny God but a crime to doubt the Holocaust. The affair took on yet another tragi-comic dimension when Abb Pierre, one of the most popular and admired men in France, made a few offhand remarks in support of Prof. Garaudy. Abb Pierre is a Capuchin friar whose real name is Henri Grouls. He came to be known as “the abb” during his work with the French Resistance smuggling Jews out of occupied France.

He has devoted his life to good works for the poor and for immigrants, and has a reputation something like that of Mother Theresa. He had become acquainted with Prof. Garaudy and shared his concern about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. After a few comments in favor of his old friend, he was horrified to discover that despite much backtracking and many apologies his reputation had vanished. He acknowledged he had not read the book, called on Prof. Garaudy to correct any errors, and disavowed any association with Holocaust denial.

Even so, leftists whom he thought were life-long friends turned on him, kicking him out of the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism, a French anti-racist organization of which he had long been a member. Perhaps the cruelest blow was his expulsion from Emma-us, the charitable organization he himself had founded. Although not charged with violation of the Gayssot law, Abb Pierre fled to Italy and hid in a monastery until the controversy blew over.

The French case against the American Internet giant Yahoo, which is a gateway to search engines, auctions, shopping and much else caused only a brief murmur of disapproval in the United States, but is an ominous first step in bringing the Internet under the control of European censorship laws. The same International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism of which the abb used to be member-known by its French acronym LICRA-joined the French Union of Jewish Students in suing Yahoo to stop Internet auctions of Nazi medals, arm bands, photos, autographs and the like.

France’s anti-racism laws forbid commerce in anything “racially tinged,” and the California-based Yahoo promptly removed these auctions from its French web site. This was not enough for LICRA and the Jewish students, who insisted that Yahoo find a way to block French Internet users from reaching Yahoo sites in the U. S. , where auctions continued. Yahoo said it was technologically impossible, and the court appointed a panel of three computer experts-American, British, and French-to render a ruling. Two of the experts said it could not be done, but Judge Jean-Jacques Gomez chose to believe the Frenchman, who said it could.

In May 2000, he gave Yahoo two months to make it impossible for French Internet users to reach the Nazi auctions. He said he would fine the American company —-100,000 Francs (now $13,000) a day if it did not, since the sale of Nazi souvenirs offended “the collective memory of the nation. ” Judge Gomez also ordered Yahoo to pay 10,000 Francs to the plaintiffs LICRA and the Union of Jewish Students. A LICRA spokesman hailed the ruling as a great victory for democracy, of all things. The next month Jerry Yang, a co-founder of Yahoo, said his company would ignore Judge Gomez’ order.

Asking us to filter access to our sites according to the nationality of web surfers is very nave,” he said, adding, “we are not going to change the content of our sites in the United States because someone in France is asking us to do so. ” Six months later, in January 2001, Mr. Yang ate crow when Yahoo decided “voluntarily” to stop auctioning anything that bears a swastika or any other “hate” symbol such as a KKK insignia. “Yahoo recognizes that we were right,” exulted LICRA, and Ygal El Harrar, chairman of the Jewish students, welcomed “the return to its senses by the American company.

Incredibly, Yahoo claims daily fines had nothing to do with its decision. Noting that it already bans auctions of live animals, used underwear, and tobacco, it is pretending it is was only adjusting its list of forbidden products. No one is fooled. Lee Dembart wrote in the International Herald Tribune on Jan. 15, 2001, that the precedent has now been set for any country to try to control the Internet all over the world. China could threaten to fine sites that promote the Falun Gong Buddhist cult, which is illegal in China.

Arab countries could fine Internet sites that sell Jewish memorabilia, since such things no doubt offend their “collective memory. ” But by and large the American media have had nothing to say about what amounts to the imposition of French law on Americans. Needless to say, there would be a frenzy of denunciation if it were not “Nazis” who were being shoved off the net but, say, abortion-rights activists. Switzerland In the minds of Americans Switzerland is an orderly, sensible country of decent, independent-minded people.

It is also perhaps the only country that has ever brought censorship upon itself through referendum. Over the weekend of Sept. 24 and 25, 1994, the Swiss voted by a majority of 54. 7 to 45. 3 percent to make it a crime, punishable by fine and/or up to three years imprisonment, to “publicly incite hatred or discrimination” or “deny, grossly minimize, or seek to justify genocide or other crimes against humanity. ” Half of all Swiss cantons voted against the new law but thanks to the overall majority, it went into effect Jan. 1, 1995. Swiss authorities had not actually needed this law to censor foreigners.

In November 1986, the Geneva police stopped two French Holocaust revisionists-Pierre Guillaume and Henri Roques-from giving a press conference and banned them from speaking publicly in Switzerland for three years. The first Swiss citizen to fall afoul of the new law was Arthur Vogt, an 80-year-old retired school teacher. On June 3, 1997, a court in Meilen fined him 20,000 Swiss Francs ($15,000) for mailing copies of a revisionist book to seven acquaintances and for publishing a private newsletter in which he had written revisionist essays.

In December 1997, a court in Vevey sentenced Aldo Ferraglia, an Italian citizen, to four months in jail and court costs of 15,075 francs. He was also made to pay 28,000 francs in “atonement” to three Jewish organizations for having distributed a number of Holocaust revisionist books, including Roger Garaudy’s The Founding Myths of Modern Israel. At the Ferraglia trial the judge defended the new law by explaining it did not forbid opinion, only the public expression of certain opinions-a distinction that may be a little too fine for Americans.

By June of last year, there had been no fewer than 200 trials and 100 sentences based on the 1995 law. As in France, such trials no longer attract much attention. Probably few Swiss heard about it when animal rights activist Erwin Kessler went to jail for two months for writing that Jews who practice ritual slaughter of cattle are no better than concentration-camp guards. The press took only slightly more notice of Gaston-Armand Amaudruz whom a Lausanne court sentenced to a year in prison for articles he wrote in his monthly newsletter Courrier du Continent, which he started in 1946 and had only about 500 subscribers, mostly in France.

Mr. Amaudruz holds a doctorate in social and political sciences and has been a teacher of French and German. These are the words for which the 79-year-old paid with a year in prison: “For my part, I maintain my position: I don’t believe in the gas chambers. Let the exterminationists provide the proof and I will believe it. But as I’ve been waiting for this proof for decades, I don’t believe I will see it soon. ” At sentencing, the judge criticized Mr. Amaudruz’ lack of remorse and noted that he had continued to violate the law, writing “Long live revisionism” in the issue of the newsletter that appeared just before the trial.

Perhaps the most prominent Swiss to be found guilty under the censorship law is 49-year-old school teacher Jrgen Graf. In March, 1993, after the publication of his 112-page book, The Holocaust on the Test Stand, in which he cited reasons to doubt the accounts of extermination, he was fired from his job as a teacher of Latin and French at a private secondary school. The French banned the book in 1994. Before long Mr. Graf found himself in court, and in July, 1998, he was sentenced to 15 months in jail for various revisionist writings. Sentenced along with Mr. Graf was his 70-year-old publisher, Gerhard Frster, who got 12 months.

The court fined both men 8,000 Swiss francs ($5,500) and ordered them to turn over 55,000 francs ($38,000) in proceeds from book sales. Presiding Judge Andrea Staubli said the defendants’ “remarkable criminal energy” and lack of remorse justified harsh punishment. Their defense counsel protested that he could not even try to explain the reasons for Mr. Graf’s statements without, himself, being prosecuted under the same law. He also argued in vain that censorship law violated the free-speech provisions of the European Human Rights Convention which Switzerland has signed.

Wolfgang Frlich, an engineer called to vouch for the authenticity of Mr. Graf’s findings, found himself threatened with prosecution if he testified. Just as absurdly, the court included The Holocaust on the Test Stand in its reasons for finding Mr. Graf guilty even though he wrote it before the 1995 censorship law. Mr. Graf decided to flee the country rather than spend 15 months in prison. In November 2000, he ended up in Iran, where he planned to stay for some time. He has been welcomed by scholars in Tehran, and was invited to give lectures at Iranian universities.

Mr. Graf does not intend to return to Switzerland until the country restores the right of free speech. As we will see, he is not the only European to go into exile rather than face jail as a prisoner of conscience. Germany Since the end of the Second World War, beginning with de-Nazification, Germany has had censorship laws unthinkable in the United States. Nazi songs, salutes, and symbols are illegal even in private, and the country has been as aggressive as any in trying to expand the effects of its own repressive laws beyond its own borders.

By now, thousands of people have fallen afoul of anti-Nazi, and “incitement to racial hatred” laws, which violate the German constitution’s own guarantees of freedom of expression. Any number of quite remarkable cases of state-sponsored thought control have gone almost completely unreported in the United States. Fredrick Toben was born in Germany in 1944 but emigrated with his parents to Australia when he was ten, and is an Australian citizen. He studied at Melbourne University and at universities in Heidelberg, Tbingen, and Stuttgart, and has a doctorate in philosophy.

In 1994 he established the Adelaide Institute, in the Australian town of that name, to promote Holocaust revisionism. He sent some material to Germany, and was arrested in Mannheim in April 1999 during a visit. He was held without bail until his trial seven months later and was charged with “incitement to racial hatred,” “insulting the memory of the dead,” and “public denial of genocide. ” The court sentenced Dr. Toben to ten months in prison but let him off with a fine of 6,000 marks ($3,500) on the strength of time already spent in prison.

As in Switzerland, it is impossible to mount a defense against these charges. Defendants and even lawyers who try to explain or justify their statements have been immediately charged with additional offenses right in the courtroom. The prosecution tried to charge Mr. Toben on additional counts because of articles on his Australia-based Adelaide Institute web page (www. adelaide institute. org), but the court ruled that his only violation of German law was to have sent printed matter directly into Germany. Foreign Internet sites were not covered by the law even if Germans could read them.

As Deputy Interior Minister Brigitte Zypries explained in July 2000, “That’s life and that’s the Internet . . . . You can’t build a wall around Germany. ” Since the government could not use the most serious evidence against him, Dr. Toben got off lightly; the shortest previous sentence for his crimes had been two years, and the prosecution was asking for two years and four months. However, in December 2000, in a very significant ruling that went virtually unnoticed in the United States, Germany’s highest court, the Bundesgerichtshof, reversed the lower court.

It said German law applies to any ideas or images Germans can reach from within Germany, so someone who posts a swastika on a web page anywhere in the world is a criminal under German law. Dr. Toben, whose case provided the high court with the basis of this ruling, could presumably be the subject of an extradition request. As we will see below, Dr. Toben faces problems enough back home in Australia. One of the few Americans to notice and comment on this extension of German (and French) law to the Internet was Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.

We commend the German authorities for sticking to their commitment,” he said; “it’s their democracy, these are their laws. ” He went on to praise the French, too: “We have to commend the Germans and the French for basically saying ‘In our societies, this is how we deal with the problems of hate, racism and Holocaust denial. You in America have your own laws, but at least respect our values. ‘ ” Perhaps Rabbi Cooper would be pleased to see European-style censorship in the United States. The case of Germar Rudolf is likewise remarkable.

Born in 1964, Mr. Rudolf graduated summa cum laude in chemistry from the University of Bonn and is a certified chemist. After serving in the German air force, he entered a Ph. D. program at the prestigious Max Planck Institute for Solid State Physics. While still at the institute he carried out a forensic physical examination of the gas chambers of Birkenau and concluded that for a variety of technical reasons they could not have been used for executions. In 1993 he published his findings in what is called The Rudolf Report, and was promptly dismissed from the Max Planck Institute.

A court in Stuttgart ruled that the report “denies the systematic mass murder of the Jewish population in gas chambers” and was therefore “popular incitement,” “incitement to racial hatred,” and “defamation. ” The court rejected Mr. Rudolf’s request for technical evidence about the truth or falsehood of his report, ruling that the “mass murder of the Jews” is “obvious. ” Mr. Rudolf has continued to commit thought crimes, editing a compendium of revisionist articles called Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte [Foundations of Contemporary History].

In 1996 a court fined his publisher 30,000 marks ($18,000) and ordered all copies seized and burned. Police raided Mr. Rudolf’s apartment three times, and in 1996 he was finally sentenced to 14 months in prison. Rather than serve time he fled to England, which has anti-racist laws but where Holocaust denial is not (yet) a crime. He is now director of Castle Hill Publishers, which issues revisionist works, and publishes a German-language revisionist quarterly. Jewish groups have brought pressure on the British government to enact laws to outlaw Holocaust denial so that Mr. Rudolf can either be prosecuted in England or extradited to Germany.

Like Jrgen Graf of Switzerland, unless free speech is restored in his homeland, he will go to jail if he ever returns. Recently he moved to the United States and has applied for amnesty as a political refugee. It will be interesting to see how the INS, which has stretched “political persecution” to include wife-beating and making fun of homosexuals, will avoid granting him asylum. One German defendant who did not flee the country was the elderly historian Udo Walendy, publisher of the “Historical Facts” series of booklets.

In May, 1996, the district court of Bielefeld sent him to prison for 15 months, and a year later a court in Herford added 14 more months to his sentence. He was also fined 20,000 marks ($12,000) when 12 copies of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf were found in his possession. Judge Helmut Knner of the Herford court took the curious position that Mr. Walendy was guilty not of a sin of commission but of omission: “This [case] is not about what was written-that is not for this court to determine-but rather about what was not written.

If you had devoted just a fraction of the same exactitude to highlighting the other side [of the Holocaust question], you would not have been sentenced. ” Here we find the tortured reasoning to which censorship laws invariably give rise. To have failed to write about a particular historical event in a balanced manner is a crime that can send a historian to jail. In the court’s view, this one-sided writing was “meant to disturb the public peace,” not withstanding the “exactitude” of Mr. Walendy’s work.

Moreover, although Mr. Walendy has been a model prisoner he was denied the usual grant of release after serving two-thirds of his sentence. Authorities explained that this was because he was unlikely to change his views. It is possible to argue that Austrian censorship laws have already claimed a life. In 1995, Werner Pfeifenberger, a German professor of political science published an essay called “Internationalism and Nationalism: a Never-Ending Mortal Enmity? ” in a collection issued by Austria’s Freedom Party (see AR, Dec. 1999, and March 2000). A prominent Jewish journalist attacked the essay, accusing Prof.

Pfeifenberger of writing in a “neo-Nazi tone,” and “extolling the national community. ” Because the professor had criticized the 1933 Jewish declaration of an international boycott of Germany, the journalist also accused him of reviving “the old Nazi legend of a Jewish world conspiracy. ” The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia dismissed Prof. Pfeifenberger from his teaching position, and a court in Vienna prepared a case against him under Austrian anti-Nazi laws. On May 13, 2000, just a few weeks before the trail, Prof. Pfeifenberger took his own life. His lawyer explained that Prof.

Pfeifenberger faced ten years in jail under the charges, did not expect a fair trial, and had already spoken of committing suicide. As in Germany and Switzerland, Austrian law does not permit a defendant to argue the veracity of his statements; offensive “tone” or “diction” is sufficient to secure conviction. United States citizens have fallen afoul of German censorship laws-without the slightest gesture of support from their own government. Hans Schmidt of Pensacola, Florida, runs the German-American National Public Affairs Committee, which publishes a newsletter.

Mr. Schmidt, who fought in the German army, moved to the United States after the war and became a U. S. citizen. In 1995, on a trip to Germany to visit family members, German authorities arrested him for having sent some of his newsletters to Germany. They held him in jail for five months but released him in conjunction with the first part of his trial. Mr. Schmidt, who could have been sentenced to five years in prison, slipped out of the country rather than stay for the rest of his trial. Another American, Gary Lauck of Lincoln, Nebraska, was not so lucky.

Known as “the farm-belt Fhrer,” Mr. Lauck is an unapologetic supporter of Nazism, and has shipped a considerable quantity of Nazi material to Germany. In March, 1995, he was visiting Denmark, a country that does not have anti-Nazi laws, but in an operation of questionable legality, the Danes extradited him to Germany. In August, 1996, a Hamburg court convicted him of inciting racial hatred and distributing illegal materials-which he did legally in the United States and not in Germany-and sentenced him to four years in jail. He served his sentence and returned to the United States, where he continues to promote Nazism.

At almost the same time Mr. Lauck was on trial in Germany, the American citizen Harry Wu-a fervent critic of China-slipped into China illegally on a mission of support for dissidents and was arrested. The U. S. State Department mounted an extraordinary effort to secure his release, but completely ignored Germany’s prosecution of Mr. Lauck. Another curious case involving the United States is that of a young German musician Hendrik Mbus. Mr. Mbus said provocative things about Jews, gave the Nazi salute during a concert, and later turned up in the United States.

Censorship From “Obscene” Material

Today, in the 1990’s, citizens in our society are being bombarded with obscene material from every direction. From the hate lyrics of Gun’s ‘N Roses to the satanic lyrics of Montley Crue and Marilyn Manson to the sexually explicit graphical content of today’s movies, the issue is how much society is going to permit and where we, as a society, should we draw the line. The freedom of speech has always been considered a right, but that doesn’t mean that you can shout, “Fire! ” in a crowded movie theater.

The real question is whether such material is harmful or dangerous to our society. Many people are asking whether or not we should censor offensive material. They believe that some material is too obscene for society to hear or see. The advocates of censorship get riled up because the movie rating council doesn’t give a move an R-rating for having the occasional f-word. One rap group, 2 Live Crew, has already had one of their albums banned because in one song they used explicit references to male genitals and 87 references to oral sex.

They used the word “bitch” more than 100 times and the f-word more than 200 times. Although most people agree that we are being overwhelmed with offensive material, there is no consensus on how to deal with the problem. There are three possible solutions. The first is the possibility of government censorship, which would include laws and penalties for breaking these laws. The second solution is self-imposed censorship by individuals and corporations. The third solution is total free speech with no censorship. The first possible solution is government censorship.

In the past government legal actions have been taken to control offensive messages. For example, in 1988, the Ku Klux Klan wanted to appear on a Kansas City, Missouri public access cable channel. The city council decided that it would be better to shut the public access cable channel down instead of letting the KKK air their show. Later, under the pressure of being sued, the city council reversed their decision. Critics of this sort of action agree that these offensive messages do exist, but legal action is not the way to deal with them.

They believe that no individual acts the way the messages portray just because the messages exist. Another belief is that legal actions will intimidate creative people because it makes them afraid of having to pay a fine to the government for violating obscenity laws. The second possible solution is private-sector censorship. While some people feel that government officials are the best way to restrict offensive messages, others feel that self- censorship is a more effective method. A recent series of incidents suggests that executives in many private firms have begun doing just that.

Book publishers, TV stations, and others have drawn the line when faced with words or images that are tasteless or offensive. For example, in 1990, Andy Rooney, a CBS news correspondent, was suspended for his racist remark, “Blacks have watered down their genes because the less intelligent ones… have the most children. ” Another episode of self-imposed censorship is when George Michael released his song “I Want Your Sex. ” In 1987, AIDS and other sexual diseases were rampantly spreading and his song condoned casual sex.

The MTV executives also sent the video for this song back because of the explicit, sexual images. A third incident happened when MTV drew the line again, this time with Madonna’s video for “Justify My Love. ” They said that the video illustrates Madonna’s erotic fantasies. It was said to be “too hot to handle. ” The advocates of the second solution agree that America is suffering from a deluge of offensive messages, but they feel that the best way of dealing with the problem is not government censorship, but private-sector censorship.

The critics of this point of view think that private-sector censorship will not be enough. They believe that the entertainment industry will not be able to control itself. Private-sector restrictions do not have the authority of the law, therefore they cannot successfully draw the line between what can and cannot be said in public. The third and final possible solution is no censorship at all. While many Americans are troubled by what they feel is offensive speech, and feel that it should be restricted by law, advocates of the third solution disagree.

They feel that there is more harm in restricting free speech than by the offensive speech itself. In the bill of rights, the first amendment says, “Congress shall make no long abridging the freedom of speech. ” The first amendment was intended to protect the minorities from the tyranny of the majorities. The advocates of this view feel that the minority has a right to express themselves regardless of the opinion of the majority. Free speech matters because it encourages creativity. Without the freedom of speech, America would probably be dull and drab like a communist country such as the former USSR.

For example, the comedy of Andrew Dice Clay, considered offensive by some, shouldn’t be censored from those who find him humorous Freedom of speech is an important part of any democratic country. While some people may find Rush Limbaugh’s portrayal of President Clinton offensive, his show should not be censored. This is the price that we pay to live freely in a democratic society. Censorship does not have to be the solution. You always have the right to change the channel or put down a book. You have control over what you hear, see, or read. You are not forced to see or hear the offensive speech.

Opponents of the “first amendment view” believe that “just saying no” is not enough. For example, children most likely will not say no. This is why these people believe that the government should at least have the right to censor what children see. Some people believe that censorship is the answer, others do not. I believe that this issue will be left up to the courts to decide. I fear that the media may become a swamp of regulations with no more entertainment value whatsoever, and I hope that this never happens. I think that the first amendment is a great right and that we should never abridge it.

Fight to Maintain Freedom of Speech on the Internet

Imagine yourself trapped inside another world, a world where your essence is made entirely of words that can say whatever you desire. You could be young or old, male or female or neither, you are only as limited as your imagination. Now Imagine that someone wants to have a say in what can be said, seen, and done in this brave new world, what would this change, and more importantly who decides what’s ‘good’ and what’s ‘bad’? In the ordinary and mundane world of real life people have always fought for the pursuit of happiness, free speech, etc.

They are subjects which have always shouted in the hearts of our nations heroes, and rightfully so. What would our world be like if the government controlled what we were allowed to see and to say? It seems that George Orwell described it best in his book 1984 when he gave the scenario of a society in which people who committed the heinous act of thoughtcrime, the act of thinking something that goes against the party line, mysteriously disappeared into the night never to be seen again.

Thankfully, the hordes of would be ‘thought police’ members have been staved off throughout history and we have achieved a relatively liberal society where people are, for the most part, able to speak their minds openly. Well, even in today’s world there are still people who get pissed off when they think that free speech goes to far and they say something about it. This brings me to my main point. The Internet. A land made possible in 1968 by the Dept.

Defense with the idea that if all other lines of communications were destroyed in the advent of war then at least we’d have computers, (I don’t know, maybe they thought the electricity might magically produce itself after the bombing stopped). Any ways, thankfully the Internet has evolved beyond that into something which encompasses just about every possible human interest out there. A hodgepodge of political ideals ranging from big business capitalism to the gender erasing equality of the socialist mindset make the Internet a place where conflicts of interest often arise.

These conflicts are what I’m going to concentrate on in this essay, I hope to show you that, although I don’t believe that kids need to be looking at stuff like drug pages or cyberporn, I don’t believe that censoring it so that no one can take a peep is the answer that we need. The answer that I am going to try to present will focus more on increasing the level of awareness on the part of the Internet user instead of black listing offensive material. I will also talk about the increasing debate on the ethics of canceling someone who is writing offensive material.

The question that we must address on this issue is do we, as Internet users, have the right to decide what others can say on the net? For years now the Internet has played the role of 7th heaven for those who want to get their hands on information of any kind. Sometimes, however, it becomes the ‘any kind’ part that scares parents who don’t want their young son ‘accidentally’ catching his first exposure to the birds and the bees on the family’s PC, or their daughter looking at the latest news on the Cannabis Cup results.

Parents have every right to be alarmed by the material that their children see because that’s part of being a parent, looking after your kid. However, does being a parent extend to someone who wants to look at such material? First you have look at the availability of objectionable material, in this case pornography. The following excerpt is by James Herrington from his essay “Beware of Chilling Freedom of Expression” which is in CyberReader, The Internet also can be a conduit for obscenity, and for children who know how to find it. Not that obscenity is new to human existence, even for minors.

Nor is salacious and vulgar material easy to locate on the Internet; ferreting it out requires a certain adeptness, even for seasoned Internet surfers. Its availability alone should not set the stage for cybercensorship. Although Herrington suggests that the availability of pornographic material on the net requires “a certain adeptness” this is olny a temporary solution to the problem. Kids are becoming more familiar with the Internet due to its increased use in schools and, because of this, it won’t be long before it becomes easier for kids to find things on the net.

However, the limited knowledge that kids posses as of right now gives us some time before the problem amplifies, this is where the parents come in. Parents today must no longer look at the Internet with apprehension, there is software available to block out offensive sights using key words and the Internet providers also have the right and power to enforce morality codes on their users. The responsibility to initiate this software falls upon the shoulders of concerned parents.

There doesn’t have to be an outright ban on “salacious and vulgar” material, people have the option to in effect create an Internet which is tailored to their needs without restricting the type of material which is presented on the entire net. Parents aren’t the only ones who are calling for changes on the net, regular users have often complained of ‘flaming’, the act of sending verbally abusive messages. In reaction to flaming netizens have begun utilizing the ‘cancelbot’ function, in other words, destroying offending messages.

There is a danger in this however, where do we draw the line between canceling someone because they’re offensive and canceling them because you don’t want to hear what they have to say? Here’s what Daniel P. Dern, author of The Internet Guide for New Users, has to say about canceling. There is a danger of the cancel wars shifting from inappropriate resource use to canceling somebody based on ‘I don’t like your opinion. At what point does somebody say, ‘I don’t like this person, and I’m going to cancel them? (Lewis, “No more “Anything Goes” Cyberspace Gets Censors”)

The question that we face now is, should the cancel command be continued or another system be imposed. One idea is to reduce the whole thing to majority rule basis, I do not believe this is the right choice, the whole idea of free speech is to allow the minority the right to voice their opinions. So, what answer can we turn to? A system in which a complaint is lobbied through a committee would slow the process to an intolerable length for the petitioner. I offer this idea, that the system remain the same, minus the cancelbot.

There isn’t any need to cancel someone is to take the out-of-sight out-of-mind approach which only ignores the problem. As Clifford Stoll, author of Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway 220, Internet users have the capability of self redemption. I suspect that the main reason why we see so few law suits is that the network provides an ideal system for rebuttal. Whatever someone says against you online, you can reply to within hour, with the same distribution, and to the same audience.

The Internet is a land where people may defend themselves by the verbal sword, a land of freedom wherein its peoples should be able to speak freely. This is the code by which the Internet should live. People must become educated in the areas of software advances and the Internet itself otherwise the Internet might never live up to its potential greatness. It is the users themselves who decide what freedoms remain on the net and so I implore you to become more responsible netizens and up hold the edicts and ethics of the net to stop the invasion of would be ‘thought police’.

Censorship In Music

Censorship in music is a topic that has brought about much controversy in the past two decades. There have been many different arguments on the topic, however the question still remains as if it should be censored or it should not be censored. Before you can form an opinion on this, you must hear both sides of the argument on this much-debated topic. Some people believe that music should be censored so all audiences can hear it without it containing any controversial lyrics. Others believe it should not be censored and musical artists should be able to speak, sing, rap, or rhyme freely without anyone censoring them.

Whether a person finds a work obscene depends largely on his or her moral or religious beliefs. These views change with each generation and further complicate the censorship dilemma. ” (Censorship by, Bradley Steffens page 97) The quote above is very true. Religious or moral beliefs have a great influence on how a person feels about censorship, and as generations pass on the common beliefs on it may change. Right now, America is more uncensored than ever. However, things were very different a few generations ago. Some people believe music should be censored.

They believe some of the language musical artists use is vulgar, obscene, and crude. Also the fact that music is played on medias such as radio and television, which are free to listen to by all audiences, and there are many parents that would not wish for their kids to hear foul language. So on radio and televison any controversial language is either silenced, edited out by a soft sound, or some artists make two versions of their songs; one that is made for the artist’s album, which is uncensored; and one for televsion and radio with any controversial words change to be acceptable for all audiences.

This does not include cable television, which can be audited by parents since the parents must order and pay for the channel to be viewed. “Preventing or punishing speechis a clear violation of the First Amendment. ” (Censorship. Opposing Viewpoints by, Greehaven Press page 147). This quote here is the “battle cry” of many anti-censorship groups. When you really think about it, it is a violation of the First Amendment, which says: “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press”.

The First Amendment guarantees the right to freedom of speech, and censorship is violating peoples’ rights to say whatever they want to say. It is sometimes difficult to understand when a child gets punished for using foul language meanwhile the child’s parents have the right to critiscize and petition the government whenever they feel the need to do so. Many musical artists feel that when they are forced to change lyrics their rights are being violated. In some artists’ songs they like to express their feelings towards somebody or something, and it hurts them to be censored because the new words implemented are not from his or her heart.

They feel that they are being held down. Due to the amendment made by our founding fathers I do not believe there will ever be an answer to the question whether or not music should be censored. The way I see it, it should not be censored. Many children often hear explicit language from older siblings or parents at an early age. They believe that since someone they look up to uses those words, they should too. Eventually, everyone will be exposed to language they do not find acceptable. Foul language is not permitted on medias such as television or radio because it is an all audience media.

However, on albums the artist is allowed to use any words he or she sees fit. “The vexing question, of course, is, Who should decide what you read or view- the church, the stateor you? ” (War of Words: The Censorship Debate by George Beahm page xiii) In my opinion, the answer to that question is: you. Censorship on television channels such as Nickelodeon , or PBS is understandable due to the fact that mostly young children programming is broadcasted on those stations. However I find it unnecessary to censor stations generally viewed by older audiences.

It is now a requirement by law for record companies to put stickers on tapes and compact discs that say: “Parental Advisory. Explicit Lyrics”. The reason that law was passed was because many angry mothers and fathers sued artists and/or record companies for releasing albums that contained explicit lyrics, and now their child goes and repeats their newly learned words to people such as their teachers, principals, and other friends who then spread word around to their parents. I would tend to believe that many of those parents used those same bad words in front of their children at one time or another.

They probably did not say it to their face, but the fact still remains that the child heard his or her parents say those words, thus the child assumes it is normal to say that word. Many parents also complain that the art on music albums’ covers and insides. They argue saying that too is vulgar and should not be allowed. I believe music should not be censored due to our First Amendment right. When a parent hears foul language on their child’s stero or television, they should not complain to the network or record company, they should complain to themselves.

The government is doing all they legally can to protect the childrens’ young ears from the foul language that is out there. If a parent hears their child listening to foul language, they should not complain to anyone but themselves. If they do not wish for their child to hear foul language they should have supervised their children more closely. If they take their child to a record store and buy them a new tape or c. d. , the parent should have listened to the music by him or herself and scan for anything questionable.

If they don’t like the content, they can always return it to the store. This way they can be positive that their child is listening to music that is acceptable in their eyes. In conclusion, censorship in music is wrong in my opinion. Artists should be allowed to say whatever they want. That is what our founding fathers based this country uopn: freedom. The government is doing an excellent job in making the First Amendment suitable for all. If parents have a problem with it, it is because they did not properly supervise their children.

Freedom of speech in our Bill of Rights

To me, having the right of freedom of speech means that I can voice my opinion wherever and whenever I feel the urge to without the fear of being prosecuted. The United States would be in an extremely weak state if citizens did not have the right to freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech in our Bill of Rights, people could not necessarily stand up for what they believed in. I think that if a person has a valid point or even an unvalid point that they want to voice nothing should stand in their path.

It would be nearly impossible for certain organizations to form if the United States was without freedom of speech. Freedom of speech means to me that these certain radical organizations should be and are allowed to voice their opinions and views on different issues on which some people feel uncomfortable about. These issues may involve issues that I do not agree on; however, I feel that the group of people have the right to express their beliefs. Also, freedom of speech means to me that America is one of the best countries that involves the people.

There is not one person making all of the decisions for the American citizens, so it is possible to have numerous ideas in the government. People who voice their opinions can pursway the many government officials to change their positions on certain issues. If the United States did not possess the right to freedom of speech, then there would be hardly any reason for the government official to change his or her position on a certain issue. I believe that it is important for people to express their opinions and ideas so that the American public can catch a glimpse of the opposite sides of different views.

I believe that freedom of speech is a great aspect of the American government, and which also illustrates that the United States is a mature nation that respects and takes into consideration all of the ideas of all of the nations citizens. Prejudice and racial stereotyping are two of this country’s greatest problems today. Many people in our society have tried to find ways to eliminate or at least limit these types of behavior, but have met with very limited, if any, success.

Because of the complex nature of racism and racist acts, coupled with the fact the first amendment prohibits the overnment from limiting the publics’ right to free expression and speech, the Federal government has been ineffective in eliminating racist actions that pervade our society. State governments and institutions have attempted to set up their own laws condemning such actions, but have been wholly unsuccessful. Some of those waging a war on racism have established anti-discrimination policies, and have had these policies challenged as a result.

Central Michigan University, for example, had instituted a discriminatory harassment policy, only to have it shot down by the Supreme Court in 1995 on grounds that the policy “necessarily requires [the] niversity to assess racial or ethnic content of speech. ” Since Central Michigan University is a State school, the First Amendment prohibits it from enacting regulations that would limit an individual’s right to free speech unless the regulations, according to a 1986 ruling by the Supreme Court, are “narrowly and precisely designed.

As you can imagine, precisely tailoring any statute in order to prohibit racist speech is nearly impossible – and as many other speakers have already said, banning the current racial slurs will only create new ones. Additionally, an utright ban on racist speech and ideas could likely lead to a higher level of violence in our society. A number of other supreme court rulings have come out in favor of protecting all speech, including racist speech, such as: A 1941 ruling on the case of Sullens v State, stating that the “Freedom of speech includes freedom to speak unwisdom or even heresy.

A 1949 ruling on the case of Terminillo v Chicago, stating that “Attacks on racial and religious groups are protected by right of free speech in absence of showing of serious substantive evil that rises far above public inconvenience, annoyance, or unrest” A 1952 ruling on the case of Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v Wilson, stating that: “[The] First Amendment prohibits [the] state from banning communication of ideas deemed by some to be blasphemous or sacrilegious. ” A 1965 ruling on the case of Cox v Louisiana, stating that “Freedom of speech is of paramount importance and may not be denied merely because it may create dispute.

Thus with these rulings, and with the only notable exception being in the case of the utterance of “fighting words,” which are defined as “words which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite immediate breach of peace,” acist speech is currently protected under the First Amendment. Some would argue, however, that any racial slur or racist speech has no place in today’s society, and that the general public does not want to hear and should not be subjected to hearing such outright bigotry.

But does the right to speak one’s mind outweigh the listener’s rights? Apparently, yes, it does. According to the supreme court in the case of the National Labor Relations Board v Montgomery Ward & Co. (1946), the “First Amendment is concerned with freedom of thought and expression of [the] speaker or writer, not with conditions under which [the] auditor receives the] message [the] First Amendment does not require that [an] audience shall have volunteered to listen. This ruling essentially invalidates the argument, and forces the listener into a position where he must decide what to listen to and what to ignore, which is what we all do anyway.

Allowing racist speech is an important thing, though. Without it we would have no ‘litmus test’ available to test the racial tension in our country, and would therefore have no way to combat it. By allowing free speech to continue and by researching other methods of ending racism, we can get at the root of the problem and stop racism before it tarts. The key is not to limit or control action, but rather to influence reason and thought.

There are a number of methods that the government could employ to attempt to eliminate racism from our country. Campaigns promoting more multi-cultural events and celebrating the differences of everyone in our country may be effective in changing people’s perspective of other races, as the more contact you have with people outside your ‘circle’ the more comfortable you generally become. A “Task Force” could also be created to research the problem of racism, to determine when and how it starts in people, and to find ways to combat it.

The most effective immediate solution, I believe, would be to encourage every business in the country to adopt zero-tolerance policies regarding racism, and perhaps even have the general policies outlined by the Federal Government. By passing a law which would establish general guidelines for racism, and by making acceptance and employment of these guidelines in the workplace criteria for qualifying for certain business tax breaks, the government would second-handedly affect the use of racist slurs and expression of views.

Now you may ask: “But doesn’t that violate the First Amendment since the government would essentially be putting imitations on speech? ” No, not exactly. Much like the Congressional Act passed in 1973 which essentially made the maximum speed limit in the country 55MPH, the act would be voluntary. In the case of the 1973 Act, Congress did not outright limit setting speed limits above 55MPH, but instead greatly reduced the amount of Federal Highway Funds that a state received if it did not set its maximum limit at 55.

Thus, the voluntary acceptance and employment of these regulations by private businesses around the country would help to reduce or eliminate racist behavior in the orkplace, and would also help by carrying over into the home environment. “But doesn’t private infringement on freedom of speech still violate the first amendment? ” No, it doesn’t. According to a 1996 ruling by the 9th Circuit California District Court in the case of George v Pacific CSC Work Furlough, the “First Amendment protects individuals only against governmental, not private, infringements upon free speech rights.

Since the government is not outlawing racist speech, but rather influencing private individuals to not accept such behavior, the overall goal can be achieved without losing our rights under the first amendment. Of course, no solution is perfect. Enforcing such a program would be difficult and arbitrary, and we would have to rely on the private individual’s interpretation of the guidelines in each situation. Also, there will always be stragglers from any kind of lesson, and in this case, the force pulling them away is basic human nature.

It’s a well-known fact that people find it easier to find fault with, or dislike, others who are different from them, at least initially. The major hurdle in changing one’s perspective of another is to get past this initial block. But in many ways, this is the best solution. Since individual interpretation of racism and racist speech are what causes the problem in defining strict laws against them, individual interpretation of general guidelines applied to specific situations may be the best method of judgement.

Additionally, no governmental action would be taken if an employer were to note that an employee was expressing racist views while at work – action would be entirely at the discretion of the employer. By not imposing strict fines or jail time, the act could be used as a teaching tool to show ndividuals what is deemed to be improper behavior, why it is improper, and could help them to form their own ideas and defining lines between proper and improper, or racist, actions.

By using this solution, we can have the best of both worlds. By encouraging private individuals to fight racist remarks and racial slurs in the workplace, we can somewhat satisfy those who clamor for an outright ban on racism. By not allowing this type of speech to be criminalized, we stand by our First Amendment rights and continue to allow freedom of expression. By offering each side this compromised solution we can not only help to phase racism out of ur society, but also protect our unalienable rights.

The Freedom to speak one’s mind is one of this country’s citizens’ most venerably held rights, and any discussion which deals with government imposed limitations on this right should not be taken lightly. Completely banning speech that is deemed by some to be racist only serves to bury the problem of racism itself, and is not an acceptable solution. Thus, the First Amendment should continue to protect racial slurs as well as all other speech in order to preserve and ensure the freedoms we have today.

A Growing Debate About Censoring The Internet

There is a growing debate about censoring the internet. Some people think that the internet is protected under the first ammendment and cannot be censored. Others think that some of the material that is on the net needs to be filtered and regulated. The word censorship is defined as examining any material and prohibiting what is objectionable, according to Webster’s II dictionary. Censoring the internet is a violation of the first ammendment rights of every citizen in the United States. There are two general truths that some people feel are attitudes towards censoring the internet.

The first is that very few people admit to favoring it. The second is that no matter who you are, in a matter of minutes spent surfing the net almost anyone can find something that they find to be offensive. In fact, some web surfers feel that the truly inappropriate things are inspired by one’s own religion. For example, the Nurenberg Files website showed pictures of mangled fetuses with the photograph, name, and address of some abortion clinic doctors. If someone were to kill one of the doctors then an ‘X’ was put over their picture.

This site may not harm a child, but it seems that the focus today is on what is inappropriate for the child to see. What about the adults? A site like this “clearly acts to corrupt and deprave the adults who take it seriously” (Brown 48). Another reason for not censoring the internet is the psychological effects that it can have on a child. The filtering of the internet can tell a child that adults do not trust them to surf the net on their own. This can lead them to believe that they can not make their own decisions, and that a computer determines what right and wrong is.

These filters also give off the impressions that the communities are unsafe and the school officials have not got the know how to do their job. Many teachers try to teach their students esponsibility. This can be done in many ways, one of which is through the internet policy in our schools. By not censoring the internet and trusting children to make the right decisions they can get a boost of self-esteem that so many children need these days (Nellen 53). The filtering devices can obstruct a teacher in their quest to teach their students.

For example, Ted Nellen wanted to use to obtain some information on the AIDS virus to help him teach his class. He tried to get information of the internet at the school he teaches at and found that to be impossible because the filtering devices that ere installed worked (Nellen 53). Another question that needs to be asked is who are the people that are determining whether a site should be filtered or not? Just because they find something offensive does not mean that there is not some one out there who would find the site unoffensive.

These people can filter what is put on the internet, so what is stopping them from doing this sort of thing in other areas of American culture. Filtering the internet is not the answer to the problem. Children and adults should be educated on what is right and wrong on the internet and not treated like they are criminals (Nellen 53). The software that is available for the purpose of internet filtering and blocking has been able to block out certain web sites, but the web is always changing and the software is outdated so fast that censoring that way is not worth it. Another way to censor is to leave it up to the internet server.

Even they cannot keep up with the growing number of sites and monitor each and every one. These undesirable sites are not easily found unless a specific word is typed in as a search engine or if the web site is known. However, those who are for censoring the internet all have the same argument, which is that the obscene ites will cause some kind of unacceptable behavior that will lead to violence. They feel the software is a good thing even though it becomes obselete within a short period of When a person subscribes to an internet provider they are receive with a few services.

The first one is the use web itself. The user can see postings made by the internet provider or by other people. A user can access any website he or she wants as long as they know the website’s address. Another option that internet users have is the ability to send messages across the web to another person by sending them an e-mail. E-mail is included in most internet servers’ packages. The last major service that the internet provides is Usenet News. Usenet News is where all the issues of today are discussed by internet users.

These kinds of things are what some critics want to censor. E-mail is just like using the telephone and phone calls are not censored, so the internet should not be either. If the whole story cannot be presented on the internet then the Usenet News is useless because no one can get all the facts. The web itself is where advertisements and offers take place and the only way to find these offensive sites is to ype in a key word that a child must already know. On the internet a user can put up signs, banners, ads, displays, etc. of anything they want.

The press always uses the first ammendment as their justification for what they do and the internet users should also receive the same benefits from the first ammendment as the reporters do. There are three main ways that the attempt to block obscene sites from children. The first is software that goes through a list of offensive sites and if the one using the computer feels the site is inappropriate then the software will block the site. The second s software that looks for words that could be connected to pornography or violence and chooses when to deny access to the site.

The last one is provided by the internet server and blocks out portions of the site that are inappropriate (The Economist 84). However, there are new sites popping up all the time and the software cannot keep up with the growing number of sites. Children can just type in any word and get a whole list of sites related to that topic. In some cases the blocking of anything to do with that topic can prove to be anything but helpful. For example, America Online’s word-screening oftware caused a forum on cancer to be shut down because the word “breast” was mentioned.

The White House web site was shut off because the word couple was mentioned (The Economist 84). In addition, net minders like Surf Watch have no official watcher to tell the users what sites are being blocked. Surf Watch seems to be the leader in the struggle to keep inappropriate sites away from the eyes of children. The installation is easy for anyone, even the computer illiterate. Surf Watch will block up to sixteen categories in four main categories which are violence and hate speech, gambling, sexually intended items, and illegal drugs and alcohol.

Search Watch will not allow any search engines that are considered sexually explicit. At the present time some of these net watchers are not free and some people do not want to pay the money to own one. A simple solution to the idea of censoring the internet for everyone with a computer to be given one of these net watchers free with the purchase of a computer. The government has a good reason to be involved with the controlling access operation because: As networked digital communications become more prevalent, consumers will be faced with justifying the purchase of a PC and modem or computer-powered television.

If that purchase comes with the added cost of access-control software, there’s an inherent disincentive to embrace interactive technologies (Ratcliffe 16). As long as the system allows the computer owner to change his or her list of inappropriate sites, then it does not violate the first ammendment right. In order to make this access control system available threre are a few simple things that must be done. First, the access control API would need to be available for all the web browsers and microsoft and apple computers.

An ambitious company could promote the API as freeware and allow for the option of add ons to this free piece of oftware. However there is a problem, getting support for such a plan. Using the International Telecommunications Union the United Nations could get a global license to this kind of technology and distribute it through the International Telecommunications Union for an annual cost. After this was all squared away the individual countries could decide what needs to be installed and how to download additions to the program A solution to this problem was presented in Paris in May of 1996.

The meeting was attended by a plethora of internet and computer firms. They decided that self-rating was he way to go when it came to preventing the children from seeing inappropriate sites. The Platform for Internet Content Selection was the name given to this idea and it allows internet providers to put a rating on their contents using software that runs on either the users on computer or doing it through the internet provider, which is more difficult to get around. This allows for people to write what they want on the internet, but what they write may not be seen as appropriate and will be blocked (The Economist 84).

Another argument for censoring the internet is the pornographic sites that are asily accessible can cause children to view things that are inappropriate. In 1996 President Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act which included the Communications Decency Act. The Communications Decency Act was intended to protect young children from those sites which are not in their best interests to see (Lewis 114). However, there are problems with this law. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 does not successfully get the job done. Any child can still find material that is not meant for them to see.

The act says that adults can communicate using any words they want to as long they are careful not to be accused of harassment. These words and phrases can seem sexual to one person, but just casual conversation to another. The laws that were made to protect minors from offensive material are very unclear. The term “indecent” that was used in items aimed at protecting adults as well as children is unconstitutionally It is also stupid, because it assumes that Congress can regulate an international computer network that is 99 percent private and that is composed of users who are more than 50 percent non-American.

It assumes it can outsmart my two teenagers technologically, and it is offensive because it assumes that the Government can rovide a better moral compass for my kids than my wife and I are already Lewis feels that the best way to prevent inappropriate material from being viewed on the internet is to make all the users identifiable (Lewis 84). This idea may work for a while, but false identifications can be entered and if that is said to be impossible all anyone has to do is look at all the under twenty-one people who have id’s saying they are twenty-one.

It would only be a matter of time before fake id’s would be available for internet use. Edwin Diamond said “It doesn’t take a magnifying glass to find hard-core ornography on the Internet… and since many youngsters can navigate circles around their elders on the Net, some adults are in near panic” (Diamond 30). Pornography is defined as material, films, printed matter, or devices dealing with sexual poses or acts considered indecent by the public. Pornography is censored in almost every form of communication.

Movies, books, and even stores that specialize in sexual toys, movies, and magazines are being censored in this day and age in stores that make a profit from selling sexual material. Pornography is not something that a user justs happens to discover. The ornographic sites need to be triggered by a key word typed into the search engine. Children who find these sites have to have some knowledge of the topic of sex in order to type in a word that would lead to a sexual site.

Of course there are accidental discoveries of these sites, but any further exploration is done by the user. Many people want to regulate these sites, but they do not realize the amount of money it costs or the time it involves in order to effectively censor the net. Moreover, studies have been conducted that show that pornography is represents only a small portion of the entire internet traffic. Steve Lloyd feels regulation of the net is not very practical because “It’s virtually impossible to regulate the net because of the global nature of this communications device.

It would mean monitoring every phone call into the Internet which is impossible The internet was designed to be able to operate under any condition. The internet service providers have found it very costly to censor portions of newsgroups without blocking the whole site. Pornography is a very miniscule amount of the internet user’s interest (Gidari). Gidari feels that internet regulation is a futile thought because : Anything as massive as the global system of interconnected networks that is the internet can not be “regulated” in any meaningful manner.

The very nature of the internet precludes its effective regulation. It was designed to be a self-healing network of diverse platforms capable of opreating under the most adverse of conditions – nuclear holocaust” (Gidari). If what Albert Gidari says is true then the internet can not be censored because that would defeat the whole purpose of its creation. The following editorial appeared in the Knight Ridder Tribune News Service. These articles are right on the money as to why he internet should not be censored. Here is the first article in part: Knowledge at the fingertips.

That’s the charm of the Internet, the global network of computers that allows anyone with the capability, even a grade-schooler, to tap into vast pools of information at any time. The Internet, indeed, may be the closest society has come yet to free and equal access to information for all. The relative ease of access is also the Internet’s bane. There is no telling the range of information one could be exposed to or the nature of activities one could be drawn into, knowingly or unknowingly. With children, controlling what they see once hey are on-line becomes a problem as well.

Pornography on computer networks and unsavory characters on chat lines have garnered much attention, but consider the three eighth-graders arrested recently for allegedly plotting to bomb their junior high school in the Syracuse area of New York. They gained information on materials and how to build the bombs from the Internet, and police say they were serious about following through. They had set off a test bomb in a field behind an elementary school. As has been pointed out many times, an interested person could gather the same information from a public library.

True enough, but space nd money preclude public libraries from stocking every piece of available information. The process of selection, based on the principle of community standards and needs, imposes some limitation. Global computer networks bypass even such minimal limitation. Being plugged into the global network is a release from traditional barriers to knowledge, and with the vast pools of information come multitudes of opportunities for misuse. Computer-inspired pranks and outright crime, from murder to fraud, are as likely as the potential for beneficial use.

As the network industry matures, incidents such as the youngsters’ bomb plot ill continue to invite serious efforts to reduce abuses. Provisions in the new telecommunications bill such as the ban against pornography and indecent material directed at minors are one form of response. In a free system such as the Internet, however, monitoring data from computers worldwide may be next to impossible, and strict content regulation would destroy the freedom that gives the Internet its value. Personal computers have brought global links down to individual levels.

In time, from their very usage, new technologies generate new levels of public awareness and their own standards of se consistent with the constitutional rights of all users. In that vein, the market’s response in developing software allowing parents or operators to block access to certain services is most reasonable and practical. The only guarantee against egregious abuse of the global computer networks, in the end, is a well-developed ethic of personal responsibility, in which users and those who provide the services are mindful of the potential for mischief (Knight Ridder 212).

This article was provided as a way of showing the reader why the internet should not be censored. The solution is not in censoring the internet, but in teaching children what the difference between right and wrong is. Like the article says “In a free system such as the Internet, however, monitoring data from computers worldwide may be next to impossible, and strict content regulation would destroy the freedom that gives the Internet its value” (Knight Ridder 212).

The second article is also pro internet freedom as well. Here is the article to clarify any misconceptions about this paper’s purpose: Like the Maytag repairman in the TV commercials, Congress is itching to fix something that isn’t broken: the Internet and online services. As part of the vast new telecommunications bill, both House and Senate are on the brink of making it a federal crime to expose minors to naughty words or pictures in cyberspace. Double-clicking the ”send” icon could become a dangerous act.

Jail terms and huge fines would be slapped on anyone caught ”knowingly” transmitting indecent material to minors, or to any freely accessible area of a computer network. Reports from the online front indicate that dirty talk and sexually graphic images are far less prevalent, or available, than the recent congressional lather on the topic would lead you to believe. In fact, the glossy mags behind the counter at any convenience store are probably more accessible to the young. So far, though, nothing has served to turn back this movement.

Never mind that the Justice Department insists existing laws are adequate to combat illegal pornography, in whatever form. Never mind that, given the global nature of the Internet, any attempt to enforce a national standard of decency is doomed. Never mind that the whole push to set federal government up as cyber-censor runs contrary to the prevailing philosophy: Get intrusive federal bureaucrats off the backs of citizens and trust in the magic of the ree market to solve problems. The maddening thing is this is one case where the profit motive ”is” riding to the rescue.

Ever since the alarms first went up, the software industry’s wizards have been churning out programs that enable adults to monitor and block objectionable material. Not even a flaming _ e-mail parlance for a tongue-lashing _ from House Speaker Newt Gingrich has made much difference. Like many folks, Speaker Gingrich regards the congressional crackdown on the online world as an assault on every citizen’s basic right to free discourse. Over the summer and in recent weeks, it appeared the House would ecommend far less intrusive measures than the Senate.

But the push for more reasonable steps such as online warning signs has faltered. What hope is there of keeping cyberspace as free as possible? A presidential veto would be the quick way; court cases and the inevitable discovery that the harsh restrictions just aren’t enforceable would be the long, costly way. It would be better if a public outcry convinced Congress now that its attempts to curb Net-surfing are about as foolish as ordering the waves not to come rolling in (Knight Ridder 214). The two of these articles were intended to be a supplement to the main idea of this paper.

They are two examples that further show why the internet can not be censored. The obscene material found on the internet has caused some decisions to be made about what violates community standards. A private bulletin board operator in California was prosecuted in Tennessee for making some material available to a member of the Memphis community. The operator in California was found guilty by the Memphis judicial system. The jury ruled that local community were comprimised when the offensive material was made available to the postal worker from their community.

Even hough this sort of thing may be legal in California or on the web, the Memphis community felt that this sort of thing was inappropriate. According to Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe, even with the ruling in this case “The question of community standards hasn’t been adequately solved solved in any medium” (Quittner The internet should not be censored. There are many other ways to solve the problem of inappropriate web sites on the internet and censorship is not the best one. Educating people on the uses and misuses of the internet is one of the best ways to filter the world wide web as well as others already mentioned.

Speak Your Mind: The Censorship Controversy in American Culture

On a rainy morning in Detroit, Michigan, a twenty-something year old man by the name of Marshall Mathers awakes to hear a pounding on his front door. After muttering a few obscene phrases, he rolls out of bed and stumbles to his front door. However, instead of facing another autograph seeker, the rapper best known by his alias Eminem (or the real Slim Shady) is face to face with two police officers. Mr. Mathers, one says, were here to serve you with an arrest warrant.

You have subjected much of Americas population to obscenity, homophobic comments, sexism, and racism, and frankly, it offends many people. We dont want culture to face your type of commentary any more. You have the right to remain silent Needless to say, this scenario would never occur in the American democracy of the present. However, many in America today are advocating censorship to such an extreme that someday events such as this may become a reality.

And, though time and time again court cases have ruled against censorship, many continue to fight to limit free speech in America. However, in restraining what the constitution guarantees, there is much at stake. Although many argue that censorship is necessary to protect Americas citizens, it violates ones freedom of speech found in the First Amendment and should therefore not be practiced. Granted, there are many reasons for advocating censorship that could be justified.

Much material that is available in magazines, at the movie theater, and on the internet is considered by many to be extremely offensive. For example, the rock band Rage Against the Machine at times seems to glorify violence. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine High School gunmen, were fond of this band, and some of Rage Against the Machines lyrics have been assumed to have inspired the boys violent act. In many cases, evil can be advocated in forms of speech, causing many to believe that in order to prevent wrong from prevailing, censorship must be practiced with a fervor.

In his essay Censorship Can Be Beneficial, Thomas Stork says, Now if we can identify certain evils, and if advocacy of those evils seems likely to encourage people to commit them, then why should we not take the next and logical step and prohibit such advocacy Must the authorities be helpless to restrain the source of the evil? (20) This statement is a logical one, for one of the American governments greatest concerns is protecting its citizens from violent acts.

Citizens of the United States want not only to be protected from violence, but they also want to keep material out of the hands of those in the American public who would not be able to handle the ideas and themes presented in such material. Who could possibly argue that small children have the maturity to view pornographic material or be exposed to extreme violence on television? Indeed, exposing young children to entertainment of this sort would be detrimental to their development. And, as one lawyer reports, many believe that pornography is harmful to adults as well.

The moral values endorsed by pornographic magazines, photographs, and videos are often considered offensive. Therefore, pornography has been met by a ethical firing squad that continues to fight to censor magazines such as Hustler and Playboy (Smolla 3-4). The ethical issues that are protested in many of the works that the public desires to have censored are at the forefront of the debate regarding First Amendment rights, guaranteeing that the debate over the concept of censorship will not die down any time soon. Ethics, however, is not the issue addressed in the First Amendment.

The Constitution is not concerned with Americans moral behavior, but rather with ensuring equal rights for all. As the document itself says, Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances (qtd. in ACLU, Free Speech: American Civil Liberties Union Freedom Network 1). Therefore, neither the government nor individuals have the constitutional right to censor another persons work. People value their First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

Citizens want to be able to practice this right to any extent that they so desire. The view of forbidding censorship supports this right by declaring that any speech, even if hateful or prejudicial, is allowable, regardless of popularity. This view also allows there to be no exceptions to the right to freedom of speech. Furthermore, it allows Americans to be able to express how they feel without having to worry about political correctness. Regardless of a persons ideas on an issue, he or she has the guaranteed right to express these thoughts vocally without fear of retaliation.

Even more than having a freedom from this fear, anti-censorshipism allows citizens free thought. Censorship can greatly cripple beliefs, and furthermore it prohibits many from expressing their views. As Jonathan Rauch says in the essay Censorship is Harmful, In universities and on Capitol Hill, in workplaces and newsrooms, authorities are declaring that there is no place for racism, sexism, homophobia, Christian-bashing, and other forms of prejudice in public debate or even in private thought(27). Although prejudice is agreed to be wrong by an overwhelming majority, the risks that are taken by censoring such beliefs are tremendous.

In limiting certain types of speech, the government becomes inconsistent, unreliable, and unpredictable. Furthermore, government officials replace the constitution, and with each progressive act of censorship, more limitations on free speech are placed upon the American public. Obviously, putting more limitations on Americans would not be welcomed by most citizens, and the underlying truth is that citizens of the United States value their freedom of speech to an extent that they do not realize. Every day, citizens exercise their First Amendment rights in ways that they take for granted.

Therefore, censorship must not be permitted in the United States. However, the question still remains: How can the American public prevent some sorts of literature (e. g. pornography) from degrading society? The answer is by using discernment. Every person, regardless of age or ethical position, has common sense as well as a knowledge of right and wrong. It is each citizens responsibility to use this discernment. A parent has to use discernment in what he or she allows his or her child to watch. An individual has to use sound judgment when speaking his or her views in order to not destroy his or her reputation.

Censorship is not the answer; rather, the encouragement of using ones astuteness should be emphasized. Although the primary intention of censorship is to protect others, due to its violation of First Amendment rights, it should not be allowed. Censorship gives many a feeling of security because citizens know that what they view is controlled; however, the underlying danger is that in the process of protecting citizens, First Amendment rights will be pushed aside. Indeed, censorship should not be accepted as a form of protection.

Exercising constitutional rights is one of the greatest benefits of living in America, and American citizens should not attempt to find ways to deny these rights. Instead, these privileges should be taken advantage of, and Americans should be able to exercise their freedom of speech with no fear of the government or specific individuals retaliating. When this philosophy is practiced and Americans are able to exercise their liberty how they desire, then the United States truly becomes the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Censorship of the Internet

The Internet began in the 1960’s. In 1962, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the United States Department of Defense developed a network of computers called ARPAnet. At first, this network only connected military and government computer systems. The purpose was to make all information safe, so that in disaster or war, if one computer was destroyed, it’s information would not be lost. In 1966, the ARPAnet was expanded to include universities and other institutions. One of the first universities to be added was Utah State University.

Soon, large companies and corporations were added, too. By 1990, anyone with a computer, a modem, and Internet software could connect to the Internet. (Sterling) During the past decade, our society has become based on the ability to move large amounts of information across large distances quickly. Computerization has surely influenced everyone’s life. The natural evolution of computers, and this need for ultra-fast communications has caused a global network of interconnected computers to develop.

This global net allows a person to send E-mail across the world in mere ractions of a second, and enables even the common person to access information world-wide. The World Wide Web is made up of sites, collections of files that can be set up in a matter of hours, often for free, and allow unlimited distribution of information on virtually any subject. Usenet is a collection of newsgroups or bulletin boards containing messages centered on their own specific topics. Users can read each others messages or post or cancel their own.

With advances such as software that allows users with a sound ard to use the Internet as a carrier for long distance voice calls and video conferencing, this network is key to the future of the knowledge society. At present, this net is the abstract of the American first amendment: free speech. It is a place where people can speak their mind without being reprimanded for what they say, or how they choose to say it. The key to the world-wide success of the Internet is its protection of free speech, not only in America, but in other countries where free speech is not protected by a constitution.

To be found on the Internet is a huge collection of obscene graphics, Anarchists’ cookbooks and countless other things, many of which could be considered tasteless. With such a high volume of everyday users, those things are bound to offend someone The newest wave of laws floating through law making bodies around the world threatens to stifle this area of spontaneity. Recently, Congress has been considering passing laws that will make it a crime punishable by jail to send “vulgar” language over the net, and to export encryption software.

No matter how small, any attempt at overnment intervention in the Internet will stifle the greatest communication innovation of this century. The government wants to maintain control over this new form of communication, and they are trying to use the protection of children as a smoke screen to pass laws that will allow them to regulate and censor the Internet, while banning techniques that could eliminate the need for regulation. Censorship of the Internet threatens to destroy its freelance atmosphere, while wide spread encryption could help prevent the need for government intervention.

The Bill of Rights itself protects freedom of speech and freedom of the press in the First Amendment, and protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government in the fourth Amendment (“The Bill of Rights”). What is the Internet? The current body of laws existing today in America does not apply well to the Internet. As with any new media, especially one this flexible, new issues are bound to arise. Is the Internet like a bookstore, where servers, the mainframe computers that carry and distribute the web pages cannot be expected to review every title?

Is it like a phone company who must ignore what it carries because of privacy? Is it like a broadcasting medium, TV, radio, where the government can monitor what is broadcast? The trouble is that the Internet can be all or none of these things depending on how it’s used. The Internet cannot be viewed as one type of transfer media under current broadcast definitions. The Internet differs from broadcasting media in that one cannot just happen upon a vulgar site without first entering a complicated address, or following a link from another source. The Internet is much more like going into a book store and choosing to look at adult magazines. Miller 75) Why does it suddenly become illegal to post something that has been legal for years in print? The imposed law apparently would also criminalize private mail: “… I can call my brother on the phone and say anything–but if I say it on the Internet, it’s illegal” (Levy 53). Even If Laws Were Passed They Could Easily Be Avoided Congress, in their pursuit of regulations, seems to have overlooked the fact that the majority of the adult material on the Internet comes from overseas. Although many U. S. government sources helped fund Arpanet, the predecessor to the Internet, they no longer control it.

Many of the new Internet technologies, including the World Wide Web, have come from overseas. There is no clear boundary between information held in the U. S. and information stored in other countries, nor is there any way to tell their origin by the URL, their universal address (for example, a site physically located in Japan could carry . jp as an extension of its Internet address, for the purpose of geographical dentification, but very few do so)Data held in foreign computers can be accessed just as easily as data in America, all it takes is the click of a mouse to access.

Even if American government tried to regulate the Internet, they would still have no control over what is posted in other countries, and no practical way to stop foreign servers from carrying it: Just as the Internet’s predecessor was originally designed to uphold communications after a nuclear attack by rerouting data to compensate for destroyed telephone lines and servers, today’s Internet still works on a similar design. The very nature this design allows the Internet to overcome any kind of barriers put in its way.

For example, if a major line between two servers in two countries, is cut, then the Internet users will find another way around this obstacle. This obstacle avoidance makes it virtually impossible to separate an entire nation from indecent information in other countries. (Levy 57) And doing so would always raise a few eyebrows and many dissatisfied voices: Recently, a major university attempted to regulate what types of Internet access its students had, with results reminiscent of a 1960’s protest.

A research associate at Carnegie Mellon University conducted a study of pornography on the school’s computer networks. Martin Rimm put together quite a large picture collection (917,410 images) and he also tracked how often each image had been downloaded (a total of 6. 4 million). Pictures of similar content had recently been declared obscene by a local court, and the school feared they might be held responsible for the content of its network. The school administration quickly removed access to all these pictures, and to the newsgroups where most of this obscenity is suspected to come from.

A total of 80 newsgroups were removed, causing a large disturbance among the student body, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, all of whom felt this was unconstitutional. After only half a week, the college had backed down, and restored the newsgroups. This is a tiny example of what may happen if the government tries to impose censorship. (Elmer-Dewitt 102) Software Based Protection Currently, there is software being released that promises to block children’s access to known X-rated Internet newsgroups and sites.

These software packages proved rather expensive given their low efficiency. However, since most adults rely on their computer literate children to setup these programs, the children will be able to find ways around them ( always does the trick). This mimics real life, where, in spite of age requirement to purchase them, these children would surely be able to get their hands on an adult magazine. Regardless of what types of software or safeguards are used to protect the children of the Information age, there will always be ways around them.

This necessitates for the education of the children to deal with reality. Altered views of an electronic world translate easily into altered views of the real world. When it comes to our children, censorship is a far less important issue than good parenting. We must teach our kids that the Internet is a extension and a reflection of the real world, and we have to show them how to enjoy the good things and avoid the bad things. This isn’t the government’s responsibility. It’s ours (Miller 76)

Censorship: Parents vs. The Government

Since the nation’s founding, freedom of speech has been an important part of American Democracy. Democracy is based on the idea that only when people are free to express their views openly can they govern themselves effectively. (Bender & Leone 13) When citizens can peacefully assemble and speak their mind, they are less likely to revolt and get violent. Which is why both the freedom of speech, and the freedom from censorship is very important for the government to run effectively, and safely.

The writers of the Constitution were well aware of the advantages of freedom of speech when they made the Bill of Rights. However, freedom of speech is not an absolute freedom. As with everything else, this too has limitations. Such as yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, or exposing children to pornography or anything that would cause injury to people. Unfortunately the problem is that there is a fine line between what is obscene and what is inoffensive.

So what should be censored, and who should censor it? Censorship is the act of deleting, editing or repressing anything felt to be immoral, offensive or objectionable. Books, magazines, newspapers, television, radio, music and the Internet are some of the things that are censored. Who should be involved in censorship, who should have the last word on it, and what should be censored? The Government should stay out of regulating censorship, and it should be left up to the individual parents. Pornography and other obscenities are out there for all to see, regardless of age.

Everyone agrees that minors should not be exposed to any of it, but with new forms of media popping up everyday, it is becoming harder and harder. Children can view violence on television, in newspapers, magazines, books, on the internet, etc. So comes the question: who should be in charge of censoring these forms of media? Some will say that the government should be the chief magistrate, while others will say it’s up the parents to decide what their children should and should not be exposed to. It is the parent’s right to supervise their children, and not the government’s.

Since 1791 there have been numerous attempts to limit free speech-including speech that threatens the national interest, speech with a potential to incite injurious behavior- speech that infringes on the rights of others, and extreme kinds of pornography or obscenity. Conversely, over the years the concept of freedom of speech has been expanded to include not just spoken or written work, but also symbolic arts of expression, such as wearing black arm bands, publishing pictures and artworks and flag burning. (Bender & Leone 13)

Since parents have the primary responsibility for the education of their own children, schools should have a decent respect for the parent’s beliefs and attitudes. Schools should make every possible effort to avoid offending the religious, ethical, cultural or ethnic values of school children and their parents. (O’Neill 139) Many different devices and programs have been made available to parents to censor the media. But they’re all brought about because of the government. One of the more obvious forms of censoring is the black bars or sound editing found on television, radio and in periodicals.

Anytime something pornographic or obscene is shown on television, a black bar is placed over the inappropriate areas, keeping children from seeing breasts, penises or other inappropriate body parts. With the audio end of this, in the past words were bleeped’ out, but nowadays they’re replaced with something less offensive. The newest method, for music only, is having the artist re-record it for public playback. This example can be found with Eminem’s song: My Name Is…. Slim Shady.

When this song is heard on the radio or played on MTV, they play one version of it, but on the CD the song sounds totally different. These are all good forms of censoring since parents can’t be everywhere all the time to watch their children. Another program for censoring can be found in movies. This method has been overlooked for a long time by the general public. The rating system is a more subtle form of censoring. By forcing a rating system on movies, it causes producers and directors to heavily edit their movies and try and make them more for the general public.

A movie with an NC-17′ rating isn’t likely to get many moviegoers to go see it, partially because of the fact that anyone under 17 will not be allowed to see it, and most movie theaters will refuse to carry it. Where as a movie with a G’ rating, anyone can see, and therefore most movie theaters will carry it. Local governments ban books that they see as objectionable from schools. The government has decided that certain books are objectionable and should therefore not be allowed in school libraries. This includes more than just pornographic books.

It also includes classic novels that most Americans have read in school. Groups have protested against the following books being allowed in schools; The Catcher in the Rye- by J. D. Salinger, The Grapes of Wrath- by John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men- by John Steinbeck, The adventures of Huckleberry Finn- by Mark Twain, 1984- by George Orwell, and a lot more. (Demac 10, 11) Fortunately, since we live in a democracy we the people can do something to fight against the government’s control on censorship. Many campaigns, and groups have been started to keep the government out of the censorship business.

One of the largest campaigns is the Blue Ribbon Campaign for Online Speech’, which is sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center. Check out http://eff. org/blueribbon. html for more details on the blue ribbon campaign and how to join. We can vote for representatives, senators, and a president whose ideals follow our own beliefs. We can also write tour congressman, or representative about how we feel about censorship, and book banning. There’s nothing wrong with censorship, just with the government’s control of it.

If the government passes laws on what children can and can not see, they are taking away the rights of parents. There’s no argument that certain things should not be accessible to young children, but it is the right of the parents to choose what is and is not acceptable. For parents worried about their young children being exposed to obscene web sites there are a variety of web filtering software available to parents. A few of these are Net Nanny, SurfWatch, and CyberPatrol. The government tried introducing a V-chip into the media stream.

If passed it would have required all television stations to introduce a rating system for all of their television shows, much like the one used in the movies. Then the v-chip would block out all shows with the ratings you’ve specified. The problem with this is, the rating system doesn’t apply to the news stations, and doesn’t always work as advertised and blocks some shows that aren’t obscene by accident. Internet filtering software has the same problem. If the government is allowed to control censorship for all of us, then we as a country are one step closer to living in a totalitarian state.

We must exercise our constitutional rights and freedoms or else they will become extinct. Legislators and regulators in the US and around the world are intent on telling you what you and your children may read. Please help teach the government that such a decision belongs in your hands, and those of every other Internet user and parent. The Blue Ribbon Campaign is a way to raise awareness of online censorship and freedom issues, from locally to globally. (Blue Ribbon) Regardless of content or consequences, free expression is a basic human right that must not be infringed upon by unbalanced minds. Censorship is repression.

Censorship and the First Amendment: The American Citizen’s Right to Free Speech

In other words do individuals or groups have the right or the power to examine material and remove or prohibit anything they consider objectionable? This argument has been progressing for centuries, in fact the first notable case was against John Peter Zenger, in 1743. Zenger was an editor of a New York colonial newspaper that often published articles critical of the colonial governor. He successfully argued that publishing the truth should be a defense and thus defied the conventional wisdom and ended colonial intrusion into freedom of the press (Harer 21).

Since that case, the progression through time has expanded atters to the complicated issues we see today. The founders of the United States government tried to protect this liberty by assuring a free press, to gather and publish information without being under control or power of another, in the First Amendment to the Constitution. So why do we need to be concerned if we, as citizens, have been properly protected under the constitution?

Our concerns occur, on account of special interest groups that are fighting to change the freedom of expression, the right to freely represent individual thoughts, feelings, and views, in order to protect their families as well as thers. These groups, religious or otherwise, believe that publishing unorthodox material is an abuse of free expression under the First Amendment. As we will come to find, our Supreme Court system plays an exceedingly important role in the subject of free speech and expression. As well as, understanding that the court system is the nucleus of the construing our First Amendment rights.

First we must focus on the motivation and foundations behind these individuals attempting to challenge the right to free speech. There are various reasons given for censorship: in a classroom or library they may restrict or ban book or other learning resource because it includes social, political, or religious views believed to be inappropriate or threatening. A movie or television program may be considered violent, or obscene because of nudity or indecent behavior. A song or speech may contain language thought to be vulgar, or ideas and values that some consider objectionable.

Furthermore, a group may edit or withhold a newspaper story from publication because they may judge it as a threat to national security. All though these examples are valid motivations for censorship, initiating these steps would unveil a censorship disaster. It is my view that this action would cause a national uprise of interests groups, as well as the individual, demanding that every division of published information be censored. We must identify exactly who these individuals are that want these items censored. Looking at all levels of American citizens, some are legislators on a local, state, and even federal level.

Others are members of boards or committees, organized to review books, films, or other forms of communication on behalf of a community. Occasionally the censors are teachers, librarians, or chool administrators, who determine that a book or a classroom item may not be suitable for the students. Often censors are parents, members of religious groups, or just citizens who are concerned about the presence of indecent or improper material in their schools, libraries, theaters, book stores, television, and else where in the community. These individuals are concerned with indecent or improper material in their communities.

Shifting to the opposite view on this topic, there are those individuals that oppose the power to censor. There are members of society that believe in he freedom to speak publicly and to publish. This is a basic belief in the freedom of expression and is to be protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. On the eve of the bicentennial of the Bill of Rights, the first wave of a nationwide survey, comprising more than 1,500 citizens was conducted. Through this survey it was found that Americans rate free speech as their second most precious First Amendment right and regard a free press highly in the abstract (Wyatt 87).

This amendment states: Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there f; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of people peaceably to assemble, and petition the government for a redress of grievances (Lowi A24). Although there are strong cases made for and against censorship, the rising trend calling for censorship can threaten our basic rights to free expression and the right to be informed. At the center of the debate is the First Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantee’s our right to read, speak, write, and communicate freely.

This right cannot be interfered with by the government at the state or federal level. However, the First Amendment does not rotect some forms of expression including libel and slander, false advertising, obscenity, and inciting a riot (Harer 13). In our age, there is an unlimited amount of information available through a diverse representation of media: television, radio, films, newspapers, telephones, computers, magazines, books, and so on. Opposed to other countries, within the world, we are advanced both politically and technically.

With our ability to learn and to communicate with one another, this will only make the complex issue of censorship grow. We should consider ourselves lucky by world standards, in many countries he freedom of expression is extremely limited, or sometimes not permitted at all. In these societies, the government censors views that are not in line with their policies, controlling controversial opinions on television, in newspapers, and even in public or private meetings. Many consider the First Amendment to be our most precious constitutional freedom.

These same members of society: librarians, teachers, legislators, and students believe in following the tradition of our First Amendment. This tradition allows us the freedom to read, write, speak, and therefore to learn. Our basic freedom is essential to a rogressing society. It would be impossible ever to agree upon what should and should not be censored, by whose standards should we set these rules? A thorough discussion of freedom of speech would begin with the question whether this freedom should be legally protected.

However, let us begin where the court begins, with the proposition that the freedom is constitutionally guaranteed and is fundamental to the American political system (Canavan 2). The Supreme court has heard various cases pertaining to the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, issues of libel and slander, national security and obscenity. This started in 1787, Thomas Jefferson saw the dangers of a state supported or sanctioned religion and wanted to place a wall of separation between church and state (Hentoff 345).

The chief function of the guarantee, then, in the eyes of the court, is to serve the political needs of an open and democratic society. “The core value of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment,” the court has said, is “the public interest in having free and unhindered debate on matters of public importance” (Canavan 3). Thus, it is our right to evaluate items that, as a citizen, we feel as a matter of importance nd speak publicly, publish, or express these feelings in any matter we deem necessary.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the Supreme Court to interpret the constitution and the Bill of Rights, to make sure that each citizen stays within the constitution and does not infringe upon the rights of others. Their interpretation will set the standards in which this nation must abide. I assert that everyone has a right to self opinion, but imposing your beliefs on others is not a solution, by any means. The following quotation, by John Carney Jr. , from his speech “Theoretical Value in Teaching Freedom of Speech,” sums up his ideas on where the future of free speech stands.

He brings out the concept of societies control over the fate of free speech. Carney opens our eyes to the thought of actually losing our right to free speech. He helps us understand 5 that the loss of our right to free speech and expression would be devastating. I don’t think freedom of speech is being destroyed or has been destroyed, by any well planned conspiracy by any particular segment of our society; political, governmental, economical, educational, or what have you. I think freedom of speech is rotting to death. And t has been for a long time…

A lot of people, including many who should know better, don’t really even begin to understand the concept as it relates to our form of government, and therefore, have no commitment to it… Any attempt is impossible without free speech. It’s tough enough with it, but impossible without it… Perhaps the overriding need for teaching freedom of speech is because the people don’t believe it any more (Carney). In looking back at this issue, we realize that the level of complexity has escalated since the first case encountered in 1743, to todays unbelievable level.

Consider the special interest groups, that challenge the right to free expression, with those that secure this right to their everyday beliefs as free citizens in America. Every item that is censored, or even not censored, affects all citizens within the collective community. Each group holds a strong conviction to their purpose, but they do not take into account the basic issue of interpretation of the First Amendment, in order to protect their position. Taking into consideration those countries that essentially have no say in their rights, we can imagine how trivial this argument might be.

We must also realize hat as our forefathers intended, our countries basic principles derive from this amendment. Therefore, we must settle for the judgement of the Supreme Court on this concern. Accepting the Supreme Court interpretations as our own, thus achieving a balanced society. Our countries founding documents, specifically the First Amendment, were drafted to protect the rights of all American citizens, to both question and criticize our government, if they desired to. I believe our founding fathers theorized that with so many people speaking out, the truth would always emerge, and our country would grow to be fair and free.

The Censorship of Art

Things are heating up in America. People are protesting outside of the movie theaters, concerts, and book and record stores of this great nation everywhere. What is all the fuss about? Censorship, Government officials and raving mad protesters alike have been trying to stop the expressive creativity in everything from Marilyn Manson to Mark Twain. One of the biggest shake-ups happened in museums all over the world recently that would have made Michelangelo and DiVinchis hair stand on end.

In the Constitution of the United States, the First Amendment guarantees reedom of speech, religion, press, the right to assemble and to petition the government; the Ninth Amendment says, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”. So it seems one cannot use any of the other rights to quell the rights of an individual or group. Then why is the government trying to censor literature, movies, music and art? All of the worlds modern society has become desensitized and easily trainable.

Therefore society has come to accept the ideals, morals, and values driven into the psyche y the dominant forces in the nation: the Government and the Church. By quieting the objective voice these two institutions stand in the lead and stay in control. One might assume that the blood-sucking politicians have nothing better to do than to look for things that offend any one major group of people (i. e. the church) to obtain votes. In this manner the government is becoming more and more controlling and artistic censorship is just another way to maintain control.

Things were not always so. Government had very little to say about censoring anything. Was it ot only three decades ago that as one nation the population was united by the ideals of peace love, and harmony? As an art student in the 60s era, Robert Mansfield states in his article, Artistic Freedom: government challenge “the first amendment was seldom an issue of concern… In fact it seemed that boundaries of expression were governed only by individual creative ability intellect and imagination”. Where have these ideals gone?

It seems in recent years they have disappeared with the freedom of thought. Why is it so important to some people not to offend? It seems the people easily ffended are the ones deciding what is acceptable for the population. “Well about a decade ago when the nation debated about funding controversial art,” writes John Cloud of TIME magazine, “in the capital of crude, few people consider rude art a problem. ” Articles ranging in titles from “New Yorks Art Attack” to “Creative Chaos” are appearing in TIME and other numerous front-page materials across the country.

In H. G. Hovagimyans TOKARTOK: The Censorship of Art, he states: “Artists are often asked to change parts of their works to conform to the publics morality. This has een going on since the Pope asked Michelangelo to paint fig leaves on Adam and Eve. ” Yes do not forget about the control the church has had on artistic expression since the beginning of time. When the church has something to say everyone listens. It is amusing how when something offends the church it quickly disappears. However, when these people see some bubble that looks like the face of the Virgin Mary in a tortilla chip, they start worshiping it.

Next comes a media circus and before lunch it is all over CNN and every other news broadcast in the world. It is obvious the government uses those ituations to promote the Church and its ideals of acceptable art even if it is a tortilla chip. As the 1960s came to an end the meaning and importance of the first amendment became indisputable. The Democratic National Convention in Chicago, protesting against the Vietnam War and the political assassinations of the late 1960s (with the governments interjection and objection) showed that the so-called guaranteed right of freedom of expression was not so guaranteed anymore.

This point was proven again by the incident at Kent State University on May 4, 1970, where tudents rallying against the presidents decision to send troops into Cambodia without declaring war were arrested, beaten, bombed with tear gas, and ultimately shot at by a dozen men armed with M-1 rifles. “A total of 67 shots were fired in 13 seconds. ” Is what it said in on the May 4th Task Force of Kent State University. Four of the students were killed and nine were wounded. The extent the government would go to in order to quell the objective voice was proven that day.

The government proves once again, in modern times, that they cannot be trustworthy of humanities unalterable ights by trying to censor artistic expression. In September 1999 an exhibit called SENSATION went on display at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. One of the artists, Chris Ofili, portrayed a black Madonna adorned with elephant dung and pictures of womens crotches from porn magazines. New York City Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, said ” The idea of having so-called works of art in which people are throwing elephant dung at a picture of the Virgin Mary is sick.

What is sick is that the government seems to have the idea that it can make decisions for the nation. Had the Mayor decided to go to the xhibit the mayor would have found out Ofili includes elephant dung in all of the works not just the religious portraits. It would also come to pass to the mayor that elephant dung symbolizes regeneration to the African culture. The wonderful Mayor then threatened to cut the museums funding of about $7 million dollars (a third of the museum’s budget) unless SENSATION was cancelled. Now bad mouthing the exhibit is one thing, but to threaten to cut the funding is another story.

In an article that appeared in TIME Daily news: When a Mayor and the Constitution Collide, the article shows ow the First amendment is just a notch in the mountains to government officials. What is important to the government is forcing their ideals of morality onto others. “Monday Federal court judge ruled that the mayor trampled all over the first Amendment in his attempts to remove funding from the Brooklyn Museum of Art because of an exhibit he deemed offensive. ” Guiliani withheld $500,000 a month from the museum from October 1st 1999 until the court hearing which ruled against the mayor.

The dictator mayor Guiliani then suggests the board of the museum resign. Time arts writer Steven Madoff said, ” Theres no end to the gall that Guiliani has. ” The mayor tried to close down this museum for one single painting? A little harsh one would think. Mrs. Hillary Clinton in a public statement to the press defended the museum saying, “Its not appropriate to penalize and punish an institution such as the Brooklyn Museum,” She then added to her statement that she would not go to see this exhibit because she would find certain things offensive.

Everything Giuliani tried to do has backfired including the attempt to evict the museum from the city owned building. What right does any government official have to cut funding to a program in which there are so many artists work, time, and effort? Just on account of one person finding it to be offensive does not mean that everyone else will. What one person sees as tasteless may be tasteful to another. Remember that society does have the option to go and see the work or not to go to see the work. The all-powerful mayor never went to see the exhibit himself, but somehow found the time to criticize it.

In a Letter from the Brooklyn Museum of Art Director Arnold L. Lehman he comments on the way SENSATION s a refreshing and attracting part of this exhibit. He stated, “SENSATION is a part of our plan to revitalize the very concept of how art whether traditional or the most challenging can speak to people in their own language… our museum must be central to the topical sociocultural issues, expressed through art, that drive our daily lives. ” Art means so many things to so many different people. So how can the government decide what the public wants to see?

It has more to do with what the government does not want the public to see. The government is afraid people will see new controversial rt and think a thought or two and realize what a laughingstock life has been made due to the need for control. On the National Coalition Against Censorship web site in an article The Long and Short of It, the article reads: ” Mayor Giulianis reaction to the Sensation exhibit stimulated a satirical installation from artist Hans Haacke, now on display at the Whitney Museum of Art Biennial Exhibit in New York.

The provocative artwork, Sanitation, links the current culture wars to the banning of “degenerate” art in Munich in 1937. It displays the text of the First Amendment along with quotations in Nazi-style script from Patrick Buchanan, Pat Robertson, Jesse Helms and Mayor Giuliani and is surrounded by garbage cans blaring the sounds of marching troops. So far the controversy over Sanitation has not evoked a peep from Mayor Giuliani. ” The fact of the matter is that the mayor will not have anything to say he has already lost the battle.

Federal Court Judge Nina Gershon stated in the article When the Mayor and the Constitution Collide, “There is no federal constitutional issue more grave than the effort by government officials to censor works of expression… to abide by government demands for orthodoxy. Why should the nation have to harmonize to the morals of the government? The fact of the matter is the nation should not have to conform to the governments morality. The government, in this manner, has violated the god given right of choice in order to quell the voices of objectivity and maintain its all-powerful reign.

The Church has tried to extinguish the voices of artists for centuries. With the exhibit SENSATION the Church had petitions at 36 congregations all over Staten Island to close the museum, cut the funding, and for the board to resign. The petition read, “To allow he display of a painting of an obvious desecration of a saint we Catholics hold so high in our reverence is unspeakable. ” It went on to say “if you and the board of directors see this as art and insist on displaying it, then we call for your resignation and the board members immediately.

Monsignor Peter G. Finn who organized the 36 parishes on Staten Island to post the petitions in their churches said in an interview that appeared in the Staten Island Advance, “We dont want to fund a museum that attacks religion. Especially if on the walls of the institution has the names of Isaiah, Jeremiah, St. Peter and St. Paul carved… it is a mockery of the intent of the place. ” Now one must realize this is the Church demanding for a board of directors of one of the most highly regarded museums in the world to resign. Who do they think they are? God?

Performance artist Karen Finley, dramatized the plight of women by appearing on stage naked and covered with melted chocolate in 1990, was denied money because her performance helped spur debate over how the NEA hands out money. “She and three other artists were excluded from NEA grants in 1990 because the NEA holds grants o a “general standard of decency. “” So said the article on CNNs web site Supreme Court studies federal funding of art- March 31, 1998. If the church is so offended then why is it that the Christian Coalition and the NEA fund hardcore pornography?

The NEA has admitted to this in the article Christian Coalitions stand on the Arts that appears on the Christian Coalition web site that reads: “… Over the years, the NEA has funded and continues to fund materials that are indeed hardcore pornography. Some examples include “art” that promotes lesbianism for 12 year old girls, rother/sister team rape of a younger sister, the sexual torture of a male prostitute, and such well-known examples as photos of a crucifix submerged in urine and a play depicting Christ as a homosexual. So much for a “general standard of decency”.

The play this refers to is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which had a run on Broadway and a national touring company, but it was not posted all over the news and CNN. Thank God this society is not in 399 BC, when the philosopher Socrates was put to death for undermining the beliefs in the gods and corrupting the morals of the young. If it were new radical ideas and opinions about religion would carry with them an electric chair. Filmmaker Kevin Smith recently released his new film entitled DOGMA.

The movie is about a young woman who is Jesus Christs distant niece in modern times and has to save the world from two fallen angels who want to get back into heaven. In order to do so they would have to disobey God. Since God is infallible this would prove everything false including the existence of the world. Hence the end of the world and all creation gets sucked into a big black hole. The movie includes a black 13th apostle, nd a woman plays God. The fanatical Church was offended by this movie.

The Catholic League, a lay group with 350,000 members and an intimidating letterhead, had pressured the Walt Disney Co. nd its subsidiary Miramax Films to drop DOGMA. People protested outside movie theatres with signs that read: stop desecrating our god now. “Every week I go to church,” says Kevin Smith in an article on TIME on the web “and sooner or later the priest makes a joke! How come a priest can mix religion and jokes, but if I do it, I’m anti-Catholic? ” One should wonder if those same people protest utside of the theatres of the porn movies that their Catholic Coalition supports and funds. Well these people have more versions of their so-called concrete bible than china has egg rolls.

So it is no wonder they are confused. In an interview on Moviefone. com with Elizabeth Castelli the Professor of Religion, at Barnard College she states how the Bible is used for control purposes. She said “the Bible is a fragmentary record that was written by various religious communities… texts in the Bible were also written with the explicit goal of persuading their audiences into accepting a particular point of view. So the Bible has some mumbo-jumbo in it in order to maintain control over what people think, say, and do.

The Church sticks beliefs to followers minds that have doubt. When one expresses that doubt the Church then tries to put down ones expression to support control. What censorship is really about is the control of our new ideas and opinions that undermine the supremacy of religion or the state. “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. ” Once said French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The “chains” being the qualifying factors government or the church set on the rights and freedoms people have. We are supposed to have rights independent of any government intervention.

Over the years our right to have freedom of speech has proven to be frivolous and impertinent to the two dominant institutions of the modern world. Furthermore the nations revered Bill of Rights has been kicked to the curb by the government and the Church for many years. Neither the government nor the Church has the right to interdict material that can be injurious to their faith or morals. What if every civil rights speaker were required by law to include the views of the Ku Klux Klan in their speeches? Every statement one believed o be true would be worthless while being undercut by falsehood.

The nation is quickly becoming a country of cowards and bullies. Our politicians are unable or unwilling to defend the rights embodied in the constitution… ” Says H. G. Hovagimyan. Fear that new ideas will bring strong opinions that speak out opposing views and take away some control from the Church and government disgust and fury these two institutions. We as a society have the choice to see, hear, and read controversial books, music, movies, and art. Neither governmental tyranny nor the Churchs intimidation should abridge that choice.

The Freedom To Read

The freedom to read is essential to the democratic way of life. But today, that freedom is under attack. Private groups and public authorities everywhere are working to remove both books and periodicals from sale, to exclude certain books from public schools, to censor and silence magazines and newspapers, and to limit “controversial” books and periodicals to the general public. The suppression of reading materials is suppression of creative thought. Books and periodicals are not the only ones being suppressed by pressures to the political and social systems.

They are also eing brought against the educational system, films, radio, television, and against the graphic and theatre arts. However or whenever these attacks occur, they usually fall at least one of the following categories: Religion War & Peace (Violence) Sociology & Race Language Drugs Sex Inappropriate Adolescent Behaviour What is Obscenity? Clearly something hard to talk about constructively. “Obscenity” is difficult to discuss honestly. After all, what makes a thing obscene? It is Something too vague perhaps to be defined. It’s an elusive term we use, but can’t explain. Different people ften see things differently.

Some see obscenity in nude pictures, statues, paintings, etc. While others find less obscenity in these things. All the same, “obscene” isn’t the same as “wrong” or “bad”. Clearly obscenity is not identical with evil. It only covers a single segment of it. But what is that segment? A look at the words “obscenity” and “pornography” suggests that it is a segment that didn’t worry people very much till relatively recently. Though censorship was known in english law quite early on, it wasn’t for obscenity but for heresy and sedition. “Undue” exploitation of sex” is hat criminal law in Canada prohibits.

This is how criminal law defines obscenity. But it is rather vague. It doesn’t differentiate between “ordinary obscenity” and “hard-core pornography. ” The first denoting the ordinary run of “girlie magazines and the second denoting pictures , literature and so on that deal with rape, sadism, masochism, bestiality, necrophilia and other perversions. People tend to object far more to “hard-core pornography. ” Another distinction unfortunately overlooked by our criminal law is the distinction between isolated instances of obscenity nd the products of vast commercial enterprise.

There has been an increasing trend towards children’s literature that reflects a more realistic approach to the life both fiction and non-fiction, with subjects that include sex, homosexuality, divorce, child abuse, drugs, violence, etc. And they are these realistic books that have people outraged. In school libraries, the most frequent complaints come from parents about the school’s selections. And in public libraries, parents were once again the single greatest source of challenges to materials. The world is filled with “obscene” things.

And it would seem that those parents are just trying to protect their children from the outside world. But does it really help? These day, an average elementary school student knows many things. They are influenced by a wide range of sources, from television and other forms of media, their environment at home and school, their personality and their background. Why they read does not necessarily mean that they will follow. Literature is a valued source of knowledge for these children, and should not be held back.

So rather than applying full censorship, it should be made an age-related censorship. Many of the complaints that were issued were of the immaturity of the readers. And younger children should be prevented from borrowing material intended for an older age group. Controversial materials should still be held either in reserve stock, available on request, or under a section for parents and teachers who can decide for themselves whether the material is suitable or not. Our would is not perfect. We are a world filled with violence, sex, racism, etc.

Certain literature like “hard-core pornography” should be censored to the general public. These types of “explicit sex” truly have no meaning. They degrade the human race by increasing physical, mental and sexual abuse against women, animals, and sometimes against men. These inhuman treatments should not be shown to prevent other potential people from “experimenting” these acts of disgust. “Ordinary obscenity” should be censored closely, but with an objective view. They may also cause an increase in the violence against women, so they must be reduced and kept ut of reach of the immature readers.

To make a tree grow correctly, you must start caring from the very beginning. You must not block its nutrients, water nor sunlight, but allow it to move around a bit. We have a governing social system that mainly frowns upon the violence against women. There should indeed be access to most types of literature, but in varying degrees of freedom, determined not by censorship, but by controlled access. Parents are trying to protect their children from the harsh realities of life, but are they really helping, or hindering?

The Evolution Of Written Profanity

The evolution of written profanity began roughly in the sixteenth century, and continues to change with each generation that it sees. Profanity is recognized in many Shakespearean works, and has continually evolved into the profane language used today. Some cuss words have somehow maintained their original meanings throughout hundreds of years, while many others have completely changed meaning or simply fallen out of use. William Shakespeare, though it is not widely taught, was not a very clean writer. In fact, he was somewhat of a potty mouth.

His works encompassed a lot of things that some people wish he had not. “That includes a fair helping of sex, violence, crime, horror, politics, religion, anti-authoritarianism, anti-semitism, racism, xenophobia, sexism, jealousy, profanity, satire, and controversy of all kinds” (Macrone 6). In his time, religious and moral curses were more offensive than biological curses. Most all original (before being censored) Shakespearean works contain very offensive profanity, mostly religious, which is probably one of many reasons that his works were and are so popular.

Shakespeare pushed a lot of buttons in his day- which is one reason he was so phenomenally popular. Despite what they tell you, people like having their buttons pushed” (Macrone 6). Because his works contained so many of these profane words or phrases, they were censored to protect the innocent minds of the teenagers who are required to read them, and also because they were blasphemous and offensive. Almost all of the profanity was removed, and that that was not had just reason for being there. Some of the Bard’s censored oaths are; “God’s blessing on your beard” Love’s Labors Lost, II. 203

This was a very rude curse because a man’s facial hair was a point of pride for him. and “to play with someone’s beard” was to insult him. “God’s body” 1 Henry IV,II. i. 26 Swearing by Christ’s body, (or any part thereof,) was off limits in civil discourse. “God’s Bod(y)kins, man” Hamlet, II. ii. 529 The word bod(y)kin means “little body” or “dear body,” but adding the cute little suffix does not make this curse any more acceptable. ”

Swearing by the virgin was almost as rude as swearing by her son, especially when addressing a catholic cathedral as Gloucester did in 2 Henry VI, II. i Perhaps the two worst of these Shakespearean swears were “‘zounds” and “‘sblood. ” “‘Zounds” had twenty-three occurrences. Ten of them were in 1 Henry IV. The rest appear in Titus (once), Richard III (four times), Romeo and Juliet (twice), and Othello ( six times). Iago and Falstaff were the worst offenders. ‘Zounds has evolved into somewhat of a silly and meaningless word, but was originally horribly offensive.

This oath, short for “God’s wounds,” was extremely offensive because references to the wounds or blood of Christ were thought especially outrageous, as they touched directly on the crucifixion. “‘Sblood” had twelve occurrences in all. There were eight times in 1 Henry IV (with Falstaff accounting for six), plus once in Henry V, twice in Hamlet, and once in Othello. ‘Sblood occurs less than ‘zounds, but is equally offensive and means basically the same thing. Several other words came from Great Britain, but were not included in Shakespeare’s works. Today the expression “Gadzooks! ” is not particularly offensive to most.

Of course, most don’t know what it originally meant. Gadzooks was originally slang for “God’s hooks,” and was equally offensive to ‘zounds and ‘sblood as it also referred to the crucifixion. An interesting note is that there is a store called Gadzooks which everyone thinks of as a pop-culture vendor to America’s youth. Some (but not many) of Gadzooks’ shoppers would be very offended if they knew the true meaning of the store’s name. Another word from this region is a Cockney expression, “Gorblimey,” which is a word used to swear to the truth, and is a shortened form of “God blind me.

Also, in England, words such as “bloody,” “blimey,” “blinkin’,” beginning with the letters “BL” are taken offense to because they, once again, refer to the blood of Christ and the crucifixion. The military has an interesting technique for swearing their brains out without offending anyone. “They use the phonetic alphabet (A= Alpha, B= Bravo, C= Charlie, etc. ) as a code for their swearing” (Interview). For instance, instead of saying “bullshit,” they would say “bravo charlie. ” Or instead of the horribly offensive blasphemous cuss word, they could say “golf delta.

Most people are familiar with the swear words that are still used. These “four-letter words” aren’t necessarily four letters long, but more or less, they get the same point across as their four lettered friends. Such words usually include crap, ass, shit, bitch, fuck, and damn. There are many variations on the usage and placement of these words, but they still pack a punch. The word “crap” dates back as early as 1846, and is usually used as a euphemism for shit, yet many people find it equally offensive. As most cuss words do, crap has several different variations, such as, “eat crap,” “crap-ass,” and “crapola.

The meaning has not evolved since its first publication, where it was defined simply as “excrement” (Lighter 508). The word “ass” had its first publication as a swear word (as opposed to a donkey) in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1556. “Whyyped… at the cartt es arse… for vacabondes. ” This is not the definition commonly used today, but is still a vulgar way of using the word. This means that back of an object, whereas the more widely used definition is “of the rump, the buttocks, rectum, and anus” (Lighter 37).

The more common definition was first recorded in “Covent Garden Drollery. ” The word actually started out as Irs, then evolved into arse (which is the German translation also), and finally evolved into ass. “Shit” is, when used as an interjection, “An expression of strong disgust or disappointment,” but is, when used as a noun, “Anything inferior, ugly, cheap, or disgusting” (Flexner 467). Shit can be placed with just about any word and make a cute little expression. Some examples are, “shit head,” “shitting bricks,” and the colorful little phrase, “shit or get off of the pot.

Bitch was first used in 1400 in F and H, and has, quite amazingly, maintained its original meaning for over five hundred years. It’s definition in F and H was “a malicious , spiteful, promiscuous, or otherwise despicable woman” (Lighter 169). It is also used today to describe “a sexually promiscuous young woman, a male homosexual who plays the female role in copulation, an ill tempered homosexual male, an infuriatingly large object, or something especially disagreeable” (Lighter 169-70), among various others.

There are many other forms of the word, such as “bitch kitty,” or “bitch session,” which is basically when a group of people get together and whine about how terrible their lives are, quite fun! “Fuck” is probably the most offensive swear word used. The earliest use of it is in “Verbatim” in 1500, which says, “Non sunt in celi/quia fuccant uuiuys of heli. ” The meaning, unlike the language, has remained the same, however. It still means “to copulate” (Lighter 831). Some popular variations of it are “fuck a duck,” “fucked by the fickle finger of fate,” (Reinhold 79) “fucked up and far from home,” and “fucking A.

The word “damn” itself is not extremely offensive, but is rather used as an intensifier of other words or phrases. When placed with God, however, it becomes a horrible, blasphemous word, which is, to many, more offensive than fuck. This type of thinking goes back to the sixteenth century when religious curses were far worse than biological. G. D. goes back to 1697, when D. Defoe, in G. Hughes Swearing 209 said, “G. D. ye, does not sit well upon a female tongue” (Lighter 914). Swear words can be used in pairs such as “fucking bitch,” and “fuck me in the goat’s ass” to intensify and make the swearing humorous.

They can also be used as compliments. Words like “bitchen” have been used since 1957 when Gidget said, “It was a bitchen day too. The sun was out… in Southern California” (Lighter 171). Profanity has evolved from the religious curses of Old England and the biological curses of today not only in meaning, but also in intensity. Besides G. D. , the only curses that are offensive today are the biological curses that make sentences, movies, and just about anything more graphic or offensive than had the word been left out.

Censorship of Media Violence

Censorship of the media is a hotly contested topic. The public has declared that there is excessive violence portrayed on television and that this violence ultimately negatively affects viewers, especially children. Censorship is the regulation and control of information and ideas that are circulated among people within a society. It refers to the examination of electronic and print media for the purposes of altering and/or suppressing parts of the media thought to be inappropriate and/or offensive (Microsoft Encarta 97) The implication of censorship is that it is necessary for the protection of the viewing public.

The following is a discussion of violence portrayed in the media, its impact on the viewing public, and censorship of the media. This paper also provides a viable solution to the negative impact of the violence in the media. Violence In the Media and Its Impact It’s inconceivable not to think that television couldn’t influence our attitudes and behaviors. Neil Postman makes this point by outlining America’s movement from a typographic society to telegraphic society. (Postman, 1985) This is not to suggest passivity.

Much of what is aired on television is fictional. However, proponents of censorship argue that television creates a false sense of reality and influences not only young children but teenagers as well. In one incident after viewing the movie The Program, a teen-aged boy was killed and two others were injured after lying down along the centerline of a highway. The teenagers were imitating a scene from the movie. Touchstone Pictures removed the scene from the movie as a result of the tragedy with the teenagers.

Another incident in Ohio, five-year-old Austin Messner set his parent’s house a fire killing his sister after viewing the popular MTV cartoon Beavis and Butthead. In response MTV moved the program to a time slot four hours later. However, did not claim responsibility. (Microsoft Internet’s explorer) The implication is that people are passive beings easily influenced by what they see. Another implication is that all people have shared experiences and will think and react alike. Neil Postman advances the thought that television viewing is our way of knowing ourselves and the world ( Postman, 1985)

E. B. White wrote “I believe that television is going to be the test of the modern world, and in this new opportunity to see beyond the range of our own vision, we shall discover either a new and unbearable disturbance of the general peace or a saving radiance in the sky. We shall stand or fall by television. ” (Murray, 1995) White was correct. Television is either beneficial or detrimental to society, perhaps both. Certainly, there exist studies that would equally support both theories.

A series of studies conducted by Seymour Feshbach and Robert D. Singer suggests that television violence does not promote violence in children, they explicitly state that the issue “arises from a concern over an important contemporary social issue. ” (Feshbach & Singer, 1977) After analyzing several social and experimental psychology studies David Howitt and Guy Cumberbatch arrived at a similar conclusion. They concluded that many studies didn’t specify reasons for why correlation was made between television violence and violence in society.

Howitt and Cumberbatch, 1975) Albert Bandura on the other hand set the precedence with his studies correlating the viewing of television violence and promoting violence among viewers. His various studies provided strong evidence of televised violence producing aggressive and/or violent behavior in viewers. (Bandura et al. 1963) The innumerable and varied studies on this subject suggest that there exist no definitive answer. The examples cited suggest the potential and very real impact on the viewing public.

However, the lack of research suggests this type of extreme behavior is more the exception and not the norm. Speculation of the effects of television violence on the viewing public will continue. Censorship Unfortunate tragedies such as the MTV related incident and the Program related incident draw strong public support for censorship of the media. Should the producers of these programs be held accountable? Yes, producers should be concerned with the content of their programs, however, American society has long since passed that point.

Television is a multi billion-dollar industry. The primary concern of the television industry is to net a profit and then entertain the consumers. The network with the highest rating means more profit the network. Censorship is not only controversial but quite difficult to implement. Who decides what is inappropriate or too violent, such vague terminology would be difficult to define. For many years the film industry has practiced a form of self-censorship. Increasing demands from the public forced the industry to develop a system classification in 1968.

The major networks voluntarily adhere to a self-regulating system this is in conjunction with regulations established by the Federal Communications Commission. (Microsoft Encarta, 1997) The V-chip is the most current weapon in the censorship battle. Parents are able to block certain channels so that children are not exposed to violent programming. Analysis As stated above the effects of television violence on viewers, especially children are not definitive. Evidence can be provided to support either position.

A logical inclination would be to agree with Feshbach and Singer. Some underlying issue is the basis for such drastic behavior as lying in the middle of highway and not merely the influence of television. Another factor should be considered before drawing any correlation between television violence and influence of viewing television violence, the existence of bias among the researchers. Howitt’s and Cumberbatch’s Mass Media and Society was published in 1975 they espoused then that the media on whole needed to be reevaluated.

It would be interesting to know their respective opinions about the content of today’s media. There are many unanswered questions produced by the continuous research on television viewing of violent programs. What does it say about American society when a gratuitously violent television programs get high ratings? What does it say about how we socialize our children? Are the programs an accurate reflection of our reality? Solutions The alternative options aren’t new and have probably been discussed before. These alternatives aren’t difficult to implement.

What Censorship Does

Erin Lowe- also author of many “outstanding” American History essays…. of which two are published somewhere here….. one about Peter Noyes, and another about Mercantilism….. “Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail… In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education. ” The only way that the ideas of this world that are deemed bad are going to go away is if we are allowed to see them and change them.

If we are not allowed to see what is “bad” then our society will never grow to become a better place. What censorship does is keep us protected; leaving us living sheltered lives. If we never see a racist comment how are we to know that racism is bad? At the same time Censorship can be a good thing because it keeps children from seeing pornography, and terrible acts of violence. However censorship should not keep anyone from seeing literature, even if it is considered slightly explicit in a sexual, racial, or violent manner. Censorship should leave the ideas of people alone and leave them with their irst amendment rights.

Amendment one of the United States Bill of Rights reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble… “. What this means is that we, in America have the right to be any religion, and to not have that religion forced upon us. We have the right to say what we want and to publish our ideas if we so wish, and to read the ideas that others have published. We can also peaceably assemble, or gather in protest without violence hat we think is wrong.

The biggest right that we have is that of free speech and press. We can say what we want! As American sometimes we take this for granted. However even though we have the right to free speech we have to draw the line somewhere, but where? “We so often condemn books that were written to fight the very things that we claim to be fighting. ” This quote illustrates one of the things that are so wrong with censorship. We seem to ban or censor books, like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, that are actually against racism or whatever the objection to the book is.

When a book is taken he wrong way it is simply the fault of the reader, and not the book. The book therefore cannot be censored in this case. To override the right of free speech on the grounds that the speech in question is likely to harm or offend others is to commit an act of censorship. Not all censorship of this manner is unjustified however, for some speech causes significant and direct harm to others, such as maliciously defaming speech, and speech which opens national secrets to “enemies”.

There should be however a presumption that all speech is protected from censorship in that the censor always has to prove and to persuade he people that the speech is bad. In this way it is using new and better ideas to eliminate the bad ideas. The speaker should not have to prove every time that an individual challenges his/her speech that it really is good. The proof has to be that whatever harm or offense the speech has caused is significant, and direct. Free speech is a valuable thing, and should not be restricted by its remote or superficially adverse affect on others.

“Without free speech no search for truth is possible… o discovery of truth is useful… Better a thousandfold abuse of free speech that denial of free speech. The abuse dies in day, but the denial slays the life f the people, and entombs the hope of the race” This quote had an excellent point in the case against censorship. To discover new ideas and the truth of life we need to be exposed to new thoughts, and different thoughts. If we always saw the same thoughts over and over we could never expand; we could never become better as a society without new ideas. If new ideas cannot be written or seen then their discovery is useless, for they cannot help without being seen.

SO it is better that we see cases in which free speech is used in a bad way, such as in defaming specific people or groups or deas, than to have no free speech at all as a result of free censorship. Defaming something that should not be defamed can be recovered from, for good things will be supported more than gone against. Also, things that need to be obliterated from society will be by this right of free speech. The denial of free speech will smother the life of a society. A society where different ideas aren’t all owed will soon fail.

However there is no right to harm or to offend other people. If an idea in a book is explicitly insulting a particular group or person it could be censored, depending on the type of offense. If, for example a ook says that African Americans are all stupid, simple, and should be killed off for this fact the book should only be read by choice, and not be forced upon anyone. An adult is capable of making a choice not to read, or allow their child to read a book that is expressly offensive to them. People always seem to be not concerned with what they read, but with what other people read.

Quite often it is a white person that bans a book for fear that it might insult an African American, or a male, thinking that it might insult a female. “Did you ever hear anyone say ‘That work had better be banned because I might read it and it ight me very damaging to me’? ” People should really only censor for themselves, and they should be allowed to censor for themselves. “The mind that becomes soiled in youth can never again be washed clean” This statement is in many cases true. Small children should not be exposed to pornography, or to extreme violence, for their developing minds are very impressionable.

However they can be exposed to a wide variety of ideas, so that as they grow older they can decide for themselves what and who they want to be. If they are exposed to racist ideas, it is very likely that they will also be xposed to anti-racist ideas, leaving their mind still undecided. If children are exposed to minor sexuality then it will leave them having a much easier time accepting themselves when they become young adults, and then adults. The things that are put into the minds of the young will never leave them, and so in some cases censorship is necessary.

Many books are censored for reasons of sex, violence, the occult, racism, or for having “rebellious children” in them. Most common are the racism, and sex reasons. Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut is an example of a book banned for these reasons. The book is a ollection of short stories by Kurt Vonnegut and the title is the same as the title of one of the stories. These stories include “Welcome to the Monkey House”, “All the King’s Horses”, “Who am I This Time? “, “More Stately Mansions”, “The Foster portfolio”, and “The Kid Nobody Could Handle” along with many others.

Those listed however seemed the most likely to be banned out of the book. Kurt Vonnegut is well known as a pessimistic writer, whose topic usually is the future. He wrote these for mass produced and distributed magazines. They therefore are rather conventional, both thematically, and technically. Through these stories you can see some of the information about Vonnegut himself. He is the product of an Indianapolis middle class family. Many of the stories also show Vonnegut’s and America’s preoccupation with the Cold War, love, status, and identity.

The first story, “Welcome to the Monkey House” a future society is described in America where a scientist had invented and ethical birth- control pill that removes all pleasure from sex, and the government requires al women and men to take them. “The pills are ethical because they didn’t interfere with a person’s ability to reproduce, which would have been unnatural and immoral, all he pills did was take every bit of pleasure out of sex. Thus did science and morals go hand in hand” The hero of this story is a very short, funny looking man who calls himself Billy the Poet.

He seduces the suicide hostesses, whose job it is to help people commit suicide painlessly and effectively, whenever they want in a pleasurable way. In this case he dresses up as an old man who wants to commit suicide. When he seduces these women, always at gunpoint he forces them to abandon their ethical birth control pills. “The people who understood science said that people had to quit reproducing so much, and the eople who understood morals said that society would collapse if people used sex for nothing but pleasure” This story is not nearly as pessimistic as some of Vonnegut’s other novels, however it isn’t optimistic either.

The story makes the government and the scientific community the villains of the story for taking away sex. It also makes Billy the Poet a hero for rebelling against the government edict and for spreading his philosophy of pleasure through sexual intercourse. One thing that should be pointed out about this story is that it was originally written for Playboy magazine. One of the ironies of the story was fter Billy raped the suicide hostess and removed her ethical birth control pills. He leaves her with a poem and a bottle of regular birth control pills. The poem was “How Do I Love Thee?

Let Me Count the Ways” which is ironic because Billy has shown no love for the suicide hostess, only a little bit of pleasure for converting her to a “Nothinghead”. However the poem is appropriate because the suicide hostess’ feeling about sex were very like those of most Victorian ladies. The effect of the ethical birth control pills is also much like the effects that the author of the poem, Elisabeth Browning, felt after falling off of her horse. The theme of this story is not in the altruistic efforts of Billy the Poet, but rather, things that seem good really aren’t necessarily good. The next story was “All the King’s Horses”.

This story is the product of the Cold War of the early 1950’s when Americans were becoming more and more suspicious of the Soviet Union and of China. The Sort describes a battle between a group of Americans, led by Colonel Kelley, and Pi Ying, a Chinese guerilla leader. The Americans were the victims of a plane crash in China. Ying brings Kelley, his wife, his 2 sons, and twelve American soldiers to a hideout where he offers the Colonel one chance to save all their lives. The chance is that he must uses the Americans as chess pieces in a game against Pi Ying while a Russian advisor observes.

If Kelley wins the Americans will go free. Ying is a rather evil bloodthirsty character and the Russian is eager for a war between the United States and Russia as soon as the time is right. Ying is assassinated by his mistress, and then the Russian takes over, but Kelley has already won. The Russian lets the Americans go, and says that ultimately there will be a war between them, but later. This story now eems very dated, however it reflects accurately the American sentiment during the early Cold War period. The theme of the story seems to be in the choices that people make.

People make good decisions and people make bad decisions. Those that make good decisions come out well in the end. The story “Who am I this time? ” is an example of Vonnegut’s stories that show a concern about role playing, and people being who they are, and aren’t. The main character, a very shy hardware clerk only comes alive when he is in a role in the local theatre group. The director in the story decides to do the play A Streetcar Named Desire. The hardware clerk, Harry becomes Marlin Brando in the play and a young girl named Helene who plays Stella in the play falls in love with him.

Because harry was left on the doorstep of a church as a baby he has no concept of self, and Helene was always employed moving from place to place, so she never developed a personality of her own. Both of them therefore yearn for an environment in which they can blend in and feel that they have an identity. They marry, and their marriage only works because they are constantly reading lines of couples from various plays. The story “More Stately Mansions” was bout a woman who from the beginning of the story is rather odd and in the end seems completely psychotic.

The theme of the story is that the dream is always more precious than the reality. A couple moves into a suburban home and discovers that their neighbor Grace has an obsession with home decorating. Grace invites them over for a couple drinks and they discover that Grace’s home is rather dull, dirty, and everything is falling apart. Grace falls sick and while she is in the hospital her husband inherits enough money that he can do all of her decorating that she’d been dreaming about over the years. When she came home from the hospital however the only thing that she notices is the bouquet of roses that her husband bought her.

She seems to think that this was the way that she left her house, and that it was always perfect and beautiful. She sits on the couch, looking rather depressed and her husband announces that a new “Home Beautiful” has come in the mail, to which she replies “read one and you’ve read them all” when she used to be obsessed with the magazines. “The Foster Portfolio” is one of the most pessimistic of any of the stories. IT is one of his many stories about the relationships etween fathers and sons. Herbert Foster works as a bookkeeper to support his wife and child.

He has inherited almost a million-dollar stock portfolio, but he feels that the money is tainted because it came from his father, a man who abandoned wife and child to devote his life to playing music and to drinking gin and he won’t touch it. Three nights a week Herbert goes out to a cheap bar because he “had the respectability his mother had hammered into him. But just as priceless as that was an income not quite big enough to go around. It left him no alternative but- in the holy names of wife, child and home- to play iano in a dive, and breathe smoke, and drink gin, to be Firehouse Harris, his father’s son, three nights out of seven”.

Foster’s split personality causes him to find it necessary to create roles that help him cope with what seem unbearable problems. The story that gives this book the biggest merit is “The Kid Nobody Could Handle”. The music teacher, Helmholtz is appalled to find that Jim Donnini, a juvenile delinquent from the streets of Chicago, has been vandalizing Lincoln High School. Filled with compassion and desperation Helmholtz offers him his most prized possession, John Philip Sousa’a trumpet.

When the boy initially shows no interest, Helmholtz hammers the instrument against a coat tree and mutter that “Life is no damn good” ; and only then does Donnini show any interest in Helmholtz. With the start of a new school semester, Jim Donnini takes the last seat of the worst trumpet section of the “C” band. As Helmholtz tells him and the rest of the band “Our aim is to make the world more beautiful than it was when we came into it… Love yourself… and make your instrument sing about it” Vonnegut is saying in this story that without a sense of self worth it is impossible for anyone to achieve anything.

The entire book Welcome to the Monkey House was banned only a few times, for it isn’t taught in very many schools. However the main example of it being banned was in Alabama, where a teacher was fired for teaching it because the book promoted the killing off of the elderly, and free sex. The teacher later sued, and won. These two things, the killing off of the elderly, and free sex were both in the actual story “welcome to the Monkey House”. The story did promote free sex, but only normal amounts of sex. The idea was that the pills were wrong, not that people now should have more sex.

As or the killing off of the elderly, the idea was for the killing off of anyone that wanted to die because there was a large population problem going on. There were also many good reasons for the book being taught. The book has many morals taught in it and just about every story has a positive message in it. The positive message in “All the Kings Horses” was about making good choices and being bold in life, the message in “The Kid Nobody Could Handle” was about believing in yourself. There was even a positive message in “More Stately Mansions” that dreams are sometimes better than reality, and that the dreamer is not necessarily bad.

The positive message in “Welcome to the Monkey House” is that sometimes the big guy is wrong, and change can be brought about by one small person, along with that we shouldn’t as a society be afraid of sex. In most cases censorship indeed seems to be only a violation of peoples right to free speech. It is, in the words of the Disinformation website “an easy way for prudish control freaks to get their jollies”. However, there are cases in which censorship is right. For children, there is a reason for censorship, but adults can decide whether or not they want to read books like “Welcome to the Monkey House”.

Internet Censorship Essay

The Internet is a wonderful place of entertainment and education, but like all places used by millions of people, it has some murky corners people would prefer children not to explore. In the physical world, society as a whole wants to protect children, but there are no social or physical constraints to Internet surfing. The Internet Censorship Bill of 1995, also known as the Exon/Coats Communications Decency Act, has been introduced in the U. S. Congress.

It would make it a criminal offense to make available to children anything that is indecent, or to send anything indecent with “intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass” (“Stop the Communications … ” n. p. ). The goal of this bill is to try to make all public discourse on the Internet suitable for young children. The issue of whether is it necessary to have censorship on the Internet is being argued all over the world. Censorship would damage the atmosphere of the freedom to express ideas on the Internet; therefore, government should not encourage censorship.

The Internet was originally a place for people to freely express their ideas worldwide. It is also one of America’s most valuable types of technology. Ordinary people use the Net for communication, expressing their opinions, or obtaining up-to-date information from the World Wide Web (WWW). The Internet can be compared to a church. In many ways the Internet is like a church: it has its council of elders, every member has an opinion about how things should work, and they can either take part or not.

It’s the choice of the user. The Internet has no president, chief operating officer, or Pope. The networks may have presidents and CEO’s, but that’s a different issue; there is no single authority figure for the Internet as a whole. As stated by Frances Hentoff, the staff writer for The Village Voice and the author of First Freedoms, “on an info superhighway driven by individuals, there are no cops preventing users from downloading” (Hentoff 1). Internet users can broadcast or express anything they want.

The fact that the Net has no single authority figure sets forth a problem about what kind of materials could be available on the Net. The U. S. government is now trying to pass bills to prevent misuse of the Net. The Internet Censorship Bill of 1995 was introduced to the U. S. Congress. Under the Censorship Bill, a person breaks the law if he/she puts a purity test on a web page without making sure children cannot access the page. Also, if a person verbally assaults someone, he/she breaks the law.

If a university, where some students may be under 18 years old, carries the alt. sex*. newsgroups, which contains adult material, it breaks the law. According to George Melloan from the Wall Street Journal, a censorship bill was passed by the Senate 84-16 in July, and an anticensorship bill was passed by the House 420-4 in August. There are now four different sets of censorship and anticensorship language in the House and Senate versions of the Telecomm reform bill, which contradict each other and will have to be reconciled (Melloan, n. ).

Another crucial Internet crime is the theft of credit card numbers. Companies do business on the Net, and credit card numbers are stored on their servers; everyone with the necessary computer knowledge could hack in and obtain such databases for illegal purposes. To cite an instance, the most infamous computer terrorist, Kevin Mitnick, “waived extradition and is now in jail in California, charged with computer fraud and illegal use of a telephone access device.

The list of allegations against him include theft of many files and documents, including twenty-thousand credit card numbers from Netcom On-Line Services, which provides thousands with access to the Internet” (Warren 52). Many experts have pointed out that government censorship is not possible. Howard Rheingold, the editor of the Whole World Review, observes that, “the ‘censor the Net’ approach is not just morally misguided. It’s becoming technically and politically impossible” (Rheingold n. p. ).

First, it is not fair to exclude the freedom and damage the atmosphere of freely expressing ideas just for the safety of children. Corn-Revere, an expert on Internet censorship at the Howgan & Harson Law Firm, points out that “the purpose of indecency regulation is to keep adult material from falling into the hands of kids. When he first introduced a similar bill last year, Senator Exon said he was concerned that the Information Superhighway was in danger of becoming an electronic ‘red light district’ and that he wanted to bar his granddaughter’s access to unsuitable information” (Corn-Revere 24).

It is clear that Senator Exon introduced the bill to prevent minors from viewing unsuitable material on the Net. In addition, Meleedy, a computer science graduate student at Harvard University, said that if “the Internet makes democracy this accessible to the average citizen, is it any wonder Congress wants to censor it? ” (Meleedy 1). As predicted by Corn-Revere, “At the very least, the law will force content providers to make access more difficult, which will affect all users, not just the young” (Corn-Revere 70).

Censoring the Net is technically and politically impossible; it will damage the atmosphere of freedom and free idea expression on the Net; therefore, government should not encourage censorship. Most Internet users are enjoying their freedom of speech on the Net, which is supposed to be protected by the First Amendment of the United States. The freedom of idea expression is what makes the Internet important and enjoyable, and it should not be waived for any reason.

Free Speech, Hate Speech, and Equality of Citizens

On October 23, 1998, abortionist Dr. Barnett Slepian, was shot and killed by a sniper’s bullet. The sniper in question was part of the radical pro-life contingency in the United States. Bill Baird, another abortionist, had his own clinic fire bombed. When holding a news conference afterwards, he stated, “I fault publicly the Roman Catholic Church, the Right to Life people, and all anti-abortion forces who use the rhetoric ‘baby murderer, killer, devil’ which creates a climate that turns loose lunatics like this (qtd in Scott 9).

The interesting part of Baird’s statement is not his obvious contempt for pro-life advocates; ather it is his contention that their hate “rhetoric” is responsible for building a climate of fear and inequality. Baird was accusing the pro-life side of what we now commonly call “hate speech. ” Hate speech could be defined as speech that denigrates individuals based upon race, gender, ethnic status, or sexual orientation. Liberal democracies have increasingly found it difficult as to what the appropriate response to hate speech should be. This arises out of the longstanding liberal tradition of free speech.

Freedom of speech would seem to be in conflict here with the other liberal tradition of equality of citizenry. Whether to regulate speech in certain contextual arenas, especially universities, or in society as a whole, have become violent issues of discussion. In the Baird example, society would have to decide upon what is more valuable, the right of women to have abortions in a safe and harassment free arena, or the rights of pro-life critics to voice their opinions. The actions have varied, with some states and provinces creating “bubble-zone laws” used to limit pro-life protest.

These issues are very controversial, because inevitably someone or group will be disenfranchised and silenced. Three iews on hate speech laws seem to be evident. Those who advocate for it, based on psychological harm and constructionist views, those against it from a civil libertarian perspective, and those sympathetic but against most speech codes based upon pragmatic or linguistic objections. All three will be examined for strengths, weaknesses and rationality. Many people of differing ethnic or racial lineage are denigrated.

Gays and Lesbians, as well as women, are also often targets of speech that inflicts harm. These forms of hate speech “treat their targets as moral subordinates on account of race, gender, or sexual preference (Altman 12). ” This subordination is likened to psychological abuse. While physical abuse is obviously curtailed by existing laws, psychological abuse because of its slippery nature is not. Only in specific circumstances, such as the workplace is it curtailed, such as sexual or racial workplace harassment laws. However, in society as a whole, it is not a crime to use a racial or gender epitaph at people.

For instance, if someone were to call a person of African origin a “nigger” on the street, many people would find it intensely immoral and distasteful, but that speech in no way would be considered illegal. Certain proponents of hate speech laws would consider the psychological abuse entailed in hate speech, the denigration of a person’s moral worth, to be adequate justification for its illegality. These proponents would view physical and psychological forms of harm as equal, not necessarily punishable in the same way. The harm principle is an important justification of hate speech law.

Essentially, it functions within an individualist paradigm, limiting its understanding of hate to particular acts committed against individual members of the community. However, many advocates of hate speech laws recognize a structural element o hate speech that goes beyond the individual acts of hate speech. Social constructionist accounts of hate speech are often stronger than the psychological harm principle elucidated earlier. Psychological harm is often a slippery concept. Psychological harm is often intensely personal and subjective. It is hard to codify or quantify.

Because of its subjective nature, the psychological harm principle would be hard, if not impossible, to successfully implement in law. The constructionist position maintains that hate speech ritualizes and “facilitates unequal treatment of groups based on race, gender, and sexual preference (Calvert 6). The very language of hate speech would seem to create a linguistic paradigm for the moral degradation of whole classes of people. Hate speech would then function, not only as a psychologically harming action, but also an action that creates and fosters inequality.

Thus, “the communication itself is at once a form of conduct (Butler 351). ” Liberal hate speech activists seem especially attracted to this position because it is rooted in liberal conceptions of egalitarianism. Hate speech could be seen as antithetical to the very nature of constitutional democracy, which strenuously promotes he equality of all citizens regardless of racial, ethnic, cultural, or sexual lines. The constructionist approach has its advantages because it seems to be rooted in liberal conceptions of law and rights, while the psychological harm principle does not.

For, as in the psychological harm principle, it is hard to construct a legal code around the adage that one has “hurt my feelings. ” With its locus in historical liberal traditions, it would seem to have a much greater chance of success and viability. Civil libertarians are notorious for their free speech advocacy. Whether defending pro-life Christians being censored by universities or communists, the civil libertarian is value neutral in his/her examination of speech. For civil libertarians, speech is a fundamental and inalienable right.

Civil libertarians have a long history back to John Stuart Mill, John Locke, Voltaire and other enlightenment philosophers. The civil libertarian position is adequately articulated by the American Civil Liberties Association, stating: Censoring so-called hate speech also runs counter to the long-term interests of the most frequent victims of hate: racial, ethnic, eligious and sexual minorities. We should not give the government the power to decide which opinions are hateful, for history has taught us that government is more apt to use this power to prosecute minorities than to protect them.

As one federal judge has put it, tolerating hateful speech is “the best protection we have against any Nazi-type regime in this country. ” (ACLU section 4 paragraph 2) Free speech advocates not only are against hate speech laws because of historical distrust for government, but also because “without it, other fundamental rights, like the right to vote, would wither and die (ACLU ection 1 paragraph 1). ” Civil libertarians suggest that free speech is so fundamental and axiomatic to all other rights that any trampling will destroy the very foundation that rights are built upon.

Free speech advocates do not necessarily disagree with the constructionist or psychological harm positions. However, they do disagree that these values are stronger than values placed upon free speech. Civil libertarians position is also based upon a historical precedent, as aforementioned. Historically, many unpopular views have been quieted because of their potential harm to society. Even fifty years ago, some communists (although one could argue that some were legitimately treasonous) were quieted in the United States during the notorious McCarthy era.

Civil libertarians would seem to have good reason to distrust the history of governments. Even the United States, with its strong advocacy of free speech, has trampled upon it. Civil libertarians reject the conflict of rights posited by other liberal theorists. They do not recognize inequalities based in social systems but rather restrict their meaning of equality to the legal and political frameworks. In this way, they avoid the confliction of rights hat other liberal theorists contend with. Some people, who are sympathetic to the pro-hate speech law position, are nonetheless unconvinced for its implementation.

These people are not against it for reasons like civil libertarians. Rather they seem more pragmatic in their approach. They feel that hate speech laws would not adequately address systematic issues of oppression. Instead, they may actually make them worse. Stanley Fish has commented that present weak liberals who advocate a silencing of hate speakers do a disservice. As he contemptuously states, “Banishing hate speakers from your little onversation leaves them all the freer to pursue their deadly work in the dark corners from which you have averted your fastidious eyes (Fish 392).

Fish’s eloquent disdain for hate speakers is somewhat refreshing in an age of niceties. Fish’s solution is not hate speech laws, which he has previously stated do not work. Rather he advocates a much stronger moral and social attack: A deeper wound will only be inflicted [on hate speakers] by methods and weapons her liberalism disdains: by acts of ungenerosity [sic], intolerance, perhaps even repression, by acts that respond to evil not y tolerating it-in the hope that its energies will simply dissipate in the face of scorn-but by trying to stamp it out.

This is a lesson liberalism will never learn; it is the lesson liberalism is pledged never to learn because underlying liberal thought is the assumption that, given world enough time (and so long as embarrassing “outlaws have been discounted in advance), difference and conflict can always be resolved by rational deliberation, defined of course by those who have been excluded from it. (Fish 392) Fish’s disagreement with hate speech laws is not because of a prior liberal ree speech conviction but because of their pragmatic lack of action.

Fish advocates a strong social revulsion and distrust, much like what homosexuals and African Americans felt in earlier times and still do feel. Fish’s action is almost a reversal of fortunes for hate speakers. It takes their former methods and turns them around. However, whether a society, so lacking in moral fortitude could implement Fish’s plan remains to be seen. Perhaps, Fish’s own pragmatic vision contains elements of utopianism. Judith Butler, a queer theorist, offers an alternate view against ate speech laws. Butler’s view is interesting because she is in the camp of postmodern (de)constructionists.

Known mostly for her views on gender construction and post-feminist theory, Butler translates some of her ideas into the intellectual fight over hate speech laws. In a postmodern twist, like only postmodernists can do, Butler suggests that the codification of hate speech laws reifies the existing linguistic structures of hate speech. By a seeming contradiction “hate speech is produced by the law, and constitutes one of its most savory productions; it becomes the legal nstrument through which to produce and further a discourse on race and sexuality under the rubric of combating racism and sexism (Butler 373).

Butler’s view of language is paramount in this discussion. Language, much like sexuality, is fluid and can be manipulated to confuse the sites on which it is maintained and situated (Butler 377). Following from her philosophy of language, Butler’s position on hate speech and how to counter it becomes clearer. As she states, “When the task of reappropriation is taken up within the domain of protected public discourse, the results seem o me to be more promising and more democratic than when the task of adjudicating the injury of speech is given over to the state (Butler 376).

Butler’s emphasis on reappropriation involves the blurring of hate speech. One example is the popular usage of “nigger” within African American rap music. The term is used in a context of brotherhood and friendship and is stripped of its former pejorative context. By codifying hate speech, Butler is afraid that we will limit our creative opportunities to overcome it. We will end up institutionalizing the hate speech we so despise.

Media Censorship Essay

Today there is much controversy over whether there should or shouldnt be censorship of the media. Censorship should not be imposed on citizens by the government or other agencies; adults have a right to view or listen to what they choose. Additionally, if childrens media is censored, parents are the ones who should monitor and regulate it. Parents should be the ones to monitor childrens viewing of television and also what they hear on the radio, CDs, and tapes.

Censorship includes the examination and blocking of books, periodicals, plays, films, television and radio programs, news reports, and other communication media that is shown to, or available to the public. Media censorship is sometimes put into place because content is immoral or obscene, heretical or blasphemous, seditious or treasonable, or injurious to the national security. It is supposedly used for the protection of the family, the church, and the state. Additionally some religious groups, opposed to the violence shown in different types of media, say censorship works.

Still more that believe in civil rights think that it is an unnecessary violation of the right to freedom of speech for all humans. Censorship of the media for children is necessary, but should not be handled by government or other groups. Instead it should be directed and controlled by parents. Censorship for children is necessary because the average American views 100,000 acts of violence on TV before reaching the age of thirteen. Many of the violent acts are presented in news stations which are stations parents or adults watch to find out information about weather, and road conditions, or anything that can help with daily life.

If the government were to bring censorship to these stations, adults would not see the news reports in their area or around the world. For this to be avoided, the government must leave censorship to parents. To facilitate parents exercise of censoring for their children Congress passed a law in 1996 that required manufacturers of television sets to install a special computer chip called the V-chip into every television; This allows parents to block shows with excessive violence.

For the V-chip to be effective, a rating system was developed. When the law was passed, opponents saw the requirements as a threat to free speech rights of the First Amendment. This argument is true; however, it is a closer step to having parents control television viewing of their children instead of the government censoring without parental input. Opponents of censorship and parents should be in favor of the V-chip because it allows control, blocking, or censoring of television rather than having no control over it.

The V-chip allows individuals to monitor their own TV and their childrens consumption of media, while not putting it into the hands of the government, but by adults and parents of children who can control for themselves what they want to watch. The television industry is supportive of the V-chip as it stops short of government control of the media. Hollywood, usually blamed for producing violent, prejudice, and racist content in films, is maintaining a rating system that informs parents which movies contain content unsuitable for children. This work is a great step for getting censorship away from the government and back to the parents.

Having this rating system informs individuals of the content in the movies and people have the choice to view them. Individuals in the market place will make decisions about what they buy, read, rent or see. The media may outrage consumers, but they have the choice of whether or not to watch it. As a democracy, our Government should not be telling us what we can and cannot watch, read, or listen to. Adults should be responsible enough to make the decision for themselves. And it is the responsibility of all parents to know where to draw the line for their children.

The Internet Censorship Bill of 1995

The Internet Censorship Bill of 1995, also known as the Exon/Coats Communications Decency Act, has been introduced in the U. S. Congress. It would make it a criminal offense to make available to children anything that is indecent, or to send anything indecent with “intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass” (“Stop the Communications … ” n. p. ). The goal of this bill as written (though not as stated by its proponents) is to try to make all public discourse on the Internet suitable for young children.

The issue of whether is it necessary to have censorship on the Internet is being argued all over the world. There are numerous homepages on the World Wide Web discussing this issue, or asking people to sign the petition to stop government censorship. The Internet was originally a place for people to freely express their ideas worldwide. It is also one of America’s most valuable types of technology; scientists use email for quick and easy communication. They post their current scientific discoveries on the Usenet newsgroups so other scientists in the same field of study all over the world can know in minutes.

Ordinary people use the Net for communication, expressing their opinions in the newsgroups, obtaining up-to-date information from the WWW, acquiring files by using FTP, etc. Censorship would damage the atmosphere of the freedom to express ideas on the Internet; therefore, government should not encourage censorship. In the Internet community, there is a large volume of technical terms. For this reason, it is first necessary to examine the terminology specific to Internet. The Internet is a world wide computer network. The “Net” is frequently used in place of Internet.

In the words of Allison and Baxter, two experts on Internet Censorship at the Monash University, “the Internet is comprised of various digital media subsuming many of the distinct roles of traditional media” (Allison and Baxter 3). Electronic mail (email), which is one component of the Internet, approximates person to person letters, memoranda, notes and even phone calls. Sound and pictures are sometimes sent along with text. Email is mainly for private communication. Electronic mailing lists are rather like club newsletters and readers have to contract-in or subscribe to a list.

Another term that is often used is electronic news (enews/Usenet), enews is a broadcast, free to the Internet medium. It has some properties of radio or television, particularly talk-back radio or television, in that the destination is indiscriminate. The term FTP is also frequently used. File transfer protocol (FTP) started as an Internet archival and retrieval medium, somewhat analogous to traditional libraries. Files can be retrieved from distant computers using a traditional text-based interface.

The world-wide web (WWW), which is another component of the Net, can be used to “publish” material that would traditionally appear in journals, magazines, posters, books, television and even on film. The term UNIX, “a widely heard computer term, is a multi-user, multitasking operating system originally developed by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, at AT&T Bell Laboratories, in 1969 for use on minicomputers” (“UNIX” n. p. ). To understand the background of the controversy, it is also necessary to give a brief history on the Internet.

The Internet was created about twenty years ago in an attempt to connect a U. S. Defense Department network called the ARPAnet and various other radio and satellite networks. The ARPAnet was an experimental network designed to support military research; in particular, research about how to build networks that could withstand partial outages (such as bomb attacks) and still function. At about the same time the Internet was coming into being, Ethernet local area networks (“LANs”) were developed. Most of these workstations came with Berkeley UNIX, which included IP (Internet Protocol) networking software.

This created a new demand: rather than connecting to a single large timesharing computer per site, organizations wanted to connect the ARPAnet to their entire local network. The demand keeps growing today. Now that most four-year colleges are connected to the Net, people are trying to get secondary and primary schools connected. People who have graduated from college where they have used the resources of the Net in classes, know what the Internet is good for, and talk their employers into connecting different corporations.

All this activity points to continued growth, networking problems to solve, evolving technologies, and job security for networkers (Willmott 107). The Internet can also be compared to a church. In many ways the Internet is like a church: it has its council of elders, every member has an opinion about how things should work, and they can either take part or not. It’s the choice of the user. The Internet has no president, chief operating officer, or Pope. The constituent networks may have presidents and CEO’s, but that’s a different issue; there is no single authority figure for the Internet as a whole.

As stated by Frances Hentoff, the staff writer for The Village Voice and the author of First Freedoms, “on an info superhighway driven by individuals, there are no cops preventing users from downloading” (Hentoff 1). Internet users can broadcast or express anything they want. The fact that the Net has no single authority figure sets forth a problem about what kind of materials could be available on the Net. The U. S. government is now trying to pass bills to prevent misuse of the Net. The Internet Censorship Bill of 1995, which has already been discuss earlier, was introduced to the U.

S. Congress. Under the Censorship Bill, a person breaks the law if he/she puts a purity test on a web page without making sure children cannot access the page. Also, if a person verbally assaults someone on IRC, he/she breaks the law. If a university, where some students may be under 18 years old, carries the alt. sex. * newsgroups, which contains adult material, it breaks the law. According to George Melloan from the Wall Street Journal, a censorship bill was passed by the Senate 84-16 in July, and an anticensorship bill was passed by the House 420-4 in August.

There are now four different sets of censorship and anticensorship language in the House and Senate versions of the Telecomm reform bill, which contradict each other and will have to be reconciled (Melloan, n. p. ). In order to understand the need for the ever-growing body of legislation, it is important to explore the controversy, and the current problems involved with the Net as it exists must be introduced. The problem that concerns most people is offensive material such as pornography.

As pointed out by Allison and Baxter, “Possible (offensive) topics are behavior (drugs, … nudity, political/economic/social opinion, violence, racial/ethnic, religious, coarse language, sexual/gender orientation, [and] sexuality” (Allison and Baxter 3). Since the Internet is open to everyone, children are very easily exposed to such material. According to Allison and Baxter, “the information provided on the Internet, particularly through the WWW, ranges across train time-tables, university lecture notes, books, art exhibits, film promotions, the wisdom and ravings of individuals and, yes, pornographic pictures” (Allison and Baxter 3).

Moreover, many high schools in the United States provide Internet access to students, which is very useful for looking up information, but if a student intends to look for inappropriate material, he/she is very likely to find such material simply by doing an Internet search. Another crucial Internet crime is the theft of credit card numbers. Companies do business on the Net, and credit card numbers are stored on their servers; everyone with the necessary computer knowledge could hack in and obtain such databases for illegal purposes.

To cite an instance, the most infamous computer terrorist, Kevin Mitnick, “waived extradition and is now in jail in California, charged with computer fraud and illegal use of a telephone access device. The list of allegations against him include theft of many files and documents, including twenty-thousand credit card numbers from Netcom On-Line Services, which provides thousands with access to the Internet” (Warren 52). Americans have to come up with a solution in order to keep children away from inappropriate material and to prevent misuses of the Net.

One reaction to this inapplicability has been the “Censor the Net” approach (the censorship bill), which is being debated worldwide. First, the meaning of “Censoring the Net” must be explained. Simply, it is the banning of offensive material. To see if the government should censor the Net, it is imperative to list the advantages and disadvantages of the “censor the Net” approach. The advantage of government censorship is that ideally, children and teenagers could be kept away from unsuitable material. However, many experts have pointed out that government censorship is not possible.

Howard Rheingold, the editor of the Whole World Review, observes that, “the ‘censor the Net’ approach is not just morally misguided. It’s becoming technically and politically impossible” (Rheingold n. p. ). First, it is not fair to exclude the freedom and damage the atmosphere of freely expressing ideas just for the safety of children. Corn-Revere, an expert on Internet censorship at the Howgan & Harson Law Firm, points out that “the purpose of indecency regulation is to keep adult material from falling into the hands of kids.

When he first introduced a similar bill last year, Senator Exon said he was concerned that the Information Superhighway was in danger of becoming an electronic ‘red light district’ and that he wanted to bar his granddaughter’s access to unsuitable information”(Corn-Revere 24). It is clear that Senator Exon introduced the bill to prevent minors from viewing unsuitable material on the Net.

In addition, Meleedy, a computer science graduate student at Harvard University, questions that if “the Internet makes democracy this accessible to the average citizen, is it any wonder Congress wants to censor it? Meleedy 1) Allison and Baxter assert that, “the most significant new properties of the Internet media are the diversity of information sources and their ability to reach almost anywhere in the world. Authors range from major corporations such as IBM and Disney to school children” (Allison and Baxter 3). As predicted by Corn-Revere, “At the very least, the law will force content providers to make access more difficult, which will affect all users, not just the young” (Corn-Revere 70).

Censoring the Net is technically and politically impossible; it will damage the atmosphere of freedom and free idea expression on the Net; therefore, government should not encourage censorship. Most Internet users are enjoying their freedom of speech on the Net, which is supposed to be protected by the First Amendment of the United States. According to Corn-Reverse, “it has been suggested that, ‘on-line systems give people far more genuinely free speech and free press than ever before in human history'” (Corn-Reverse 71).

Rheingold predicts that “Heavy-handed attempts to impose restrictions on the unruly but incredibly creative anarchy of the Net could kill the spirit of cooperative knowledge-sharing that makes the Net valuable to millions” (Rheingold n. p. ). The freedom of idea expression is what makes the Internet important and enjoyable, and it should not be waived for any reason. Additionally, only a very small portion of the Net contains offensive material, most people do not use the Net for pornography. Caragata from Maclean’s magazine observes that, “it is pornography that stirs the most controversy.

But while there is no doubt that pornography is popular, it amounts to a trickle compared with everything else available on the Net” (Caragata 51). The Net is mostly being used for communication and information exchange, and only a tiny portion of the Net contains pornography and other offensive material. It must be understood that censoring the Net is technically impossible. According to Allison and Baxter, “in principle, it is impossible to monitor all material being transmitted on the Internet.

Government Censorship Essay

The Internet is a wonderful place of entertainment and education but like all places used by millions of people, it has some murky corners people would prefer children not to explore. In the physical world society as a whole conspires to protect children, but there are no social or physical constraints to Internet surfing. The Internet Censorship Bill of 1995, also known as the Exon/Coats Communications Decency Act, has been introduced in the U. S. Congress.

It would make it a criminal offense to make available to children anything that is indecent, or to send anything indecent with “intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, r harass” (“Stop the Communications … ” n. p. ). The goal of this bill as written (though not as stated by its proponents) is to try to make all public discourse on the Internet suitable for young children. The issue of whether is it necessary to have censorship on the Internet is being argued all over the world. There are numerous homepages on the World Wide Web discussing this issue, or asking people to sign the petition to stop government censorship.

The Internet was originally a place for people to freely express their ideas worldwide. It is also one of America’s most valuable types of technology; cientists use email for quick and easy communication. They post their current scientific discoveries on the Usenet newsgroups so other scientists in the same field of study all over the world can know in minutes. Ordinary people use the Net for communication, expressing their opinions in the newsgroups, obtaining up-to-date information from the WWW, acquiring files by using FTP, etc.

Censorship would damage the atmosphere of the freedom to express ideas on the Internet; therefore, government should not encourage censorship. In the Internet community, there is a large volume of technical terms. For this eason, it is first necessary to examine the terminology specific to Internet. The Internet is a world wide computer network. The “Net” is frequently used in place of Internet. In the words of Allison and Baxter, two experts on Internet Censorship at the Monash University, “the Internet is comprised of various digital media subsuming many of the distinct roles of traditional media” (Allison and Baxter 3).

Electronic mail (email), which is one component of the Internet, approximates person to person letters, memoranda, notes and even phone calls. Sound and pictures are sometimes sent along with text. Email is mainly for private ommunication. Electronic mailing lists are rather like club newsletters and readers have to contract-in or subscribe to a list. Another term that is often used is electronic news (enews/Usenet), enews is a broadcast, free to the Internet medium. It has some properties of radio or television, particularly talk-back radio or television, in that the destination is indiscriminate. The term FTP is also frequently used.

File transfer protocol (FTP) started as an Internet archival and retrieval medium, somewhat analogous to traditional libraries. Files can be retrieved from distant computers using a traditional ext-based interface. The world-wide web (WWW), which is another component of the Net, can be used to “publish” material that would traditionally appear in journals, magazines, posters, books, television and even on film. The term UNIX, “a widely heard computer term, is a multi-user, multitasking operating system originally developed by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, at AT&T Bell Laboratories, in 1969 for use on minicomputers” (“UNIX” n. . ).

To understand the background of the controversy, it is also necessary to give a brief history on the Internet. The Internet was created about twenty years ago n an attempt to connect a U. S. Defense Department network called the ARPAnet and various other radio and satellite networks. The ARPAnet was an experimental network designed to support military research; in particular, research about how to build networks that could withstand partial outages (such as bomb attacks) and still function.

At about the same time the Internet was coming into being, Ethernet local area networks (“LANs”) were developed. Most of these workstations came with Berkeley UNIX, which included IP (Internet Protocol) networking software. This created a new demand: rather than connecting to a ingle large timesharing computer per site, organizations wanted to connect the ARPAnet to their entire local network. The demand keeps growing today. Now that most four-year colleges are connected to the Net, people are trying to get secondary and primary schools connected.

People who have graduated from college where they have used the resources of the Net in classes, know what the Internet is good for, and talk their employers into connecting different corporations. All this activity points to continued growth, networking problems to solve, evolving technologies, and job security for networkers (Willmott 107). The Internet can also be compared to a church. In many ways the Internet is like a church: it has its council of elders, every member has an opinion about how things should work, and they can either take part or not.

It’s the choice of the user. The Internet has no president, chief operating officer, or Pope. The constituent networks may have presidents and CEO’s, but that’s a different issue; there is no single authority figure for the Internet as a whole. As stated by Frances Hentoff, the staff writer for The Village Voice and the author of First Freedoms, “on an info superhighway driven by individuals, there re no cops preventing users from downloading” (Hentoff 1). Internet users can broadcast or express anything they want.

The fact that the Net has no single authority figure sets forth a problem about what kind of materials could be available on the Net. The U. S. government is now trying to pass bills to prevent misuse of the Net. The Internet Censorship Bill of 1995, which has already been discuss earlier, was introduced to the U. S. Congress. Under the Censorship Bill, a person breaks the law if he/she puts a purity test on a web page without making sure children cannot access the page. Also, if a person verbally assaults someone on IRC, he/she breaks the law.

If a university, where some students may be under 18 years old, carries the alt. sex. * newsgroups, which contains adult material, it breaks the law. According to George Melloan from the Wall Street Journal, a censorship bill was passed by the Senate 84-16 in July, and an anticensorship bill was passed by the House 420-4 in August. There are now four different sets of censorship and anticensorship language in the House and Senate versions of the Telecomm reform bill, which contradict each other and will have to be reconciled (Melloan, n. p. ).

In order to understand the need for the ever-growing body of legislation, it is important to explore the controversy, and the current problems involved with the Net as it exists must be introduced. The problem that concerns most people is offensive material such as pornography. As pointed out by Allison and Baxter, “Possible (offensive) topics are behavior (drugs, … ), nudity, political/economic/social opinion, violence, racial/ethnic, religious, coarse language, sexual/gender orientation, [and] sexuality” (Allison and Baxter 3). Since the Internet is open to everyone, children are very easily exposed to such material. According to

Allison and Baxter, “the information provided on the Internet, particularly through the WWW, ranges across train time-tables, university lecture notes, books, art exhibits, film promotions, the wisdom and ravings of individuals and, yes, pornographic pictures” (Allison and Baxter 3). Moreover, many high schools in the United States provide Internet access to students, which is very useful for looking up information, but if a student intends to look for inappropriate material, he/she is very likely to find such material simply by doing an Internet search. Another crucial Internet crime is the theft of credit card numbers.

Companies do business on the Net, and credit card numbers are stored on their servers; everyone with the necessary computer knowledge could hack in and obtain such databases for illegal purposes. To cite an instance, the most infamous computer terrorist, Kevin Mitnick, “waived extradition and is now in jail in California, charged with computer fraud and illegal use of a telephone access device. The list of allegations against him include theft of many files and documents, including twenty-thousand credit card numbers from Netcom On-Line Services, which provides thousands with access to the Internet” (Warren 52).

Americans ave to come up with a solution in order to keep children away from inappropriate material and to prevent misuses of the Net. One reaction to this inapplicability has been the “Censor the Net” approach (the censorship bill), which is being debated worldwide. First, the meaning of “Censoring the Net” must be explained. Simply, it is the banning of offensive material. To see if the government should censor the Net, it is imperative to list the advantages and disadvantages of the “censor the Net” approach.

The advantage of government censorship is that ideally, children and teenagers could be kept away from unsuitable material. However, many experts have pointed out that government censorship is not possible. Howard Rheingold, the editor of the Whole World Review, observes that, “the censor the Net’ approach is not just morally misguided. It’s becoming technically and politically impossible” (Rheingold n. p. ). First, it is not fair to exclude the freedom and damage the atmosphere of freely expressing ideas just for the safety of children.

Corn-Revere, an expert on Internet censorship at the Howgan & Harson Law Firm, points out that “the purpose of indecency regulation is to keep adult material from falling into the hands of kids. When he first ntroduced a similar bill last year, Senator Exon said he was concerned that the Information Superhighway was in danger of becoming an electronic red light district’ and that he wanted to bar his granddaughter’s access to unsuitable information” (Corn-Revere 24). It is clear that Senator Exon introduced the bill to prevent minors from viewing unsuitable material on the Net.

In addition, Meleedy, a computer science graduate student at Harvard University, questions that if “the Internet makes democracy this accessible to the average citizen, is it any wonder Congress wants to censor it? ” (Meleedy 1) Allison and Baxter assert hat, “the most significant new properties of the Internet media are the diversity of information sources and their ability to reach almost anywhere in the world. Authors range from major corporations such as IBM and Disney to school children” (Allison and Baxter 3).

As predicted by Corn-Revere, “At the very least, the law will force content providers to make access more difficult, which will affect all users, not just the young” (Corn-Revere 70). Censoring the Net is technically and politically impossible; it will damage the atmosphere of freedom and free idea expression on the Net; therefore, government should not encourage censorship. Most Internet users are enjoying their freedom of speech on the Net, which is supposed to be protected by the First Amendment of the United States.

According to Corn-Reverse, “it has been suggested that, on-line systems give people far more genuinely free speech and free press than ever before in human history'” (Corn-Reverse 71). Rheingold predicts that “Heavy-handed attempts to impose restrictions on the unruly but incredibly creative anarchy of the Net could kill the spirit of cooperative knowledge-sharing that makes the Net valuable to millions” (Rheingold n. p. ). The freedom of idea expression is what makes the Internet important and enjoyable, and it should not be waived for any reason.

Additionally, only a very small portion of the Net contains offensive material, most people do not use the Net for pornography. Caragata from Maclean’s magazine observes that, “it is pornography that stirs the most controversy. But while there is no doubt that pornography is popular, it amounts to a trickle compared with everything else available on the Net” (Caragata 51). The Net is mostly being used for communication and information exchange, and only a tiny portion of the Net contains pornography and other offensive material.

The Word Censorship Means Prior Restraint Of First Amendment Rights By Government

In the Media and In Music Censorship is not always protected by the first amendment. Obscenity is just one of the action not protected by the first amendment. There are limitations on the right of free speech. The word censorship means prior restraint of First Amendment rights by government. (Enforcement) Some say that there are some things that people should not know about situations that are going on in the world. Is this always fair to the people whose lives may depend on these situations?

Since actions like perjury, contempt of court, child pornography and false advertising are punishable by law shouldnt the government bequeth the knowledge of consperacies to the people. Censorship should only be regulated in severe cases of violence on the news. Although censorship should be less regulated in the media it should be highly regulated in the world of Gansta Rap music. The only reason for this is because of the obscene and violent lyrics on them. Young children who do listen to this type of music does cause an effect on them. Some of the lyrics in this type of music are unbelievable.

“Mr. Officer, I want to see you layin’ in a coffin, sir,” from The Chronic and “F— the police,” from N. W. A. , are few lyrics from the music genre “gangsta rap. ” This kind of music is being sold to young children without any thought of concern. When many children listen to this kind of music they think that was being said in the songs is not wrong or against the law. The lyrics in many songs contain violent and explicit lyrics that usually talk about killing someone along with sounds of gunshots in the background. It is also music that refers to women as “bitches,” “whores” and sex-dispensing “hos”(Saunders B29).

Gangsta rap ” has been criticized and debated over for its graphic sexual content, violent imagery and misogyny. If you don’t give a f— about a bitch/ Then you’re rolling with the row”, are lyrics from Doggystyle. If all people were to think like this what respect would women have. Some say, “if we don’t have respect for our women, why should anyone else? ” (Raspberry A21). Do these rappers think that they own women and can treat them any way they want to? If this is the way some people think, that they own women and can disrespect them then what footsteps are the children going to follow in.

Young children and adults, 14, 15 and 16 years of age, which listen and memorize these rap songs, think that it is acceptable behavior. “Gangsta rap” is hardly the only source of violence, but it is a potent one. Not only is the music violent but the rappers lifestyle is also. Many rappers have rap sheets and young people see that and say, “hey, their rich and money talks. ” Today most young people think that if a person is rich and famous they can get away with anything. The Chronic, an album by Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg, has many explicit lyrics and unnecessary foulmouthing.

In one song they say, “that if you f— with Dre you f— with death row… “, more or less saying that if anyone messes with them they will have to worry about everyone that is with Death Row Records. In the same song they tell a woman, referring to her as a bitch, to yell-187 (police code for someone that has been killed). In another song they ask anther black man why he has been talking crap about them, he says it was not he. Then they put a gun in his mouth asking him, “what’s wrong can’t talk with a gun in your mouth?… Do you know Lucifer? “, he replies,”no”,and they tell him, “well you’re about to meet him”(Rap).

All of the songs on this album contain foulmouth language, violent and sexually explicit lyrics, drugs and misogyny. Is this the kind of music that young children should be able to listen to? Rappers say that their music depicts the harsh reality of life in the hood. To these rappers, people dying young and going to jail is an everyday thing (Marriott 75). Tupak says that violence is all we know and telling it like it is is a way of getting the people to listen to what is really going on. Ice-T’s controversial album Body Count, produced by Warner Bros.

Records, had provoked a sharp debate in 1992 when the album first came out. The song “Cop Killer,” with obscene and violent lyrics, forced Time Warner to stop selling the album with the song on it. The lyrics on the song said it was dedicated to the L. A. P. D. It also talked about “dusting some cops off,” with sounds of gun fire he then asks the listener to sing along for their freedom-“cop killer” (Ice Body). “Cop Killer” is not the on song on the album that glorifies violence. Even though the song was cut from the album the other songs on it were just as bad.

Is this reality and what is really going on in the world today? In other songs the lyrics talk about being promiscuous (giving very explicit sex lyrics) and yet the album was still being sold to young children. Foulmouthed trash like this has been debated on whether or not it should be censored. Many think it should and are trying to do something about. Delores Tucker denounced companies that “pimped porno rap” to children.

She asks, “What would Martin Luther King say about these rappers that demean women and glorify thugs, drug dealers and rapists? and “What kind of role models are those for young children living in the ghetto? ” (Philips A18). U. S. Representative Cardiss Collins, chairwomen of the congressional panel, complained that little was being done by the industry executive to cut out vulgar and violent lyrics. She said that “a sticker is not enough” (Congesswomen 7). Some censorship has been incorporated in the radio industry. Inner City Broadcasting has put a stop to playing hard-core rap and other misogynous and violent rap. It hopes to be a model for other radio stations to follow (Cleaning 22).

Most radio stations now do not allow that kind of music on the air. Even though the radio has stopped playing hard-core rap, record companies are still producing this kind of music. Time Warner has pledged to do something about obscene and rude lyrics in rap music. The new chairman of Warner Music Group , Michael J. Fuchs, was asked to talk with critics of rap lyrics and to work with other record companies to come up with some regulations for warning labels (Landler D2). Warning labels have been placed on albums with provocative lyrics, but these warnings do little to prevent the lyrics from reaching children.

The chairman and chief executive claim that “music is not the cause of society’s ills. ” That may be true but do they have an influence on the people that listen to the music. Many say yes and many say no. An experiment done by James D. Johnson shows that violent rap tends to perpetuate the acceptance of the use of violence and an anti-education mind-set. He thinks that this kind of music should have some regulation. He refers to rap music being like nicotine- it is addictive; it is mood altering and it is available with some strains (Raspberry, “Does” A27).

A person has to be 18 years old to buy cigarettes, rent X-rated movies, or get into a strip bar/nightclub and has to be 21 years old to drink or buy alcohol. There are age limits on these things that can endanger young people and there should also be an age limit on buying albums with explicit lyrics on them. Even though there is a warning label on the albums young children can still buy them because there is no law to prohibit sale. There are a lot of people who agree something should be done about the explicit lyrics on albums.

Stanley Crouch, a music critic and writer, says that rappers are “a bunch of opportunists who are appealing to an appetite that America has for vulgarity, violence and anarchy inside Afro America” (Sims 3). Kevin Powell, a writer for Vibe magazine, believes that rap music is a legitimate art form, but thinks that the genre has gone too far and the music industry is to blame for not exercising some degree of control (Sims 3). He also thinks that it has made black children think that being hard is the definition for being black in the 1990’s. There are many people who feel this way, but many rappers and defenders of rap disagree.

Most rappers do not think that their music causes violence and that they have no influence on their listeners. Before Easy-E died his lawyer read a letter from the rapper that said, “anyone could get AIDS, that it does not discriminate” (Marriot 74). After the letter was read the Minority AIDS Project in South-Central Los Angeles reported an 80 percent increase in requests for AIDS testing. This was more of an increase than when Magic Johnson made his announcement (Marriot 74). His influence was seen in warning people about the AIDS virus just as Magic did when he found out he had HIV.

Joseph Simmons, known as Run of Run D. M. C. , says that he has seen a rise in disrespect to women lately. But he thinks that it has more to do with the parents rather than the rappers. M. C. Lyte, a pioneer among female rappers agrees that parents need to take more responsibility for how their children act and behave. She also thinks that rap should not be the blame for what young people are doing today because movies also show violence, rapes, and people being killed (Marroitt, “Hard-core” A1+). Russell Simmons, CEO of Def Jam Recordings, says that each type of music that comes later seems more violent than before.

There was a time when everyone thought that rock and roll was the “devils’ music”. He says that many of these songs are like horror films and cannot be taken literally (Proffitt M2). He also points out the good views of rap–that it is so diverse and there are a lot of positive messages in the songs (Profitt M3). Other rap experts point out the genre turning points. In the 1990’s the messages about black empowerment that started national slogans and the wearing of African pride medallions were replaced by messages of drug selling and survival in inner-city neighborhoods.

The move of raps’ homeland, New York, to the West Coast caused a dramatic change to the sound. People tend to miss the true skill rather that all the violence and how many people that get killed. Rap’s image is being tainted by all the scandals of the top rappers shakled in the courtrooms. The inspiration and energy from rap reflects what goes on in the streets and in black life in America (Williams B1+). Maxine Waters also agrees that “gansta rap” is a new art form to describe the pains, fear and frustrations that young people express to adults.

She also thinks that just because some people do not like the way the rappers use lyrics should not be a cause for censorship (Congresswomen, Jet 7). A professor of black studies thinks that many rappers have distorted what black life really is and that white record companies are eager to sell black stereotypes. Rappers have distorted and divided black life and tried to incorporate it into street life. Now people are doing what they hear and they want to shoot people and be rich (Marroitt, “Hard-core” A1+). If this is true should not there be a warning label-prohibiting sale to minors?

Rap music that pimps pornography and violence to young children and that has messages of violence should have some kind of censorship. Defenders of rap say that censorship is taking their right to free speech stated in The First Amendment. The 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, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”(McNally 29).

Censoring music would be taking the right of free speech away. Most of the lyrics are protected by The First Amendment and cannot be censored on the albums or records. Censorship has been made in the radio industry so that the songs with explicit lyrics cannot be heard. Even though these rappers say that they are reflecting what really happen on the streets rappers before them do not have these explicit lyrics in their messages. Rap has changed for the worse taking the art form and transforming it into trash with some positive messages that are hard to grasp from the music.

If the whole album is about death, violence, misogyny and drugs except for one or two songs, what kind of message is going to be placed first. If what can be heard on a porno film can be heard on a rap album, then the album should have an age limit for sale. Since there is no age limit on T. V. , today many inventions are being made to prevent children from viewing violence and nudity. Movies are rated as G, PG, PG-13, NC-17 and R Television show are now rated a Y, appropriate for all children,Y7, for children over age seven, Y14, for children over age 14 and MA, for mature audience.

Also usually before movies on television viewer discretion or parental discretion is advised. Is this not some form of censorship for children. If there is enough concern to censor programs on T. V. that contains violence and harsh language should there not be concern for children that listen to hard-core gangsta rap. Parents should take more responsibility for what their children listen to and view. There is cause for censorship in these cases with the television shows and the gansta music, but the censorship should be far less in the media.

It is understandable not show war scenes on t. v. because of the deaths it might show, but as for other things it is a different story. People should know what really goes on in Area 51, they should know about the deaths of JFK and Martin Luther King. All the facts are not known about these issues that were and are important to the public. Yes the top secret projects that involve the military with weapons and war plans should not be told to the public. But shouldnt the people have the right to know when a rapist, child molester, repeated offender moves into their neighborhood.

In this case the media cannot devulge this information due to Article 8 of the Proclamation law, which states that the media may not publish: information designated as secret by Parliaments Council of Representatives or the prime ministers cabinet; information that is held secret under the provisions of other laws; information relating to any court case heard in camera, or information relating to a case pending before any court, unless the court decides otherwise; or private information about a victim of a crime, unless the person consents.

CPJ) If it were not for this article journalists would have no way of protecting themselves. Censorship is a very deep is and there can be things done to help support it and to try to stop it in the media and music. Parents can take charge of what there children view on T. V. and listen to on the radio while they are in the house, but what kind of authority can they take when their children are not home. Parents cannot control the kind of music their children buy on their own. That is when it is left up to the law.

Not taking away the rappers’ right to free speech, but rather prohibiting sale to minors just as cigarettes. There is only so much that parents can do to keep their children out of harm. Violence is a reality, but should it be preached about like it is okay and make it sound like fun and games. The answer is no and something should be done about it. But on the other hand censorship should not be allowed for every issue in the media, including conspiracies, vital news, information on fugitives on the run and cover ups just to mention a few.

The concept of the Internet

“Inevitably, being an uncontrolled system, means that the Internet will be subjected to subversive applications of some unscrupulous users. ” (Kershaw) The concept of the Internet was created in answer to a strategic problem faced by the United States government during the Cold war era. A nuclear attack would easily disrupt a traditional computer network and hence make communication impossible. The solution was found in a new type of network. A network where all nodes would be equal in status, that is to say each could send and receive messages.

The resulting projects were the first steps towards the birth of the Internet, as we know it. Today, the Internet consists of several parts, which include the World Wide Web, FTP, IRC, News groups, Gopher, WAIS, Archie, and Email. The Internet is continuing to grow at a rate of 40% a year, with roughly 20 million users to date. Over the past few years, the issue of Internet censorship has been subject to an unprecedented amount of controversy. Both sides of the debate present very strong arguments about why the Internet should or should not be censored.

The point most often brought forward by advocates of Internet censorship is that “inappropriate” material can all too easily land in the hands of children via this powerful new medium. “Inappropriate” mostly describes the sexually explicit and racist material that is easily found on the Internet. The debate that currently rages however centres mainly on pornographic material. The essay is divided into three content-based sections. The first section examines the data that is available about pornography on the Internet. Conclusions on significance of the data are offered.

Section two examines the legal issues and difficulties surrounding the idea of censorship. The final section discusses alternative ways of protecting children from pornography and offers a final conclusion on the attributes of the problem and the suggestion of a solution. Censorship of Internet is a big issue and not much of it can be covered in an essay at this level. The essay deliberately focuses only on pornography. While many aspects had to be left out and others discussed minimally, the result of this essay remains a brief synopsis of relevant issues and conclusions on these issues.

Section 1 In early 1995, a research team at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania released one of the most revealing studies into online pornography. The value of study, titled “Marketing Pornography on the Information Superhighway” is realised mainly due to its massive sample size. There are several issues about pornography on the Internet that were highlighted by the study. The research team surveyed 917,410 “sexually explicit pictures, descriptions, short stories and film clips”. Of special interest were Usenet newsgroups, which are basically electronic forums.

It was found that 83. percent of the digitised images stored on these newsgroups were pornographic pictures. This finding indicates that there clearly is a substantial amount of pornography on the net. This however does not necessarily indicate that this material is easy to find. To come to a conclusion, this student conducted several experiments using the on-line “Altavista” search engine. The key searchword “sex” was entered. 616,156 links were returned. Out of the first 20 entries listed on the first page only 2 links were to pornographic sites. The search keyword “tits” however, returned 69,920 links.

Out of the first 20 links listed on the first page 17 were to pornographic websites or bulletin boards. Amidst all these links was one that led to a French children’s pen-pal club called “Les P’tits Garnements. After reviewing the posted messages and photographs on one of the bulletin boards that showed up as a link, it was apparent that the purpose of the site was purely for exchange of child pornography. It is most likely that a minor would come across explicit areas of the Internet through search engines. Children are very likely to search using traditionally rude four-letter words more as a source of childish amusement than anything else.

There can be no argument that the resulting links do not justify the level of parental anxiety that we are witnessing today. Explicit sexual material on the Internet is not the result of an unfounded moral panic. Anyone that takes the time to conduct a few experiments as detailed above will realise that this is a most serious issue. The survey also determined that 71 percent of the sexual images on the newsgroups surveyed originate from adult-oriented computer bulletin-board systems (BBS) whose operators are trying to lure customers to their private collections of X-rated material.

There are thousands of these BBS services, which charge fees (typically $10 to $30 a month) and take credit cards; the five largest have annual revenues in excess of $1 million. This finding is a valuable one. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, explicit material is not being circulated by “perverted socially reclusive computer nerds”. This is a commercial activity. As long as people are willing to pay for it, it will be supplied. This is not a new problem that society faces. Prostitution and drug trading are other older facets of this same concept. The Internet has simply brought a new face of the same issue.

Perhaps the most disturbing discovery of the Carnegie Mellon study is one that relates to the changing face of pornography. It is no longer “just naked women”. There is great demand and inevitably great supply of “pedophilia” (nude photos of children), “hebephilia” (youths) and what the researchers call “paraphilia” (“a grab bag of deviant material that includes images of bondage, sadomasochism, urination, defecation, and sex acts with a barnyard full of animals”). Anti-censorship activists often argue that censoring the net “makes no difference” because “obscene” material is available from any old corner shop.

These newer “types” of pornography may actually render this argument obsolete. Children are certainly exposed to material that even the most adventurous of them would not have normally come across. Section 2 Most societies like to think of themselves as at least doing something to limit the development of “problems” such as pornography on the Internet. Governments of the United Kingdom and United States have both taken legislative steps towards this effect. It has not been easy in either case and the outcomes have arguably been altogether unsatisfactory.

United Kingdom legislation includes several statutes that are of particular interest. Section 1(1) of the 1959 Obscene Publications Act provides the following test for obscenity: “For the purposes of this Act an article shall be deemed to be obscene if its effect or (where the article comprises two or more distinct items) the effect of any one of its items is, if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it.

This definition of “obscene” stems from the opinion of Lord Cockburn concerning the case Regina v. Hicklin (1868), enunciated the first important guide in determining what material was obscene. It is open to serious criticism. The fundamental problem with this definition is that it can condemn material that may legitimately dealt with sex. Section 43 of the Telecommunications 1984 Act makes it an offence to send by means of a public telecommunications system, a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character’ and is an imprisonable offence with a maximum term of six months.

When carefully scrutinised it is clear that the Act itself does not penalise the act of procuring a message to be sent. As usual, there are loopholes abound. When a telecommunication system located outside the jurisdiction is used to send obscene materials into the country, no offence has been committed. The 1984 Act will also not apply to cases where the data is transmitted by using a local area network unless part of the transmission is routed through a public telecommunications system.

Even though UK legislation has recently been amended by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (CJPOA 1994′), in order to keep up with technological changes, there are still wrinkles in its enforcement with respect to the Internet. United State legislation has gone through many different tests of “obscenity” for reasons too many and varied to be discussed here. The current definition of obscenity is based on several conditions as opposed to a single one. On June 14, 1995, the Senate debated and voted on Title IV of the Telecommunications Competition and Deregulation Act of 1995 (S. 652).

Also known as the Communications Decency Act of 1995, it proposed to amend Section 223 (47 U. S. C. 223) to read: “Whoever, by means of telecommunications device knowingly makes, creates, or solicits, and initiates the transmission of, any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent, with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass another person,” will be charged with a felony punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 or up to two years in prison, or both. ” There are two immediately obvious reasons why the CDA was doomed to fail.

Firstly, it may have severely restricted the flow of information and free speech. In its online analysis the “Electronic Frontier Foundation” (EFF), stated: “[T]he legislation not only fails to solve the problems it is intended to address, but it also imposes content restrictions on computer communications that would chill First Amendment-protected speech and, in effect, restrict adults in the public forums of computer networks to writing and reading only such content as is suitable for children. ” A second problem was the uncompromising nature of the bill.

A particular example would perhaps best illustrate this point. An online appeal from an organisation called Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) stated the following: “This proposed law could mean the demise of the Seattle Community Network (SCN), a 6,500-member free, public access computer network established to benefit the public. Under the proposed legislation, if an individual member of the SCN posted a message on an SCN forum or from SCN that was later deemed to be “indecent,” SCN could be fined $100,000, and SCN’s board of Directors and staff could face two-year prison sentences.

Yet without community networks like SCN, the Internet would be out of reach to millions of citizens. ” It is easy to admire the ideals that the CDA stands for. The Senate approved the Act with a vote of 84-16. The approach of the legislation however, is much too naive. In June of 1997 the CDA was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on the grounds that it “violates constitutional guarantees of freedom of expression”. The general problem with legislation with respect to the Internet is the fact that regulation laws have for so long been focused on traditional media channels such as radio and television.

The Internet is new and extreme form of media. It is thus incompatible with existing laws. New and equally extreme laws would be necessary to regulate the Internet. However, as experience with the CDA has shown, extreme laws are not very popular and are likely to be contested and overthrown. Section 3 Even the most zealous censorship advocate would be blind not to realise that a world-wide censorship programme would be futile. National laws and community standards vary from nation to nation and even between regions of the same country.

It would be virtually impossible to get every nation on earth to agree to a single censorship act. Thus, the Internet, in its entirety, can never truly be censored. Even if the politics of it could be appeased, there are too many sources of pornography. Even the most ambitious regulatory agency could not hope to control them all. So the question of how to keep pornography away from children still remains. Following the 1996 period of extensive controversy over pornography on the Internet, many sexually explicit websites introduced password protection schemes.

Before being allowed access to the site a password is required. To obtain a password a user must subscribe to company such as “Adultcheck”. Online credit card payment is required before passwords are dispensed, the idea being that minors will not have access to credit cards. It seems like an attractive solution. Legislation could be used to compel the pornography industry to self-regulate itself in order to safeguard their substantial profits. There are two reasons however, why this would be an incomplete solution.

Firstly, many websites would be out of the jurisdiction of the legislation and thus free to operate without password schemes. There would probably even be a significant number of renegade sites that would ignore legislation and get away with it. Secondly, many people simply give away their passwords on bulletin boards, which defeats the whole purpose of the scheme. The solution that parents and educators are currently turning to most is the censor software approach. Censor or filtering software works by denying access to “objectionable” websites on the Internet. There are two main reasons why this approach is at most inadequate.

The first drawback relates to technological imperfections and was well highlighted in a study titled “Faulty filters”, released by the Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) in November 1997. The study involved the conducting of up to 100 searches using a normal search engine and then the conducting of the same searches via one of the new search engine that claim to return only “family-friendly” links. It was found that the search engine “typically blocked access to 95-99 percent of the material available on the Internet that might be of interest to young people”.

The study also noted that even when strict “blocking criteria were used links to “objectionable” material still showed up. The conclusion of the study seriously questioned the filtering software approach to Internet censorship on the basis of its potential to “ultimately diminish the educational value of the Internet”. The study is not optimistic about any improved performance of filtering software with the passage of time. The second drawback is concerned with a much more sinister aspect of censor software. In the February 1998 edition of “. net. ” magazine; an article about filtering software presented some disturbing facts.

The article revealed that that Solid Oaks’ CYBERsitter, a popular filtering program, actually blocked sites of groups such as “The National Organisation for Women” and “The Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation”. An even more worrying revelation was that among the list of words and phrases that were to be blocked by the program were the phrases “dontbuycybercitter” and “bennethasleton” the name of an 18 year old anti-censorship activist. This implies that there are serious political and commercial agendas behind the facade of “censorship”. This may perhaps be the general problem with censorship.

It tries to promote a particular rigid set of morals and values on everybody concerned and at times is abused in order to advance other hidden agendas. Whatever the solution to the problem of pornography on the Internet it is unlikely to have anything to do with technically unsophisticated software that considers “gay rights” to be an objectionable topic. In August 1995, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a twenty-two company consortium gathered under the held a conference discuss the need to create self-imposed ratings systems which would allow parents to control what children are allowed to see on the Internet.

The result of the group’s work, to date, is the Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS). PICS is similar to the V-chip technology that was suggested for shielding children from sex and violence on television. In this case websites voluntarily “label” their content. What this technology may mean for parents is the ability to specify viewing levels for their children according to what they feel their children should be exposed to. Intuition suggests that a complete censorship program would be practically impossible.

There are too many obstacles including the inability of current legislation to deal with the unique nature of the Internet without resorting to extreme and unpopular measures. The Internet, to be utilised to its full value, simply must remain as it is. Protection of minors from “obscene” material must be a sort of add-on. Filtering software is an attractive concept, but as discussed above, has enough shortcomings to make it a questionable approach. The only hope lies in the advancement of technology.

The MIT consortium and their work with PICS illustrates the kind of solution that would be most ideal. PICS is simply a technical standard that will supposedly allow concerned parents and educators to tighten their control over what children can see on the Internet. Unlike filtering software, it does not impose any scheme of values on its user population or advance any hidden agendas. Hopefully, with the advancement of fifth generation computers and artificial intelligence schemes such as this will eventually approach minimal defect.

The question that will then remain will be a much more of a human one. Technology can never really replace parental guidance. Children absorb sexually explicit material because of their basic curiosity, which stems from inexperience in the ways of the world. Parents and educators must recognise their duty to nurture the growth of children and encourage broad-minded yet ethically aware mental development. Only then will society be facing up to its basic problems as opposed to merely trying to diminish their effects.

Censorship Of Music

In today’s society, all types of music artists are expressing their views, opinions and feelings in their songs about what they see and what they know. This is on of the great things about this country, the freedom to express yourself. It is not fair, nor is it constitutional that music should be censored in anyway. It is not only rap music trying to be censored it is in all types of music. They are taking away their rights and it isn’t fair. As reported in the New York Times.

Wall-Mart CD standards are Changing Pop Music”, Wal-Mart and other large department stores sell CD’s by your favorite artists which are not what your favorite artists originally created. Some retailers refuse to carry CDs with “Parental Advisory Stickers”, a few also go as far as to make it known to labels and artists that if the CD comes to their shelves with a “dirty” word, a “controversial” cover, or an “explicit” lyric it will not be allowed on the shelves.

Some of the artists include Nirvana, Beck, John Mellencamp and the list goes on. (Internet ultratnet) The most recent case involving Wal-Mart and censorship, was the new Sheryl Crow album. A song on the album which lashes the company for selling guns that end up in the wrong hands as caused the company to ban the album in stores. (Schruers 64) Delores Tucker, William Bennett, Senator Joseph Lieberman, and Senator Sam Nunn held a press conference in Washington D. C. The message: censor obscene music and censor “pro-drug lyrics”.

These censors announced their plan to pressure major record companies to discontinue production of what they called “obscene” music and music which contains ” blatantly pro-drug lyrics. All of the CDs targeted as “obscene” already carry RIAA Parental Advisory Labels. Parents are already provided with the information they need if they choose to monitor their children’s musical selections. Discontinuing production of this music takes the freedom of expression away form everyone- musicians and fans of every age.

Internet ultranet) The increasing controversy surrounding rap music, with its rough-edged lyrics about sex and violence, has prompted two very different responses from black oriented radio stations in New York and Los Angeles. Two stations WBLS New York and KACE in Los Angeles, have announced they wont play the roughest and most offensive songs. A third station WPWR opted for a different route, saying it would lose credibility with its audience if it banned music that reflects the language of urban life.

We’ve got to speak their language” if the message of the record is “Don’t call me a bitch” we have got to allow the artist to get the message across. And sometimes it is necessary for the artists to use language that grabs peoples attention. Inner City Broadcasting one of the largest black owned broadcasting firms in the country, announced that its stations will not play music that is profane or advocates violence, particularly against women or homosexuals. They announced they would not air songs with the word’s “bitch” and “ho” to refer to women.

What we are doing, as responsible broadcasters who are licensed to serve our listeners, is simply exercising our best judgment, said Pierre Sutton, Chairmen of Inner City. (Viles 90)What bothers me is that they censor the music because they are saying these words are portraying bad ideas, but they are just singing about what is all around us and what we see. It is not like saying theses lyrics are anything new. A person or a child is going to hear them regardless of any song with so called profanity in them. The people singing are just telling the truth.

I think a child has a better chance of hearing profanity in there own home or school then by hearing it in a song. The recent Gangsta rap hearings on Capitol Hill bore all the elements of 1985’s dramatic Parents Music Resource Center debate-heated testimony talk of labeling explicit lyrics and plenty of music biz attention. Led by Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, the Senate Juvenile Justice subcommittee met last month and launched the first of what some predicted would be several hearings to explore the effects of hard-core rap on America’s youth.

The music industry has to take responsibility to make certain that children are not exposed to this stuff” said Moseley-Braun. Rep. Maxine Waters, whose district includes part of South Central Los Angeles, home to many gangsta rappers, said that these young people referring to these rappers are being denied the opportunity to say who they are. They have a message, and they are forcing America to listen”. (Smith 22) You also may remember when hard-core rapper Ice-T wrote the song cop killer. He was just singing what he felt towards cops.

He did not mean that we should all go out and start killing cops, (Light 20) I personally thought the song was very rude and not very intelligent, but at the same time I don’t think he should have been censored for it. Although there is many groups being censored there many organizations fighting against censorship. Randy Lee Payton and John Woods co-founders of Rock Out Censorship and it’s newspaper, the ROC, call their group” a national grass-roots anti- censorship organization”. Woods and Payton started their organization in 1989 and took up the battle against the industry-watchdog group Parents Music Resource Center.

What started as a local organization soon branched out. ROC now has chapters in 19 states, as well as in England and Canada, and ROC has a circulation of 15,000 papers. By setting up tables at rock shows, ROC has gathered a data base of almost 45,000 names, and it is still growing. Now ROC is fighting bills like HB 2982, sponsored by Pennsylvania state legislator T. J. Ronney, a Democrat which would criminalize the sale of labeled records to minors. “The biggest difference between now and 1989″, says Payton,” is now we find ourselves fighting these supposed liberals.

It is was a lot more fun when we were fighting these religious kooks. These other people are supposed to be on our side. ” (Weisel 50. Another “Freedom Fighter” aganist music censorship is 71 year old Mary Morello, Mother of the guitarist Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine. Who act has also had their share of censorship. Morello is the founder of Parents for Rock and Rap, an anti-censorship organization that she runs from her home. She started the group to opppose the Parents Music Resource Center,(just like the founders of ROC) an organization co-founed by Tipper Gore, wife of Vice President Al Gor.

That group was largely responsible for the parental advisory labels used on tapes and CDs with expilicit sexual or violoent lyrics. The label also pressures record companies, radio stations and music stores to stop playing or selling recordings considered detrimental to children. ” Individuals and groups are attempting to take away our first 1st Amendment rights”, she says. ” The purpose of music is to be enjoyed, not censored. Young people should be able to listen to any type of music they like, regardless of their age.

I always tell them that if you want to keep listening to the music that you enjoy, starting today you have to learn to fight back. If you don’t fight for your own freedom, no one is going to give it to you”. (Internet xnet). Morello believes and I agree, speech and expression are being shackled in the U. S. , and she puts much of the blame on the current political climate. ” Cenosorship is coming down now harder then it has before. ” she says. ” Look at the Congress we have, trying to take funds away from the National Endowment for the arts, trying to kill public television.

They must be living in the Dark Ages. ” (Internet xnet). After reaserching music censorship and supporting anti-censorship organizations, I realize that there is much wrok to be done to get free speech. There will always be someone or some group to stand aganist what you believe. I think the only way to really gain full freedom of speech is to fight and not give up. I think that the more people realize that rights are being violated, the more people will support the anit-censorship groups. I believe that people who do support these groups should really get involved. It is the only way we can win.

Reasons For Limitations On Free Speech

The Constitution of the United States states in its First Amendment that “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; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances” (Funk & Wagnalls 162). This Amendment guarantees each person of free speech. Does this mean that a person can stand in the middle of the street and yell anything he wants? No, society, even though it cherishes freedom of speech, does give this freedom certain restrictions.

Why does society find it necessary to restrict freedom of speech? Does this ensure a more controlled society? Let us imagine a society that has no restrictions of speech. For example, anyone can publish a false story of another person, just for revenge perhaps, and the offended person would not be able to defend himself because there is no restriction of speech. A neighbor in a residential area decides to use a loud microphone to announce his beliefs in the middle of the night, and wakes everybody up. Because that person has every right to speak, nobody can do anything.

Even though this is “freedom of speech” it is not allowed in a civilized society. Free speech is a very controversial issue because who is really the one to decide what can or cannot be expressed. The freedoms stated in the First Amendment have been controlled for the protection of the people. As in the examples mentioned above a person does not have the right to disturb the peace of others just because he has the “right” to express himself. The case Chaplinsky vs. New Hampshire stated that there are some classes of speech that are limited. They are the lewd, the obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting words.

When spoken they encourage fighting and so is a disturbance of peace (Stone, Seidman). Therefore, the courts have created laws that will protect a person against libel and slander. Freedom of speech is limited in almost every area of a person’s life. For instance, a tennis player will be fined heavily during a tennis tournament if he expresses himself with foul language on the tennis court. This obviously curtails the right of the tennis player to express himself freely, but it protects the decency of the spectators because certain forms of language are not proper for some situations.

If a person goes to the movies and begins to carry on a conversation it is most probable that security will ask him to leave the theater. By restricting his freedom of speech, the movie theater has protected the right of the person who went to enjoy a movie. The American courts have stated that the freedom of speech would not protect a man from falsely yelling “fire” in a theater and so creating a clear and present danger (Stone, Seidman). Therefore, the freedom of speech cannot be abused. There are times when the government must guarantee the safety of the people, especially in times of war.

For example, “the Congress has abridged the freedom of speech in 1798, when the Congress enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts. These acts made it a criminal offense to entice people to overthrow an established government” (Microsoft “Speech, Freedom of”). Once again, one can see how the freedom of speech is not completely absolute. The government can also interfere in the freedom of speech by enforcing censorship. Censorship is evident in the movies, music and books. Some states have eliminated certain books from their libraries.

The famous book, Tom Sawyer, written by Mark Twain was eliminated because it contained the word “nigger”, and, therefore, offended the black community. Many believe that this is taking the issue too far because the intention of Mark Twain was not to offend any reader. This is when the situation of freedom of speech becomes controversial. Any government must take special care when curtailing freedom of speech. The communist regimes are only a good reminder on how a society is affected by freedom of speech. In the case of Cuba, for example, no one can make a negative remark against the government.

In other words the government of Cuba has total control over the people. This is not a true society because man will always cherish his freedom of speech. Although freedom of speech is very valuable for a democratic society, it is important to give society certain limits. A person cannot expect to use foul language in public without a reaction. People must not use freedom of speech to attack a person without evidence. Freedom of speech must not be used to cause a fight or rebellion. The government has taken steps to avoid an abuse of freedom of speech.

Free Speech Report

Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself. This quote by Salman Rushdie, an Anglo-Indian censored novelist, sums up the importance of free speech to our society. Intellectual freedom is the exploration of all sides and points of view of a topic without restrictions. The restrictions being censorship. Life is based upon knowledge and experiences and being censored from different options brings about quite a controversy. Can we live like this? Can we live where our minds think freely but our ability to share and express ourselves is limited by oppressive censors?

Freedom through all types of media (books, magazines, films, or works of art) is my dream. I have a dream that someday the boundaries of our expression can expand to the extent of our thoughts. There is a clear fragile line (an unjust one at that but a line all the same) that is meant to protect ourselves from the obscene. It holds back everything that dares to push it. This line gets in the way when it violates our first amendment right. Our first amendment right gives us, as Americans, the freedom of speech and freedom of press. From the beginning of time, ever since people were able to speak their minds, there has been censorship.

Whenever a man has said anything that someone disapproves of and restricts others from, that is censorship. However, in my dream, I believe that any man shall be given the inalienable right to share his ideas as long as he has them. I have a dream that society will learn to accept differences and appreciate breaks in conformity. Our individuality is a valued aspect of humanity. We have independent minds to think with, but society allows for only what is acceptable. What is accepted is what is mainstream. What is mainstream is something that goes with the flow of the river of the societys opinions.

Rocks or interferences in the river are frowned upon and essentially cut out. Through censors, peoples different ideas can be thrown out. In the early days, men who had a point of view that contradicted the church or whoever was in power were burned at the stake. Symbolically, the creator of the controversy is destroyed when his/her idea is not accepted or banned. For example: my favorite film maker, Larry Clarks movies were banned and edited because his thoughts and opinions about teenage life (although pretty accurate) were too extreme for the average conservative closed-minded man.

I have a dream that everyone can be exposed and become more knowledgeable while keeping their personal values. Parents are for censors because they believe that their children should not be exposed to certain things on television, in books, etc. I feel that parents should look out for their own children and not block others. Mark Twain puts a metaphor to it, Censorship is telling a man he cant have a steak just because a baby cant chew it. Censorship should not exist for the sole reason of keeping things from children.

I believe that children should be exposed to the real world and gain knowledge from it to make their own decisions based on their own values and morality. People need to make judgements for themselves instead of imposing their opinions and restricting others. In order to expand our minds we must look and explore all ideas without censorship. The future looks bright and sunny when all people can say and write and express what they please. If we can only work together to use our minds to their maximum capacity.

Internet Censorship Report

The Internet is a wonderful place of entertainment and education but like all places used by millions of people, it has some murky corners people would prefer children not to explore. In the physical world society as a whole conspires to protect children, but there are no social or physical constraints to Internet surfing. The Internet Censorship Bill of 1995, also known as the Exon/Coats Communications Decency Act, has been introduced in the U. S. Congress.

It would make it a criminal offense to make available to children anything that is indecent, or to send anything indecent with “intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass” (“Stop the Communications … ” n. p. ). The goal of this bill as written (though not as stated by its proponents) is to try to make all public discourse on the Internet suitable for young children. The issue of whether is it necessary to have censorship on the Internet is being argued all over the world. There are numerous homepages on the World Wide Web discussing this issue, or asking people to sign the petition to stop government censorship.

The Internet was originally a place for people to freely express their ideas worldwide. It is also one of America’s most valuable types of technology; scientists use email for quick and easy communication. They post their current scientific discoveries on the Usenet newsgroups so other scientists in the same field of study all over the world can know in minutes. Ordinary people use the Net for communication, expressing their opinions in the newsgroups, obtaining up-to-date information from the WWW, acquiring files by using FTP, etc.

Censorship would damage the atmosphere of the freedom to express ideas on the Internet; therefore, government should not encourage censorship. In the Internet community, there is a large volume of technical terms. For this reason, it is first necessary to examine the terminology specific to Internet. The Internet is a world wide computer network. The “Net” is frequently used in place of Internet. In the words of Allison and Baxter, two experts on Internet Censorship at the Monash University, “the Internet is comprised of various digital media subsuming many of the distinct roles of traditional media” (Allison and Baxter 3).

Electronic mail (email), which is one component of the Internet, approximates person to person letters, memoranda, notes and even phone calls. Sound and pictures are sometimes sent along with text. Email is mainly for private communication. Electronic mailing lists are rather like club newsletters and readers have to contract-in or subscribe to a list. Another term that is often used is electronic news (enews/Usenet), enews is a broadcast, free to the Internet medium. It has some properties of radio or television, particularly talk-back radio or television, in that the destination is indiscriminate. The term FTP is also frequently used.

File transfer protocol (FTP) started as an Internet archival and retrieval medium, somewhat analogous to traditional libraries. Files can be retrieved from distant computers using a traditional text-based interface. The world-wide web (WWW), which is another component of the Net, can be used to “publish” material that would traditionally appear in journals, magazines, posters, books, television and even on film. The term UNIX, “a widely heard computer term, is a multi-user, multitasking operating system originally developed by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, at AT&T Bell Laboratories, in 1969 for use on minicomputers” (“UNIX” n. ).

To understand the background of the controversy, it is also necessary to give a brief history on the Internet. The Internet was created about twenty years ago in an attempt to connect a U. S. Defense Department network called the ARPAnet and various other radio and satellite networks. The ARPAnet was an experimental network designed to support military research; in particular, research about how to build networks that could withstand partial outages (such as bomb attacks) and still function.

At about the same time the Internet was coming into being, Ethernet local area networks (“LANs”) were developed. Most of these workstations came with Berkeley UNIX, which included IP (Internet Protocol) networking software. This created a new demand: rather than connecting to a single large timesharing computer per site, organizations wanted to connect the ARPAnet to their entire local network. The demand keeps growing today. Now that most four-year colleges are connected to the Net, people are trying to get secondary and primary schools connected.

People who have graduated from college where they have used the resources of the Net in classes, know what the Internet is good for, and talk their employers into connecting different corporations. All this activity points to continued growth, networking problems to solve, evolving technologies, and job security for networkers (Willmott 107). The Internet can also be compared to a church. In many ways the Internet is like a church: it has its council of elders, every member has an opinion about how things should work, and they can either take part or not.

It’s the choice of the user. The Internet has no president, chief operating officer, or Pope. The constituent networks may have presidents and CEO’s, but that’s a different issue; there is no single authority figure for the Internet as a whole. As stated by Frances Hentoff, the staff writer for The Village Voice and the author of First Freedoms, “on an info superhighway driven by individuals, there are no cops preventing users from downloading” (Hentoff 1). Internet users can broadcast or express anything they want.

The fact that the Net has no single authority figure sets forth a problem about what kind of materials could be available on the Net. The U. S. government is now trying to pass bills to prevent misuse of the Net. The Internet Censorship Bill of 1995, which has already been discuss earlier, was introduced to the U. S. Congress. Under the Censorship Bill, a person breaks the law if he/she puts a purity test on a web page without making sure children cannot access the page. Also, if a person verbally assaults someone on IRC, he/she breaks the law.

If a university, where some students may be under 18 years old, carries the alt. sex. * newsgroups, which contains adult material, it breaks the law. According to George Melloan from the Wall Street Journal, a censorship bill was passed by the Senate 84-16 in July, and an anticensorship bill was passed by the House 420-4 in August. There are now four different sets of censorship and anticensorship language in the House and Senate versions of the Telecomm reform bill, which contradict each other and will have to be reconciled (Melloan, n. p. ).

In order to understand the need for the ever-growing body of legislation, it is important to explore the controversy, and the current problems involved with the Net as it exists must be introduced. The problem that concerns most people is offensive material such as pornography. As pointed out by Allison and Baxter, “Possible (offensive) topics are behavior (drugs, … ), nudity, political/economic/social opinion, violence, racial/ethnic, religious, coarse language, sexual/gender orientation, [and] sexuality” (Allison and Baxter 3). Since the Internet is open to everyone, children are very easily exposed to such material.

According to Allison and Baxter, “the information provided on the Internet, particularly through the WWW, ranges across train time-tables, university lecture notes, books, art exhibits, film promotions, the wisdom and ravings of individuals and, yes, pornographic pictures” (Allison and Baxter 3). Moreover, many high schools in the United States provide Internet access to students, which is very useful for looking up information, but if a student intends to look for inappropriate material, he/she is very likely to find such material simply by doing an Internet search. Another crucial Internet crime is the theft of credit card numbers.

Companies do business on the Net, and credit card numbers are stored on their servers; everyone with the necessary computer knowledge could hack in and obtain such databases for illegal purposes. To cite an instance, the most infamous computer terrorist, Kevin Mitnick, “waived extradition and is now in jail in California, charged with computer fraud and illegal use of a telephone access device. The list of allegations against him include theft of many files and documents, including twenty-thousand credit card numbers from Netcom On-Line Services, which provides thousands with access to the Internet” (Warren 52).

Americans have to come up with a solution in order to keep children away from inappropriate material and to prevent misuses of the Net. One reaction to this inapplicability has been the “Censor the Net” approach (the censorship bill), which is being debated worldwide. First, the meaning of “Censoring the Net” must be explained. Simply, it is the banning of offensive material. To see if the government should censor the Net, it is imperative to list the advantages and disadvantages of the “censor the Net” approach.

The advantage of government censorship is that ideally, children and teenagers could be kept away from unsuitable material. However, many experts have pointed out that government censorship is not possible. Howard Rheingold, the editor of the Whole World Review, observes that, “the ‘censor the Net’ approach is not just morally misguided. It’s becoming technically and politically impossible” (Rheingold n. p. ). First, it is not fair to exclude the freedom and damage the atmosphere of freely expressing ideas just for the safety of children.

Corn-Revere, an expert on Internet censorship at the Howgan & Harson Law Firm, points out that “the purpose of indecency regulation is to keep adult material from falling into the hands of kids. When he first introduced a similar bill last year, Senator Exon said he was concerned that the Information Superhighway was in danger of becoming an electronic ‘red light district’ and that he wanted to bar his granddaughter’s access to unsuitable information”(Corn-Revere 24). It is clear that Senator Exon introduced the bill to prevent minors from viewing unsuitable material on the Net.

In addition, Meleedy, a computer science graduate student at Harvard University, questions that if “the Internet makes democracy this accessible to the average citizen, is it any wonder Congress wants to censor it? ” (Meleedy 1) Allison and Baxter assert that, “the most significant new properties of the Internet media are the diversity of information sources and their ability to reach almost anywhere in the world. Authors range from major corporations such as IBM and Disney to school children” (Allison and Baxter 3).

As predicted by Corn-Revere, “At the very least, the law will force content providers to make access more difficult, which will affect all users, not just the young” (Corn-Revere 70). Censoring the Net is technically and politically impossible; it will damage the atmosphere of freedom and free idea expression on the Net; therefore, government should not encourage censorship. Most Internet users are enjoying their freedom of speech on the Net, which is supposed to be protected by the First Amendment of the United States.

According to Corn-Reverse, “it has been suggested that, ‘on-line systems give people far more genuinely free speech and free press than ever before in human history'” (Corn-Reverse 71). Rheingold predicts that “Heavy-handed attempts to impose restrictions on the unruly but incredibly creative anarchy of the Net could kill the spirit of cooperative knowledge-sharing that makes the Net valuable to millions” (Rheingold n. p. ). The freedom of idea expression is what makes the Internet important and enjoyable, and it should not be waived for any reason.

Additionally, only a very small portion of the Net contains offensive material, most people do not use the Net for pornography. Caragata from Maclean’s magazine observes that, “it is pornography that stirs the most controversy. But while there is no doubt that pornography is popular, it amounts to a trickle compared with everything else available on the Net” (Caragata 51). The Net is mostly being used for communication and information exchange, and only a tiny portion of the Net contains pornography and other offensive material.

It must be understood that censoring the Net is technically impossible. According to Allison and Baxter, “in principle, it is impossible to monitor all material being transmitted on the Internet. Considering the difficulties with international boundaries, a licensing system faces many obvious practical hurdles” (Allison and Baxter 6). As described by Allison and Baxter, “Any good Computer Science graduate can create a completely secure encryption system for concealment purposes. The material can even be disguised, for example hidden ‘inside’ a perfectly innocuous picture” (Allison and Baxter 6).

Therefore, if a person wants to publish offensive material, he/she can design a formula to change the material with respect to a key, and secretly tell other users what the key is. In this way, they can retrieve the same material and pass through the government censorship. While people are concerned about Internet pornography, it should be recognized that pornography is sometimes legal; for example, pornography is legal in video and magazines. Therefore, it is inconsistent to ban the Internet equivalents. According to Rheingold, “Citizens should have the right to restrict the information-flow into their homes.

They should be able to exclude from their home any subject matter that they do not want their children to see. But sooner or later, their children will be exposed to everything from which they have shielded them , and then they will have left to deal with these shocking sights and sound in the moral fiber they helped them cultivate” (Rheingold n. p. ). The Internet is definitely not the only medium for teenagers to find inappropriate material. Even if the Net does not have any, teenagers could also be exposed to indecorous material in many other places.

For example, Allison and Baxter say that, “most authors using electronic media do not produce material that is any ‘worse’ than that available from news agents, video shops, or mail-order sources” (Allison and Baxter 8). On that account, if the purpose of censoring is to prevent minors from being exposed to indecorous material, not only the Net has to be censored. Censoring the Net will only eliminate one single medium for minors to find irrelevant material. Government censorship is not the solution to the problem, and alternatives measures that have same effects as censorship can be practiced.

Internet Censorship, Freedom Of Speech

The freedom of speech that was possible on the Internet could now be subjected to governmental approvals. For example, China is attempting to restrict political expression, in the name of security and social stability. It requires users of the Internet and electronic mail (e-mail) to register, so that it may monitor their activities. In the United Kingdom, state secrets and personal attacks are off limits on the Internet. Laws are strict and the government is extremely interested in regulating the Intern et with respect to these issues. 10 Laws intended for other types of communication will not necessarily apply in this medium.

Through all the components of the Internet it becomes easy to transfer material that particular governments might find objectionable. However, all of these means of communicating on the Internet make up a large and vast system. For inspectors to monitor every e-mail, every article in every Newsgroup, every Webpage, every IRC channel, every Gopher site and every FTP site would be near impossible.

Besides taking an ext raordinary amount of money and time, attempts to censor the Internet violate freedom of speech rights that are included in democratic constitutions and international laws. It would be a breach of the First Amendment. The Constitution of the United Stat es of America declares that 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; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redr ess of grievances 12 Therefore it would be unconstitutional for any sort of censorship to occur on the Internet and affiliated services.

Despite the illegality, restrictions on Internet access and content are increasing worldwide under all forms of government. In France, a co untry where the press generally has a large amount of freedom, the Internet has recently been in the spotlight. A banned book on the health history of former French president Francois Mitterrand was republished electronically on the World Wide Web (WWW). Apparently, the electronic reproduction of Le Grand Secret by a third party wasn’t banned by a court that ruled that the printed version of the book unlawfully violated Mitterrand’s privacy.

To enforce censorship of the Internet, free societies find that they become more repressive and closed societies find new ways to crush political expression and opposition. 13 Vice – President Al Gore, while at an international conference in Brussels about the Internet, in a keynote address said that [Cyberspace] is about protecting and enlarging freedom of expression for all our citizens … Ideas should not be checked at the border. 14 Another person attending that conference was Ann Breeson of the Ame rican Civil Liberties Union, an organization dedicated to preserving many things including free speech.

She is quoted as saying, Our big victory at Brussels was that we pressured them enough so that Al Gore in his keynote address made a big point of stre ssing the importance of free speech on the Internet. 15 Many other organizations have fought against laws and have succeeded. A prime example of this is the fight that various groups put on against the recent Communication Decency Act (CDA) of the U. S. Se nate. The Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition on 26 February 1996 filed a historic lawsuit in Philadelphia against the U. S. Department of Justice and Attorney General Janet Reno to make certain that the First Amendment of the U. S. A. would not be compr omised by the CDA.

The sheer range of plaintiffs alone, including the American Booksellers Association, the Freedom to Read Foundation, Apple, Microsoft, America Online, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Commercial Internet eXchange Association , Wired, and HotWired, as well as thousands of netizens (citizens of the Internet) shows the dedication that is felt by many different people and groups to the cause of free speech on the Internet. 16 Words like *censored*, *censored*, piss, and tits.

Words of which our mothers (at least some of them) would no doubt disapprove, but which by no means should be regulated by the government. But it’s not just about dirty words. It’s also about words like AIDS, gay, a nd breasts. It’s about sexual content, and politically controversial topics like drug addiction, euthanasia, and racism. 17 Just recently in France, a high court has struck down a bill that promoted the censorship of the Internet. Other countries have attempted similar moves. The Internet cannot be regulated in the way of other mediums simply because it is not the same as anyt hing else that we have.

It is a totally new and unique form of communication and deserves to be given a chance to prove itself. Laws of one country can not hold jurisdiction in another country and holds true on the Internet because it has no borders. Although North America (mainly the United States) has the largest share of servers, the Internet is still a worldwide network. This means that domestic regulations cannot oversee the rules of foreign countries. It would be just as easy for an American te en to download (receive) pornographic material from England, as it would be from down the street.

One of the major problems is the lack of physical boundaries, making it difficult to determine where violations of the law should be prosecuted. There is no one place through which all information passes through. That was one of the key points that was stressed during the original days of the Internet, then called ARPANET. It started out as a defense project that would allow communication in the event of an e mergency such as nuclear attack. Without a central authority, information would pass around until it got where it was going. 18 This was intended to be similar to the road system.

It is not necessary to take any specific route but rather anyone goes. In th e same way the information on the Internet starts out and eventually gets to it’s destination. The Internet is full of anonymity. Since text is the standard form of communication on the Internet it becomes difficult to determine the identity and/or age of a specific person. Nothing is known for certain about a person accessing content. There are no signatures or photo-ids on the Internet therefore it is difficult to certify that illegal activities (regarding minors accessing restricted data) are taking place.

Take for example a conversation on IRC. Two people could people talking to one another, bu t all that they see is text. It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain the gender and/or age just from communication of this sort. Then if the conversationalist lies about any points mentioned above it would be extremely difficult t o know or prove otherwise. In this way governments could not restrict access to certain sites on the basis of ages.

A thirteen-year-old boy in British Columbia could decide that he wanted to download pornography from an adult site in the U. S. The site may have warnings and age restrictions but they have no way of stopping him from receiving their material if he says he is 19 years of age when prompted. The complexity in the way information is passed around the Internet means that if information has been posted, deleting this material becomes almost impossible. A good example of this is the junk mail that people refer to as spam. These include e-mails ad vertising products, usenet articles that are open for flames. Flames are heated letters that many times have no founding behind them.

These seem to float around for ages before dying out because they are perfect material for flamewars. Flamewars are long, drawn out and highly heated discussions consisting of flames, which often time, obscenely, slander one’s reputation and personae. Mostly these are immature arguments that are totally pointless except to those involved. The millions of people that partici pate on the Internet everyday have access to almost all of the data present. As well it becomes easy to copy something that exists on the Internet with only a click of a button.

The relative ease of copying data means that the second information is posted to the Internet it may be archived somewhere else. There are in fact many sites on the Internet that are devoted to the archiving of information including: ftp. cdrom. com (which archives an extraordinary amount of software among others), www. archive. org ( which is working towards archiving as much of the WWW as possible), and wuarchive. wustl. edu (which is dedicated towards archiving software, publications, and many other types of data). It becomes hard to censor material that might be duplicated or triplic ated within a matter of minutes.

An example could be the recent hacking of the U. S. Department of Justice’s Homepage and the hacking of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Homepage. Someone illegally obtained access to the computer on which these homepages were stored and modified them. It was done as a prank; however, both of these agencies have since shut down their pages. 2600 (www. 2600. com), a magazine devoted to hacking, has republished the hacked DoJ and CIA homepages on their website. The magazine ei ther copied the data straight from the hacked sites or the hacked site was submitted to the magazine.

I don’t know which one is true but it does show the ease that data can be copied and distributed, as well it shows the difficulty in preventing material deemed inappropriate from appearing where it shouldn’t. The Internet is much too complex a network for censorship to effectively occur. It is a totally new and unique environment in which communications transpire. Existing laws are not applicable to this medium. The lack of tangible boundaries causes confusion as to where violations of law take place. The Internet is made up of nameless interaction and anonymous communication.

Internet Censorship Essay

It has been two-hundred and nine years since the Bill of Rights was ratified. I doubt that our Founding Fathers ever imagined the changes that would come over our country. Although the Constitution has held up through the years, it cannot be argued that in the last fifty years especially, issues come up daily that seem to test the strength and integrity of our sacred Constitution. The Internet, for example, has caused more controversy than anything we have ever seen.

The biggest issue: Censorship. For a number of different reasons, government and other organizations are trying to take our First Amendment right from us by censoring the Internet, but it is up to us to become educated and decide for ourselves if it is helping or hurting. There are many reasons for the Internet not to be censored. First, it truly is unconstitutional. The First Amendment of the Constitution clearly says, “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”. As far as I’m concerned, this is abridging freedom of speech and press.

Although pornography and obscenity are technically not protected by the First Amendment, it becomes a question of, how far will the government go? When do they stop censoring, and how do they decide what is obscene? “The equation is simple: Those who have power get to censor, and those who lack power get silenced. If you find yourself in a position to demand and get censorship, you can be sure you are among those who have the power, and you are acting to oppress others. ” (Avedon Carol: BM FAC, Ph: (0181)552-4405)

Another reason against censorship is that the Internet is a responsibility. Although a large percentage of the material on the Internet may be harmful and inappropriate, adults should be able to decide what they are exposed to, and parents have the responsibility to regulate what their children are exposed to. Many parents argue that they cannot be with their children all of the time, and that often pornographic sites come up accidentally. There is a simple solution to this. A number of Internet software can be bought for a reasonable price to filter Internet sites.

To name a few: Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS), CYBERsitter FTP archive, NetNanny and Web ratings council. (http://www1. tpgi. com. au) They all use a different filtration system, but all are very effective to individual regulation levels. Lastly, censoring the Internet will only be the beginning of more government interference in the people’s lives. Those for censorship of the Internet in Congress argue that it is for children’s safety as well as others who are offended by certain material.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” (http://www. theroc. org) and he was absolutely right. Censoring the Internet does not make us safe. If we censored everything that offended someone on the internet, I’m sure there would be little left of this great tool we call the World Wide Web-and that, would be a shame. Currently, there are many laws being written for censorship, and attempted to pass through Congress. It is the responsibility of the people to vote against these laws.

They will only hurt our freedoms, starting now and continuing throughout the future. We, the people of the United States of America, are very lucky to live in this free country. People must remember that the government is not there only to protect us, but to represent the voice of the people. If politicians continue to please those who outspokenly voice censorship, our freedoms will slowly dwindle, and freedom is what our country is based on. It is YOUR business what you do on the Internet, so let’s keep it that way.

Censorship In Music

Censorship in music is a topic that has brought about much controversy in the past two decades. There have been many different arguments on the topic, however the question still remains as if it should be censored or it should not be censored. Before you can form an opinion on this, you must hear both sides of the argument on this much-debated topic. Some people believe that music should be censored so all audiences can hear it without it containing any controversial lyrics. Others believe it should not be censored and musical artists should be able to speak, sing, rap, or rhyme freely without anyone censoring them.

Whether a person finds a work obscene depends largely on his or her moral or religious beliefs. These views change with each generation and further complicate the censorship dilemma. ” (Censorship by, Bradley Steffens page 97) The quote above is very true. Religious or moral beliefs have a great influence on how a person feels about censorship, and as generations pass on the common beliefs on it may change. Right now, America is more uncensored than ever. However, things were very different a few generations ago. Some people believe music should be censored.

They believe some of the language musical artists use is vulgar, obscene, and crude. Also the fact that music is played on medias such as radio and television, which are free to listen to by all audiences, and there are many parents that would not wish for their kids to hear foul language. So on radio and televison any controversial language is either silenced, edited out by a soft sound, or some artists make two versions of their songs; one that is made for the artist’s album, which is uncensored; and one for televsion and radio with any controversial words change to be acceptable for all audiences.

This does not include cable television, which can be audited by parents since the parents must order and pay for the channel to be viewed. “Preventing or punishing speechis a clear violation of the First Amendment. ” (Censorship. Opposing Viewpoints by, Greehaven Press page 147). This quote here is the “battle cry” of many anti-censorship groups. When you really think about it, it is a violation of the First Amendment, which says: “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press”.

The First Amendment guarantees the right to freedom of speech, and censorship is violating peoples’ rights to say whatever they want to say. It is sometimes difficult to understand when a child gets punished for using foul language meanwhile the child’s parents have the right to critiscize and petition the government whenever they feel the need to do so. Many musical artists feel that when they are forced to change lyrics their rights are being violated. In some artists’ songs they like to express their feelings towards somebody or something, and it hurts them to be censored because the new words implemented are not from his or her heart.

They feel that they are being held down. Due to the amendment made by our founding fathers I do not believe there will ever be an answer to the question whether or not music should be censored. The way I see it, it should not be censored. Many children often hear explicit language from older siblings or parents at an early age. They believe that since someone they look up to uses those words, they should too. Eventually, everyone will be exposed to language they do not find acceptable. Foul language is not permitted on medias such as television or radio because it is an all audience media.

However, on albums the artist is allowed to use any words he or she sees fit. “The vexing question, of course, is, Who should decide what you read or view- the church, the stateor you? ” (War of Words: The Censorship Debate by George Beahm page xiii) In my opinion, the answer to that question is: you. Censorship on television channels such as Nickelodeon , or PBS is understandable due to the fact that mostly young children programming is broadcasted on those stations. However I find it unnecessary to censor stations generally viewed by older audiences.

It is now a requirement by law for record companies to put stickers on tapes and compact discs that say: “Parental Advisory. Explicit Lyrics”. The reason that law was passed was because many angry mothers and fathers sued artists and/or record companies for releasing albums that contained explicit lyrics, and now their child goes and repeats their newly learned words to people such as their teachers, principals, and other friends who then spread word around to their parents. I would tend to believe that many of those parents used those same bad words in front of their children at one time or another.

They probably did not say it to their face, but the fact still remains that the child heard his or her parents say those words, thus the child assumes it is normal to say that word. Many parents also complain that the art on music albums’ covers and insides. They argue saying that too is vulgar and should not be allowed. I believe music should not be censored due to our First Amendment right. When a parent hears foul language on their child’s stero or television, they should not complain to the network or record company, they should complain to themselves.

The government is doing all they legally can to protect the childrens’ young ears from the foul language that is out there. If a parent hears their child listening to foul language, they should not complain to anyone but themselves. If they do not wish for their child to hear foul language they should have supervised their children more closely. If they take their child to a record store and buy them a new tape or c. d. , the parent should have listened to the music by him or herself and scan for anything questionable.

If they don’t like the content, they can always return it to the store. This way they can be positive that their child is listening to music that is acceptable in their eyes. In conclusion, censorship in music is wrong in my opinion. Artists should be allowed to say whatever they want. That is what our founding fathers based this country uopn: freedom. The government is doing an excellent job in making the First Amendment suitable for all. If parents have a problem with it, it is because they did not properly supervise their children.

Music Censorship – Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson, Britney Spears, Eminem, Garth Brooks, and the king Elvis, What do all these people have in common? Well, yes, they are all musical artists, but there is something more. Marilyn Manson is a heavy metal artist who worships Satan, Britney Spears is one of todays hottest sex simble , Eminem is a hardcore rapper today. Garth Brooks is a country singer and greatest selling performer of all time. And well, Elvis is the king of Rock N’ Roll. So what do they all have in common? All of these artists have or had songs with indecent or obscene lyrics.

Since the dawn of musical expression, there have been people trying to stop the constitutional right to listen and enjoy music of all forms. There were ordinary, everyday people during the time of Rock N’ Roll in the 1960’s who made it their mission in life to stop so-called “obscene” music like the Beatles song “Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds,” from polluting our airwaves and minds. These groups succeeded in banning some songs from the radio, but most of their actions were for not taken seriously, because there was no real punishment for radio stations playing those songs labeled “obscene.

By 1985, many people wanted to cleanse the music industry of its “indecent” music, so the most prominent group in the history of music censorship was started: The Parents Music Resource Center. This was just the first of many groups who made it their business to decide what the American Population should or should not listen to. The PMRC and other organizations have also convinced government organizations like the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) to regulate what music is played on the radio.

Places like Target, Wal-Mart, and other local record stores are also orced to label music that the PMRC and other censorship groups find obscene. Who is to say that what is obscene to someone might not be seen as obscene to another person? This question, as well as many others, brought forth many anti-censorship organizations who fight to give the people of America the right to listen to whatever music they want to, indecent or not.

The First Amendment from anyone who tries to censor it protects music, like any other form of expression in the U. S. It is a violation of our constitutional rights for groups like the PMRC to censor music, but they are llowed to tell us what they think is decent music and what is not. “The use of parental advisory labels, as with any system that aim to deny an individual the right to receive a form of communication, most certainly is a free speech issue”. Censorship should be left up to the public because it is our freedom to decide to use our better judgment in deciding what we want to listen to, regardless of other’s opinions.

The Parents Music Resource Center and other censorship groups became a thorn in the side of free speech when many parents were outraged and disgusted by this new music known as “rap. Censorship organizations demand that these new performers like Ice-T and Eminem become banned from the radio and their music be labeled as indecent and explicit in order to protect America’s Youth from listening to this so-called “filth.

Rap has since been the biggest target for censorship, with groups going as far as saying that, “there has been a marked increase in explicit violence in popular music, and it stands to reason that exposure to such hate filled lyrics has had a effect on kids’ attitudes, assumptions, decisions, and behavior”.

According to Vincent Shiraldi, the executive d irector of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, “There has been a 30 percent drop in juvenile homicides between 1994 and 1996, and a 6. percent drop in homicides at school between 1992 and 1997” This obviously shows that music is not the cause of juvenile crime, since crime has actually gone down progressively in the nineties.

The Federal Communication Commission has been around since the 1930’s much longer than the PMRC and other censorship groups. Their main objective was to regulate what radio stations did not give or receive any confidential information over the airwaves. The FCC’s most noted regulation s one that includes banning indecent and obscene material until late at night when children are not awake to hear it.

They also can give out citations to radio stations that do not comply with regulations on indecency and obscenity. There are also groups, many unofficial, consisting of church members who call Rock N’ Roll “the devil’s music”. They contend that heavy metal groups promote devil worship, and suggest in their music for people to do violent things. Some people have gone as far as to sue musicians because they believe that their sons or daughters killed themselves because the music hey listened to. In 1987, the parents of a 19-year-old who said one of his songs promoted their son to commit suicide sued Ozzy Osborne.

Luckily, in all such cases, the musicians are acquitted. These groups are a bit lucky, and some of their views considered extreme even by most censorship organizations. These are the same groups in the 50’s that said Rock N’ Roll’s “tribal rhythms” encourages young people to “behave in a unrully manner” . Is there a difference between indecency and obscenity? Well, the FCC claims that “broadcasters may not broadcast obscene programming; they ay broadcast indecent programming only when there is a strong possibility that no children are in the audience”.

If you compare the two words, “obscene” and “indecent,” there really is no difference between the two. Webster’s dictionary defines obscene as, “repulsive by reason of crass disregard or moral or ethical principles,” and indecent as, “grossly unseemly or offensive to manners or morals” . So, how do you regulate this law? The problem with many FCC regulations is that they are not quantative. For example, a speed limit says 35 MPH or 65 MPH, it doesn’t say, go a speed in which there is a strong robability that the road is safe enough to drive, and if you wreck you are likely to survive..

If you were to censor all songs that supposedly influenced people negatively or had obscene lyrics, you would have to ban may songs that are considered decent by most of the censorship committees. We could start with the Beatles, (who wrote may songs about drug use), The Everly Brothers (Wake Up Little Susie), and top 40 and country music with their lyrics of depression, alcohol abuse, drug use, explicit sexual lyrics, and adolescent rebellion. It is only fair that if you ban White Zombie’s “Devil Man,” then you should censor songs like Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places,” too.

Censorship organizations also believe some music ruins the minds of children and turns them into anti-social, mean, or disrespectful members of society. It had never been proven that Ted Bundy or Charles Manson were the way they are because of Alice Cooper or Iron Maiden. There are many reasons that censorship violates our First Amendment rights. “The principle of freedom of expression is founded on trust: that each member of society benefits from the free exchange of ideas, hen all are permitted to speak and hear others speak” .

Why did Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and other founding fathers write the First Amendment if it were not important? The First Amendment is the foundation of our country. What do you think would happen if we took away the freedom of speech? What will be next, taking away the freedom of religion? How about the freedom of the press? It just does not work; censorship has no place in democracy. Censorship also brings about another nasty conformity. In the 1940’s when Hitler had an entire nation believing that Jewish people should die, and ll the books not adhering to his views should be burned?

Censorship brings about close-mindedness and prejudice. What if they arrested Christopher Columbus because he said that the earth was round? Before the Renaissance Period, people were hanged for saying that the earth was not the center of the universe. Granted, comparing censorship to Gailileo is a stretch, but maybe not. If you are wondering why this issue of music is important to you,and why you should listen to my message, consider this: The FCC budget has tripled in the last ten years, costing the American Taxpayers millions upon illions of dollars.

These tax dollars could be used to combat the real evils of our society that hurt our kids, drugs, and violence. More results can be achieved from providing alternatives for young people rather than spending so much of our time and energy discussing music distracts us from the real causes of crime: things like child abuse, poverty, parental neglect in care and time spent with their children, etc. And think of all the concerned parents who are reading their PMRC newsletter and donating millions of dollars to stop supposedly undermining part of our society.

I have problems just like everyone else, but I do not blame my problems on music, or do I look to music to solve my problems. Music is art, and art is anything that can be appreciated by one person in some form or another. So who is to say what is and isn’t art, the PMRC? I think not. I listen to music that it is considered by some people to be offensive, but that doesn’t make me crazy or a bad person. It is not music that has control over our youth. It does influence youth, but it is not the only power that does so.

I credit my well being to my parents, good or bad. Music should not influence ut children more than parents do. If music should happen to have this effect on the youth of America, parents should think of ways of how they can help to nurture their kids better (Clip 1). We know that the discussion of the messages in a song and how it effects a particular child belongs in the home, between a child and their parent, not in the offices of a record company, in the back room of a retail store, and certainly not in a Senate chamber.

Almost every delinquent person I have ever met is that way because of a broken home or a dysfunctional family, not because they listen to Eminem or Marilyn Manson. There are always exceptions to the rule, but how can you blame music for that? There are so many other factors that influence a young person’s life much more than music ever can. Music is, and probably always will be, the easy thing to blame for the problems of America’s youth.

Music should be left alone, left to evolve and regress, as it wants to because we have the right to choose what we want to hear; all censoring does violate the first amendment rights that we supposedly have. Parental Advisory stickers can and do censor musicians. If an artist’s painting or sculpture is emoved from a gallery because someone may be uncomfortable with its image- that is censorship. When a band’s music is declared to be off limits for a group of listeners- that is censorship.

So even though the FCC makes regulations and censorship groups like the PMRC do convince millions of parents that Marilyn Manson is the anti-Christ, we can still make a difference in the fight against censorship. There is an Anti-Censorship petition on the Internet that allows you to voice your opinion about censorship, to tell the government and all those censorship organizations that it is wrong to censor omeone’s freedom of expression. So what if some music is out of the ordinary to some people, why not think of it as being insightful or a different view, instead of thinking if it is being obscene?

Why can’t music be artistic instead of indecent? Why do we allow the government and all the music censorship organizations to deny musicians and the public our constitutional rights? And why do we pay millions of our tax dollars to try and undermine what our whole country was built upon over two hundred years ago? We must acknowledge that ratings systems of any kind can do and result in censorship. And we all must fight to preserve free speech for everyone regardless of whether or not we agree with the message.

Please consider this quote; “In Germany, the Nazi’s came for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me. “