Free Speech Essay

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Free Speech

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” These words were spoken by Benjamin Franklin, one of our nation’s founding fathers, when the United States was still a newly independent country. Free speech, which is defined as the right to express any opinion in public without censorship or restraint by the government, is a subject that is still present in the minds of many people today. At one extreme of the spectrum is a group of folks that do not care the slightest bit about free speech issues and at another end is a group of people who will vehemently fight to protect their right to free speech. In a middle ground, like most peoples’ stance, lay a large group of
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All aspects of internet filters will be discussed including who chooses to use filtering software, why these groups use filters, how an internet content filter works, and the pro’s and con’s of implementing the use of filtering software.

There are many different groups that choose to implement internet filtering software on computers that they own. Among these groups are libraries, schools, employers, and parents. In December of 2000, the United States Congress passed the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CHIPA), which is legislation that forced public and private libraries as well as schools that are federally funded through certain federal programs to install internet content blocking software for both child and adult users alike. If libraries and schools that chose to implement the internet blocking technology on their computers were compensated or benefited monetarily through additional government subsidy would have been fine, but when the government is federally mandating censorship it is a direct violation of individuals’ rights to free speech and expression guaranteed by the first amendment of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the United States of America. In an educational organizations’ letter to legislation, a strong opposition was expressed regarding the mandated “censorware” in schools and libraries across the nation. Several points were made in opposition to the internet content filters. The organization states that the new mandatory

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