Essay on Freedom of Speech in Cyberspace

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Freedom of Speech in Cyberspace: Government Restrictions on Content in the United States of America
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"Information wants to be free. The Internet fosters free speech on a global scale."[1] Introduction

The Internet provides a gateway for an individual to speak freely and anonymously without being targeted to what he or she said. With this said, one of the biggest issues concerning the Internet today is freedom of speech. The issue of free speech on the Internet has been a topic of discussion around the world within the past years. It is a unique communication medium and is powerful than the traditional media[2]. Because the Internet can not be compared equally to other mediums
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Just as we have laws against dumping garbage on the interstate, we ought to have similar laws for the information superhighway"[3]. The content that individuals can post on the Internet should be filtered and monitored to protect our children which make people feel uncomfortable. The dispute against this claim is that it takes away from the rights of adults which was concluded by the federal courts that "it violates the free speech rights of adults by broadly prohibiting the knowing transmission of 'indecent' messages to minors and displaying 'patently offensive' sexually explicit images in a manner available to children"[4]. Some believed that restricting the content on the Internet will be problematic because "it will only stifle the free flow of information, discourage the robust development of new information services and make users avoid using the system" and "Banning on-line anonymity would go much too far, stifling the 99 percent of legitimate speech in pursuit of the 1 percent of criminal speech"[5]. The controlling of content on the Internet will disrupt the flow of information which will discourage individuals to use the Internet and oppress content that is truthful and valid.

Background of the CDA

There have been several attempts to govern the Internet such as the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). The CDA was passed by congress on February 1, 1996 which is Title V of the United States Telecommunication

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