Government Censorship would damage the atmosphere of the freedom to express


ideas on the Internet; therefore, government should not encourage censorship

Thesis: Government Censorship would damage the atmosphere of the freedom to
express ideas on the Internet; therefore, government should not encourage
censorship.

Introduction

I. 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.

1. The internet is a world wide computer network.

1. Electronic mail (email), which is one component of the Internet, approximates
person to person letters, memoranda, notes and even phone calls.

2. Another term that is often used is electronic news (enews/Usenet), enews is a
broadcast, free to the Internet medium.

3. The term FTP is also frequently used. File transfer protocol (FTP) started as
an Internet archival and retrieval medium, somewhat analogous to traditional
libraries.

4. 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.

2. It is also essential to give a brief history on the internet.

3.The U.S. government is now trying to pass bills to prevent misuse of the Net.

II. 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.

1. The problem that concerns most people is offensive materials such as
pornography.

2. Another crucial internet crime is the stealing of credit card numbers.

III. One reaction to this inapplicability has been the "Censor the Net"
approach (the censorship bill), we are now to compare its advantages and
disadvantages.

1. First, the meaning of "Censoring the Net" must be explained.

2. However, many experts have pointed out that government censorship is not
possible.

1. First, it is not fair to exclude the freedom and damage the atmosphere of
freely expressing ideas just for the safety of children.

2. Most internet users are enjoying their freedom of speech on the Net, which is
supposed to be protected by our First Amendment.

3. Additionally, only a very small portion of the Net contains offensive
material, most people do not use the Net for pornography.

4. It must be understood that censoring the Net is technically impossible.

5. 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.

IV. There are many alternative measures to government censorship which would
prevent misuse of the Net and would have the same effects as censorship.

1. It is very important for parents to provide moral guidance for their
children, and parents should have this responsibility.

2. However, at the same time as we carry out moral guidance, we have to come out
with some short term approaches to solve the problem in a more efficient way as
well.

3. An alternative to government censorship is the technological fix, which would
prevent misuse of the Net and would have the same effects as government
censorship.

1. One example of technological fix is the "SurfWatch" software.

2. Also, commercial Internet service providers, such as "America Online", allow
parents to control what Internet relay chat (IRC) sessions are available to
their children.

3. Another technological fix is for parents and guardians to have a separate
"proxy server" for their children’s web browser.

4. There are no computer programs to automatically and reliably classify
material; only people can do it. As a result, while practicing technological
fixes, the classification of the contents of the material when posting is very
important.

5. Nowadays, most internet users classify their postings with standard
categories, and leave signatures at the end of postings.

6. The combination of the installation of censoring software and the
classification of materials is a much better solution than government
censorship.

Conclusion

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