Censorship of Information on the Internet

             Censorship is a word that breeds strong emotions in many people. Whether they are opponents or proponents. Censorship has been around since before the time of the bible. It has produced wars and revolutions. During the time of the Romans censorship was not a problem and they came up with many different types of inventions that during the dark ages were lost and invented again. Not all of this was due to censorship but it was a factor. Much of the knowledge of the Romans would have been completely lost if it were not for munks who's only job was to copy books. Censorship has always been a staple of Dictatorships and Toleration leaderships. Censorship is great when wanting to take over a nation and put restraints on it. Media has always been the link between government and the people, and if you control that outlet then you have a chance of making people think the way you want them to. These are some of the dangers of censorship.

             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. With the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, the American Congress has prepared to turn the Internet from one of the greatest resources of cultural, social, and scientific information into the online equivalent of a children's reading room. By invoking the overboard and vague term "indecent" as the standard by which electronic communication should be censored, Congress has insured that information providers seeking to avoid criminal prosecution will close the gates on anything but the most tame information and discussions. The Internet Censorship Bill of 1995, also known as the Exon/Coats Communications Decency Act, 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"1.

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