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Freedom of Speech, Press, and Assembly: Today and Tomorrow - Essay Example

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The writer of this paper states that the advent of the internet opened new pathways for communication amongst people living in various places and factions of society. However, this sort of advancement in communication was not foreseen by our predecessors…
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Freedom of Speech, Press, and Assembly: Today and Tomorrow
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It may be argued by civil right enthusiasts, that the internet is merely a virtual forum to exchange ideas. However, the limits first arose when the internet became a hub of indecent activities and the exchange of pornographic material arose. This matter was sought to be corrected by levying the Communications Decency Act in 1996, as it restricted unsafe and indecent material from getting shared especially for the minors and imposed criminal penalties on them (Parker, 2003). An important development in the history of the tussles between the content displayed on the internet as well as the first amendment resulted in the case of Reno versus American Civil Liberties Union in 1996. It resulted in putting an end to the "Communications Decency Act", as it was decided that the internet was an amalgamation of diverse interactions and possesses extremely low barriers for interaction. Thus, it is next to impossible to monitor its activities strictly (Crawford et al., 1996). However, these are not the only concerns civil liberty supporters have with law enforcement officials. In the wake of 9/11, the problems of terrorist activities have also been displayed on the internet. This has been discovered in the form of websites that have been restricted in many a countries due to sensitive content being displayed on them (Allport, 2003). The imposition of this ban may seem to antagonize the very concept of freedom of speech by the first amendment, were it to be compared thus. Yet, at times social media and internet content needs restriction to protect the safety and sovereignty of their nation. Thus, the differences between the civil rights supporter and law enforcement individuals are imminent as the internet and legislation come to a standstill in the combat of the right of public to speak their minds. Read More
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