Germany vs. The United States

Ben Allison, Peter Huene, David Paroulek, Robert Rossman, and Mark Shapiro

A law was passed in July of 1996 prohibiting state employees from "accessing sexually explicit materials on the Internet". The ACLU of Virginia is preparing to challenge the constitutionality of this law in court. This would ban more than just pornographic material and the like. Many art works would also be illegal to view in locations such as schools where nude art works are sometimes used. Many teachers have already complained and agreed to work with the ACLU. Does this violate freedom of speech and take censorship too far or does the state of Virginia have the right to control what its state employees are allowed to view at work?

Start by reading the scenario in full in the following links. Then read the United States and German responses to this dilemma.

Presentation Overview:
The Full Scenario
Scenario Aspects
US Response
US Reasoning
German Response
German Reasoning
Country Comparison

ACLU To Challenge New State Law Restricting Internet Use
German Constitution
Sex, Censorship, and the Internet
Workplace Internet Usage Survey
German Video Censorship
Germany, 'World Champion' at Spying On Its Own Citizens, to Monitor Internet Usage
Web Censorship in Germany
Personal Interview with Michael Bergman. Sunday 4/29/01 4:00PM
FCC Rules and Regulations
Censorship in a Box
Internet Censorship Software Programs
Roman Catholic Church and Censorship1.
Collection of Online Reference Materials
American Heritage Dictionary, Fourth Ed, 2000
Article on Cyber Porn from Time Magazine by Elmer-De Witt
Professionalism in Computing Class Notes on Censorship
The Biological Basis of Morality, by Edward O. Wilson
Editorial from the Roanoke Times about Freeing Virginia from Internet Censorship

Contact Information:
Ben Allison
Peter Huene
David Paroulek
Robert Rossman
Mark Shapiro

German Contact:
Michael Bergman (e-mail address withheld upon request)