Freedom of Speech
"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficial. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding."
-Louis D. Brandeis
Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes
him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963.
Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Access are often intertwined, and thus
it is possible that what you are looking for is archived in the files related
to Censorship. Another element of the topic involves the privileged use of cryptography for exchange of information.
This is possibly one of the most current and topical subjects that is covered in this course and a subject that seems to endure from year to year. The objective of this class is to raise the awareness of students to the topic and to explore a variety of viewpoints, all of which purport to support the first amendment to the US Constitution.
One of the concerns expressed regarding the Internet has been that it has become the vehicle for the dissemination of pornography, expressions of hate and racial prejudices, and unpopular views. WVTF, the radio station of Virginia Tech, discussed these issues with Erin Mailer, an ISP from Lynchburg VA, and Clifton Bryant, Professor of Sociology at Virginia Tech, in the 26 September 1995 "Evening Edition" program. A 7 minute audio clip of their opening statements is available as a REAL AUDIO file. Mr. Mailer describes the kind of restrictions that users can have placed on the service while Prof. Bryant points out that most new technologies attract those with "deviant" tendencies to find new ways to express themselves. [Reproduced by permission of WVTF, with thanks.]
The concept of "Freedom of Speech" is becoming more and more confused with "Freedom of Expression" wherein some extend the meaning of the word speech to include numerous forms of action. From the outset (at least in the US) speech was taken to include the written word. Today the "written word" clearly includes postings on the World Wide Web, the posting of what is considered by some to be pornographic or racially offensive have raied the ire of other veiwers. Recent interpretations have included flag burning, the open publication of proprietry materials, general civil disobedience, and "cyber-squatting". Consequent to these interpretations, we have chosen to sub-divide this study into several different elements.
- "Norwegian jailed for Web racism", Cable News Network,
April 23, 2002 Posted: 11:46 AM EDT (1546 GMT)
- OPINION, By Lisa Napoli, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR,
April 4, 2002 -
Fish hobbyists on the Internet have been gurgling about something other than their tanks lately. It has to do with freedom of speech, and it impacts
all of us who log on.
WHEN DAN RESLER complained last May on the Aquatic Plant Digest about a bad experience he had with PetsWarehouse.com, he didn't know it would cost him $4,150.
Nor did he know he'd become a symbol of the right to speak one's mind on the Internet.
- The limits on freedom of speech at work, Fair Measures Corp., 01-10-02
- "Feds Ease Rules on Kid Porn Charges", By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, 17 April 2002.
- Florida Community Can't Shut Down 'Voyeur Dorm',
by CARL S. KAPLAN, New York Times, October 5, 2001.
- Industry Guidance On the Commission's
Case Law Interpreting 18 U.S.C. § 1464
and Enforcement Policies Regarding
Broadcast Indecency, FCC
File No. EB-00-IH-0089:
Adopted: March 14, 2001 Released: April 6, 2001 (pdf)
- "Free speech and the map of the distribution of caribou
calving areas", From: POLITECH, 17 March 2001.
- An update on the Nuremberg Files/Baby Butchers Case, 30 March 2001.
- "Internet Filters Used to Shield Minors Censor Speech, Critics Say",
by JOHN SCHWARTZ, New York Times, March 19, 2001.
- "Virginia Court's Decision in Online 'John Doe' Case Hailed by Free-Speech Advocates", by CARL KAPLAN, New York Times, March 16, 2001.
- Supreme Court Lets
Stand Computer Anti-Porn Law by James Vicini WASHINGTON (Reuters), Monday
January 8 11:39 AM ET
- Freedom of Speech also involves the freedom to travel and to work. American
Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) passed a resolution supporting
the free exchange
of information between scientists. (June 25, 1999)
- Is the web site that lists State
sites that identify convicted sex offenders itself an example of "Cyberhate"?
- "How the Christian Right Came to Fund
a Free Speech Case", Marcia Coyle, The National Law Journal, October
- While the following event is not necessarily computer-related, it is significant
in that it is an event that attempts to counteract the activities of hate
that arise from homophobic attitudes. The problem being solved here is a prime
example of the concept of "ideas have consequences".
"Hecklers: Falwell betrays his calling; Falwell,
gay group open new dialogue" by Cody
Lowe, THE ROANOKE TIMES, Sunday, October 24, 1999.
of Children From On -Line Predators and Exploitation Act of 1999" is currently
under consideration in Congress.
- "The Child Online Protection
Act: Decency and the Internet: Revisited", by Carol M. Morrissey, CongressLine,
- In Oct., 1998, Congress passed and President Clinton signed into law a new
"sequel" to the unconstitutional Communications Decency Act called the Child
Online Protect Act. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and others are
challenging this new law.
The challenge resulted in a Philadelphia Judge barring enforcement of Child
Online Protection Act and thus EFF concluding that "Netizens
[are] Safe from Prosecution Under Net Censorship Law" (1 February 1999).
- The Campaign for On-Line Freedom
of Expression, organized by the Electronic
Freedom Foundation, has some interesting international aspects. (Last
- Virginia enacted a local "Computer
Decency Act" in April 1999, that is currently under challenge.
- "High Court Upholds Law Banning 'Obscene'
E-Mail: Justices Deny First Amendment Protection", by Joan Biskupic, Washington
Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, April 20, 1999; Page A02.
- "Hate can not drive out hate, only love can do that." - Martin Luther King,
"Strength to Love", p. 51.
- In First Loss for Online Free Speech, Appeals
Court Gags Virginia State Employees, February 1999.
- Ruling against anti-abortion website raises storm in US over rights. The
anti-abortionists who ran the 'Nuremburg Files' website were fined $ 105 million
this week. The Irish Times,
February 4, 1999
- New Cyber-Censorship
Law Would Fracture Internet, Experts and Web Owners Testify, ACLU, January
Organizations Concerned with Free Speech (and some with the general concept of Freedom from Governmental Control/Oversight)
Many of these sites have extensive listings of publications and postings.
Last updated 2002/05/02
© J.A.N. Lee, 1996- 2002.