The freedom of speech

Essay by RIPPAL_4UUniversity, Master'sA+, September 2006

download word file, 8 pages 3.3

Censorship of the Internet is Unconstitutional

The freedom of speech that was possible on the

Internet could now be subjected to governmental approvals. For example,

China is attempting to restrict political expression, in the name of

security and social stability. It requires users of the Internet and

electronic mail (e-mail) to register, so that it may monitor their

activities.9 In the United Kingdom, state secrets and personal attacks are

off limits on the Internet. Laws are strict and the government is

extremely interested in regulating the Intern et with respect to these

issues.10 Laws intended for other types of communication will not

necessarily apply in this medium. Through all the components of the

Internet it becomes easy to transfer material that particular governments

might find objectionable. However, all of these means of communicating on

the Internet make up a large and vast system. For inspectors to monitor

every e-mail, every article in every Newsgroup, every Webpage, every IRC

channel, every Gopher site and every FTP site would be near impossible.

Besides taking an ext raordinary amount of money and time, attempts to

censor the Internet violate freedom of speech rights that are included in

democratic constitutions and international laws.11 It would be a breach of

the First Amendment. The Constitution of the United Stat es of America

declares that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of

religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the

freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably

to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redr ess of grievances"

Therefore it would be unconstitutional for any sort of censorship to occur

on the Internet and affiliated services. Despite the illegality,

restrictions on Internet access and content are increasing worldwide under

all forms of government.