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Filtering Our Right of Free Speech on the Internet Section 502 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 commonly known as the Communications Decency Act detailed what could not be transmitted via the WWW to minors under the age of 18 The Communications Decency Act made it illegal to transmit or display obscene lewd and indecent materials to minors However the language in the act was so vague that many believed that the act would impact what adults could have access to on the Web Many viewed the act as blatant censorship and therefore unconstitutional Several Internet groups and businesses petitioned the courts to strike down the act as unconstitutional The American Civil Liberties Union ACLU challenged the act all the way to the Supreme Court In June 1997 the Supreme Court ruled that the act restricted adults access to information on the Web which in turn amounted to censorship and was therefore unconstitutional The government however plans to re-draft legislation concerning what is and is not appropriate material for the Internet Censorship of materials on the Internet is a violation of our constitutional right to freedom of the press because the First Amendment states that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press Filtering programs created so that you can be at ease with your child surfing the net are at the same time outing sites whose content bears educational value and important issues that may enrich your childs mind In January 1997 reporter Brock Meeks publisher of the CyberWire Dispatch wrote an article about a particular blocking program named CYBERsitter and their decision to block the Peacefire web site because of a page on their site they wrote concerning the program CYBERsitter Where Do We Not Want You To Go Today Brian Milburn CEO of CYBERsitter sent Mr Meeks a letter in response the entire text of which read Mr Meeks You take yourself too
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