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Word Count: 1,563
There is nothing more frightening than active ignorance the German poet Goethe stated Ignorance is alarming no matter what good intentions it is hidden behind Today an ignorance of the issue of Internet censorship has left a threat to free speech our constitutional right Even worse many of our lawmakers are the ones feeding this fire The first major law concerning the matter was the Communications Decency Act CDA of 1996 The CDA made it a crime to transmit indecent material over the Internet The decision resulted in an immediate outcry from users industry experts and civil liberties groups In 1997 the Supreme Court declared the act unconstitutional because it violated first amendment rights However there are still many proponents of Internet Censorship Public libraries in Austin Boston and elsewhere have decided to install blocking software on computers connected to the Internet Many companies are now producing Internet filtration software or censorware These attempts are both haphazard and unlawful Internet censorship is unconstitutional and unrealistic the Internet ought to be left unfilteredThe primary reason Internet censorship is wrong is simply because censorship is in direct violation of the First Amendment This point is first demonstrated by a 1982 case Island Trees Board of Education v Pico The local school board ordered removal from the school library books including Bernard Malamuds The Fixer and Richard Wrights Black Boy The Supreme Court held thatOur Constitution does not permit the official suppression of ideas In brief we hold that local school boards may not remove books from school library shelves simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books and seek by their removal to prescrive what shall be orthodox in politics nationalism religion or other matters of opinion Such purposes stand inescapably condemned by our precedents Wallace p2Although Pico dealt expressively with the removal of books it governs the use of blocking web sites as well for two reasons First blocking a web site is analogous
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