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Word Count: 1,439
It was once forcasted that computers in the future would weigh no more than 15 tons Of course in todays technologically savvy times its a common occurrence to see people holding their computers in their lap or even in their hand Theres no doubt about it the computer already plays an important role in our lives and that role is likely to expand as more advancements are made However new innovations mean new controversies The Internet for example has transformed the way people communicate conduct business learn and entertain themselves With a simple click of the mouse key one can do things that were thought science fiction just a few decades ago For all the benefits associated with the Internet the presence of pornography hate groups and other distasteful topics has lead to a nationwide debate on first amendment rights and censorship The goal for the Internet should not be total freedom for unsavory groups to deliver their message to whomever they can but a balance between the freedom of those who want this material and the freedom of those who do not When President Clinton signed the Communication Decency Act into law on February 8 1996 he effectively approved the largest alteration of national communication laws in 62 years In order to elicit a response from web creators who published indecent sites the bill instituted criminal penalties However the emphasis in the bill was on decency and not obscenity- which had long been established as the method to determine what was supported by the first amendment and what was not The CDA was eventually overthrown in Reno vs ACLU because of the unconstitutionality vague wording and the noted importance in keeping the Internet a hospital arena for free expression and speech In 1998 another piece of legislation was approved called the Child Online Protection Act or COPA that is considered less stringent than the Communication Decency Act but is currently undergoing the same
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