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Internet Censorship. Flora Wan Computer Science 99 Winter 2000. What can be found on the net?. www.newdream.net/bored/messages/7699.html www.dmoz.org/Computers/Hacking/Cracking/ www.asiadragons.com/indonesia/forum/messages/9486.html Other examples: Pornography, illegal software, etc.

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Internet Censorship

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Internet Censorship

Flora Wan

Computer Science 99

Winter 2000


What can be found on the net?

www.newdream.net/bored/messages/7699.html

www.dmoz.org/Computers/Hacking/Cracking/

www.asiadragons.com/indonesia/forum/messages/9486.html

  • Other examples: Pornography, illegal software, etc.


The Ethical Issues

  • Columbine Shooting incident

  • Heaven’s Gate UFO cult

  • Children and pornography

  • Encouraging hate and violence

Columbine

Shooting

Heaven’s Gate Cult


What is done about it now?

  • Administrators block web sites

    • University of Pittsburgh (www.antionline.com)

  • Internet filtering software

    • Cyber Patrol, Net Nanny, SurfWatch


How well does it work?

  • The Internet Filter Assessment Project

    • Committee of Librarians

    • Objectionable web sites found 78% of the time even when filter is used to its full capacity

    • Valid information blocked 35% of the time


Sites that have been blocked

  • Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention, Inc.

  • Breast Cancer Legislation page

  • Emergency Contraceptive Pills

  • Stop Prisoner Rape

  • SuperBowl XXX

  • Mars Exploration

  • The Starr Report

  • Hotmail


What about “Freedom of Speech”?

  • The First Amendment

    • Congress shall make no law . . . prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . .

  • Opportunity for freedom of speech in other politically repressed countries


What is different about the net?

  • Unlike traditional media, the internet has no regulation on who can broadcast material

  • Information goes beyond the borders

    • www.karlin.mff.cuni.cz/~mkec6264/suicide.htm


What can be done about it?

  • Cut down on illegal activities

    • Child pornography

    • Pirated Software

  • Individuals should be more aware of Information that can be found

  • Educate children


Conclusion

  • Internet content should not be censored:

    • 1. Censoring blocks valuable information

    • 2. Free Speech

    • 3. Infeasible to regulate the World Wide Web


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