Monday, June 6, 2011

Internet Censorship

Freedom to speech has been violated since the time that speech has been in existence. However, internet censorship has only aroused in recent years.  In February of 1996, the CDA sought to protect minors from inappropriate or harmful materials online, by criminalizing the transmission of what they claimed to be "indecent" materials. In 1997 the Supreme Court ruled against the CDA, and stated that this was an unconstitutional restriction of the Internet.  They followed this by saying the internet is deserving of the full First Amendment protection.

Since then, internet censorship has been a common concern in the modern day world.  Sites are often shut down or blocked by the government and other organizations for being inappropriate.  In schools, site blockers and filters are put up that stop students from entering the sites they deem inappropriate.  However, these site blockers also block many sites that are very informational and useful for students. Some websites seem to have inappropriate content, but they are actually educational. For example some school filters block sites such as: Gay Lesbian Straight Network,  Planned Parenthood, and NYCLU Teen Health Initiative .  They inadvertently block innocent speech, and violate the human right of freedom of speech.

 A day after creating this blog about internet censorship in school, our blog was filtered.  The web filter in our school, Harwood Union High School, deemed it an inappropriate site, and listed its reason as "Mature."  We created another blog titled Internet Censorship in Harwood, and minutes after creation, it to was filtered.  After creating many blogs and testing to see what exactly was censored, we found that by mentioning the controversial sites that are commonly blocked by filters, our blog itself was filtered.

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