Archives For censorship

when that idiot was making his case about adult content i posted about COPA/CIPA and the fights in the courts, well there`s been a new development.

yesterday the Supreme Court; including Clarence Thomas; voted 5-4, to bar enforcement of COPA/CIPA because it violates constitutional free speech rights.

“The 5-4 ruling, however, does not resolve the constitutional question in a case pitting free-speech rights against efforts by the U.S. Congress to protect minors from online pornography.”

read the rest of the story

before someone misconstrues my joy; this decision makes me happy because it tries to put the responsibility for what`s accessible for children online, in the hands of parents; where it should be.

what price freedom

June 14, 2004 — Leave a comment

i`m hoping this is my last entry about/to odorone. i had intended to do a step by step analysis of all the things he`s said about my journal, but i`ve decided there is no point.

odorone is not interested in logic or legality, he is, as i`ve pointed out before a bully. he`s ignored many well thought out arguments on journalspace, some of mine included because at the end of the day it`s not what he wants to hear. he`s deluded himself into thinking what he`s doing is right and worthy, the law and good sense be damned and he`ll malign and make all manner of assumptions and incorrect statements to back his argument.

my posts haven`t been about him, per se, it`s about the principle of what he`s doing and my inability to sit and let more personal freedoms slip away because of apathy.

i will not sit idly by and let someone else`s idea of morals be the benchmark for my children. i`m resident in a country where the library association publishes a list of children`s books that people called for to be banned.

the campaign that`s started here is only a small step down a slippery slope. if we give in now, when are we going to make our stand, when you can`t find I know why the caged bird sings, Catcher in the Rye, The Color Purple, To Kill a Mocking Bird on the shelves of the library because someone started a campaign to `protect the children`?

by then it will be too late.

as parents you have one simple job, be responsible for you children. don`t rely on school or television or the internet or video games or the government to tell you what`s best for you children. take the time to know who your children are, what their interest are and what they do. it`s not society`s job or the school`s job or the media`s job to teach your children, it`s the your job as a parent.

i have adult content on my journal and if some child find their way to my journal i`ll be upset, but not with the child, but the parents that let them roam about unaccompanied. the simplest analogy i can find, the internet is a like a giant mall, you wouldn`t let your child roam about the mall unaccompanied, would you?

the other point about taking responsibility for you children is when faced with situations that you wouldn`t approve of, they will have your moral compass ingrained in them so they will know right from wrong and very rarely disappoint you.

i don`t need odorone tell me what my children shouldn`t see, i know what i don`t want them to see and ensure that they don`t and if they`re not in my immediate sphere of influence and they see or hear something that`s inappropriate they will behave appropriately because they`ve been taught right from wrong by us, their parents.

I have the power

June 8, 2004 — Leave a comment

well i have the power now. NES changed the power lines outside my house today, leaving me without power until mere moments ago. it`s just one of the many things that have infuriated me today. i can`t say that i didn`t know they were cutting the power, they did come and say 8:30 – 11:30, but we didn`t have power and that`s just irritating.

coupled with that i discovered the cheque for which we`ve been hovering over the mailbox and waiting with bated breath hasn`t even been mailed yet. that`s right, one week later and it`s not gone out yet. as i said to vic, when you freelance, you get accustomed to being shat upon from high places, you don`t  have to like it, but you fucking well better learn to accept it.

but it wasn`t my intention to be whiny today, i had big plans for today and it involved the late, great, St. Ronnie. for those of you unfamiliar with that, it was sarcasm. I just finished writing a magnum opus and then thought, my status here is still tentative is it not. i can think it but for a while yet, i may not commit it to any format.

does anyone else notice what`s wrong with that sentence? isn`t this the land of the free, the home of the brave? or has than been trademarked by the department of homeland security with fine print that reads `void where prohibited`?

when did it come to this? the chipping away of the freedoms that bring so many people to these shores? i didn`t come here to breathe the sweet air of freedom, i came here for love and as happy as that makes me there are day when i awake chilled, because the freedoms i grew up with and have grown accustomed to, i can no longer take for granted. i have to censor my thoughts and my speech on a daily basis. there is no way that can be right.

and in some sort of circuitous way i`m find myself back to where my original train of thought; how long has Ronald Reagan been really dead and what is he being paraded before us one last time to hide.

a historical timeline for censorship and down near the end are some interesting dates:

1995 – United States Senator Charles Grassley from Iowa proposed the Protection of Children from Pornography Act. The law was eventually placed with the Telecommunications Act.

1996 – The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed. The new law discussed issues of obscene material over the internet.

26 June 1997 – The United States Supreme Court voted unanimously that the Telecommunications Act was in violation of the first amendment.

1997 – The White House stated that, “Advanced blocking and filtering technology* is doing a far more effective job of shielding children from inappropriate material than could any law.”

20 April 2001 – The Children`s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) went into effect. The law requires all schools and libraries who receive federal funds for the Internet to install blocking software.

May 2002 – The American Library Association received a ruling that CIPA is unconstitutional. They appealed the decision, making the case go to the Supreme Court.

March 2003 – Arguments for the CIPA case began in the Supreme Court.

February 9, 2004 The United States Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

But that isn`t the end: “When the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), the ruling was limited to issues of whether the statute, as written, was an unconstitutional limitation of freedom of speech. In holding that the wording of the law did not present an unconstitutional limitation on the exercise of free speech, the Supreme Court did not address the constitutionality of the application of the law. Two of the Justices who concurred that CIPA was legal on its face, in fact, suggested the possibility of future legal challenges to CIPA as it is applied in public libraries. This paper discusses potential problems related to the implementation of CIPA that could affect the exercise of free speech in public libraries. It also suggests possible legal challenges to the application of the law that could be made using established First Amendment jurisprudence. The legal issues that might be used to challenge the Court’s decision include least restrictive alternative, vagueness, overbreadth, request policies, prior restraints, public forum, and limitations on political speech. The discussion of each legal issue offers an approach that could be taken in formulating and raising a legal challenge to the application of CIPA.”

this opens the CIPA to be challenged on other grounds.

*the problem with the filters however is that they tend to be flawed, blocking information that is pertinent and useful as well as inappropriate:

Given the tremendous amount of material on the Internet that must be reviewed, it is inevitable that a few mistakes will be made and otherwise useful material blocked.  Groups critical of Internet filters have found that the following sites have been blocked:

• Amnesty International

• American Family Association

• Banned Books On-line

• The Religious Society of Friends

• The Safer Sex Page

• The Web site of Rep. Dick Armey

• Dozens of Web sites of candidates in the last election

• Child Online Protection Act commissioners’ pages that had the word “cum” (as in “magna-cum-laude”) in the bio

• Information on China’’s response to the spread of AIDS

• National Association of Women

• People of the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

• The American Association of University Women Maryland.

A useful report concerning Internet filters is the “Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Faulty Filters: How Content Filters Block Access to Kid-Friendly Information on the Internet”

Peacefire recently conducted a review of the sites one Internet filter, SurfWatch, blocked of the first 1,000 working .coms. According to Peacefire, out of 1,000 sites tested, 147 were blocked. Of those 147 blocked sites, 96 sites were under construction and did not have content, 42 were non-pornographic and did not have sexually explicit content and nine were pornographic.  According to Peacefire, this constitutes an error rate of 82 percent. A search of the Surfwatch (now SurfControl) Web site revealed press releases acknowledging – but not refuting – the Peacefire study.

today`s post brought to you by:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation