INTERNET REGULATION: POLICING CYBERSPACE

INTERNET

REGULATION: POLICING CYBERSPACE

The Internet is a method of communication
and a source
of information that is becoming more popular
among those who
are interested in, and have the time to
surf the information
superhighway. The problem with this
much information being
accessible to this many people is that
some of it is deemed
inappropriate for minors. The government
wants censorship,
but a segment of the population does not.

Legislative
regulation of the Internet would be an
appropriate function
of the government.

The Communications Decency Act is
an amendment which
prevents the information superhighway
from becoming a
computer "red light district." On

June 14, 1995, by a vote
of 84-16, the United States Senate passed
the amendment. It
is now being brought through the House
of Representatives.1

The Internet is owned and operated
by the government,
which gives them the obligation to restrict
the materials
available through it. Though it
appears to have sprung up
overnight, the inspiration of free-spirited
hackers, it in
fact was born in Defense Department Cold

War projects of the

1950s.2 The United States Government
owns the Internet and
has the responsibility to determine who
uses it and how it
is used.

The government must control what
information is
accessible from its agencies.

This material is not lawfully available
through
the mail or over the telephone, there
is no valid
reason these perverts should be allowed
unimpeded
on the Internet. Since our initiative,
the
industry has commendably advanced some
blocking
devices, but they are not a substitute
for
well-reasoned law.4

Because the Internet has become one of
the biggest sources
of information in this world, legislative
safeguards are
imperative.

The government gives citizens the
privilege of using
the Internet, but it has never given them
the right to use
it.

They seem to rationalize that the framers
of the
constitution planned & plotted at
great length to
make certain that above all else, the
profiteering
pornographer, the pervert and the pedophile
must
be free to practice their pursuits in
the presence
of children on a taxpayer created and
subsidized
computer network.3

People like this are the ones in the wrong.

Taxpayer\'s
dollars are being spent bringing obscene
text and graphics
into the homes of people all over the
world.

The government must take control
to prevent
pornographers from using the Internet
however they see fit
because they are breaking laws that have
existed for years.

Cyberpunks, those most popularly associated
with the

Internet, are members of a rebellious
society that are
polluting these networks with information
containing
pornography, racism, and other forms of
explicit
information.

When they start rooting around for a crime,
new
cybercops are entering a pretty unfriendly
environment. Cyberspace, especially
the Internet,
is full of those who embrace a frontier
culture
that is hostile to authority and fearful
that any
intrusions of police or government will
destroy
their self-regulating world.5

The self-regulating environment desired
by the cyberpunks is
an opportunity to do whatever they want.

The Communications

Decency Act is an attempt on part of the
government to
control their "free attitude" displayed
in homepages such as

"Sex, Adult Pictures, X-Rated Porn", "Hot

Sleazy Pictures
(Cum again + again)" and "sex, sex, sex.
heck, it\'s better
even better than real sex"6. "What
we are doing is simply
making the same laws, held constitutional
time and time
again by the courts with regard to obscenity
and indecency
through the mail and telephones, applicable
to the

Internet."7 To keep these kinds
of pictures off home
computers, the government must control
information on the

Internet, just as it controls obscenity
through the mail or
on the phone.

Legislative regulations must be
made to control
information on the Internet because the
displaying or
distribution of obscene material is illegal.

The courts have generally held that obscenity
is
illegal under all circumstances for all
ages,
while "indecency" is generally allowable
to
adults, but that laws protecting children
from
this "lesser" form are acceptable.

It\'s called
protecting those among us who are children
from
the vagrancies of adults.8

The constitution of the United States has
set regulations to
determine what is categorized as obscenity
and what is not.

In Miller vs. California, 413 U.S. at 24-25,
the
court announced its "Miller Test" and
held, at 29,
that its three part test constituted "concrete
guidelines to isolate \'hard core\' pornography
from
expression protected by the First Amendment.9

By laws previously set by the government,
obscene
pornography should not be accessible on
the Internet.

The government must police the Internet
because people
are breaking laws. "Right now, cyberspace
is like a
neighborhood without a police department."10

Currently
anyone can put anything he wants on the

Internet with no
penalties. "The Communications Decency

Act gives law
enforcement new tools to prosecute those
who would use a
computer to make the equivalent of obscene
telephone calls,
to prosecute \'electronic stalkers\' who
terrorize their
victims, to clamp down on electronic distributors
of obscene
materials, and to enhance the chances
of prosecution of
those who would provide pornography to
children via a
computer."

The government must regulate the
flow of information on
the Internet because some of the commercial
blocking devices
used to filter this information are insufficient.

"Cybercops especially worry that outlaws
are now able to use
powerful cryptography to send and receive
uncrackable secret
communications and are also aided by anonymous
re-mailers."11 By using features
like these it is
impossible to use blocking devices to
stop children from
accessing this information. Devices
set up to detect
specified strings of characters will not
filter those that
it cannot read.

The government has