Thursday, March 22, 2007

Online Constitutional Rights

Federal courts have struck down an opportunity to regulate the Internet. How is this a first amendment issue? Does regulation need to occur? Can we prosecute parents,online providers, or web-hosting sites,web authors for not filtering?


The 84 page decision.

Link to Brown's other site


Superfly said...

Not having read said "94 page document" and, irregardless of my views on the subject of pornography, I do not think it's appropriate for the computer (servers, software, etc) to bring itself into my home and govern what I can and cannot view on my personal computer. It is not the responsibility of computer programmers to decide for me what I feel is appropriate or not for my children (obviously I don't have my own children, but I am very active in the upbringing of my younger siblings) to be viewing.

Secondly, if you're grown, who is this ISP (that you are paying for, by the way) to censor you? If you want to be nasty and sit at home in the middle of the night watching internet pornography instead of doing something constructive (like being a loser and commenting on ten different bogs - wink) that's your business. Nothing (and I’m just not even going to get into pop-ups right now, that’s why your turn on that pop-up zapper…) comes waltzing into your computer (through that server whose services you pay for) that you don’t go out into the internet world, search for, and invite back in. I would understand if you had websites knocking on the other side of your monitor screen, pressing lewd photos up against the glass and slipping grimy pamphlets under your door (or screen, whatever), but they are not. You are venturing out into that big, scary world and taking souvenirs. I also don't agree with what Ms. Grants was implying about finding causation between serial killers/rapists and pornography in their childhoods. Sexual abuse in the family, yes, but I've not read anything about a kid looking at porn and becoming a serial rapist because of it... But that's a different story altogether.

Just the idea of having the computer teach your child morals and having your child use the computer as a way to experience the world and make judgements about the world is so sickeningly sad. First of all, why is your five year old spending all this time (unsupervised?) on the computer instead of exploring his actual world and interacting with people? This whole idea of children just sitting for hours surfing the net is taking away so much from our society in terms of interpersonal relationships. But maybe that's a story for another time as well...?

In closing; I have my right to speech and press (I think internet websites fit very nicely under either one of those) and I would like to keep it that way, thank you very much. Maybe if people were more open about sexuality and their bodies, instead of treating every little thing as such a novelty or something bad; something you’d get your hand slapped for, maybe we wouldn’t have these problems. In a similar vein to the controversy surrounding the Vagina Monologues and the N-word, if we were more open to discussing these things and more educated concerning them I don’t think this would be an issue. We have all these amazing rights (and they really are just that cool) and there are so many amazing places we can go with them that we have yet to try but, rather than learn how to use them effectively we would rather sit on our behinds and give them up. I don’t need to get truthful, factual news about the world, I don’t need to view pornography, you can tap my phone and strip-search my grandmother at the airport because I am too damn lazy to fight for my rights and learn to use them constructively. Remember, leave your rights alone, and they’ll go away.

kaitlyn said...

I somewhat agree with what joanna said about not wanting the computer to dictact what we can see on it, yet I also want to make sure that my family is safe from material that is unsuitable on the web. What is "unsuitable" may be different for every family, but I think it's safe to say, porn, does fit under that category.

One solution to the problem of unsuspected internet-goers is to use parental controls so that a child doesn't see information their parents don't want them to see. That's a good option, but many adults don't know how to put parental controls on their computers. Today my mom took 20 to type a 5 sentence e-mail and called me every five seconds when something didn't go right. She can barely turn on the computer let alone put parental controls on it. In class joanna said that she put controls on her computer for her younger siblings, but what if they didn't have her to do it for them. What do you say to the family with two kids under the age of twelve, who might not know as much about the internet as say a seventeen year old. Those kids probably wouldn't know how to use the controls. Another thing that I mentioned in class was that, what happens when the server decides to stop their controls because they feel everyone can do it themselves, yet you have families who are not as technologically advanced and might not know how to use their own controls. The controls they should be getting from their server are not there, so the poor child looking up baseball for a school project might get other information about balls that wouldve been blocked by the server.

A better solution would be to block information by the age of the user, something the parents would have to specify. With this solution a ten year old searching about butterflies recieves information deemed appropriate for ten year olds, while a twenty-five year old doing the same search, gets information appropriate for them. With that solution you don't have the ten year old finding out information that isn't appropriate for them. If parents do not feel that they need to sensor their children then they don't have to put controls on their computers.