Terrorist/Bomb Making Material on the Internet Should it be Available? Members: Censorship Group • Kevin Wyler • January Tavel • Christina Huynh • Andrea Swift Censorship Issues in Historic and Modern Times Censorship and the First Amendment • Censorship violates the concepts of freedom of expression • Printer John Zenger, publisher of the New York Weekly journal -most famous case -trial created an American cultural sentiment, which opposed this kind of government censorship Early Years vs Now Early Years Now • 1790, the First Amendment • television, radio, internet of the Constitution is exist formed • Sometimes, censorship is -was written vaguely influenced by the kind of -Supreme Court has medium the message is transmitted (Pember 120) interpreted it „s meaning on a case-by-case basis • Issues with Internet are: sexually explicit, -What is the right? pornographic and obscene 1) “to say or publish what they wish” or violent content, hate 2) “it is the protection of the public‟s speech, and terrorist right to know, or society‟s right to be speech, etc… informed” (Pember 42) -there are limitations Legislation and Terrorist Speech Issues “The Internet and other interactive computer services offer a forum for a true diversity of political discourse, unique opportunities for cultural development, and myriad avenues for intellectual activity” (Title II of the Communications Act of 1934) *the writers of this piece of legislation probably had no idea that obtaining knowledge of how to make a bomb would be a part of that intellectual acitvity Introduction We will explore the terrorist speech on the Internet, related legislation and government activity, and the arguments for and against censorship of terrorist speech online. For the purposes of our discussion of censorship, it will be important to consider terrorism in the information and communication context only. EPIC • The Electronic Privacy Information Centre opposes the Communications Decency Act, which was adopted by the Senate Commerce Committee on March 24, 1995. • Does limiting the information that one ca attain on the internet invade their privacy? • They believe that it is unconstitutional restriction on free expression, personal privacy, and intellectual freedom. Oklahoma City Bombing 2 Amendments • The Violent and Repeat • Criminal Prohibition on Juvenile Offender Distributing of certain Accountability and Information relating to Rehabilitation Act of 1999 Explosives, Destructive -Passed by the Senate on Devices,and Weapons of May 20, 1999 Mass Destruction -Requires Internet Service Providers “to provide -makes it a crime to teach residential customers with or demonstrate the making computer software or other of an explosive device on filtering or blocking system the Internet that allows the customer to prevent access of minors to material on the Internet The Violent and Repeat Juvenile Offender Accountability and Rehabilitation Act of 1999 • Passed by the Senate on May 20, 1999 • Requires Internet Service Providers “to provide residential customers with computer software or other filtering or blocking system that allows the customer to prevent access of minors to material on the Internet Pro-censorship Argument • FBI‟s definition of terrorism= “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof,in furtherance of political or social objectives.” (whether offline or online) Why is information about Bombs available? Senator Dianne Feinstein‟s View • Believes 1st Amendment protections should not be extending to the kind of information that is easily available on the Internet and teaches people how to build bombs that kill • According to her the government should have the right to prevent people from endangering public safety, and to protect national security by restricting access to such information 2 Supreme Court Decisions • 1996, Paladian • 1993, World Trade Center bombing Enterprises, INC -testimony before -was cited in the Congress in Feb. 2000, wrongful death suit for FBI Director Louis Freech said “convicted terrorist publishing “Hit Man: Ramzi Yousef- traded A Technical Manual detailed plans to destroy for Independent United States‟ airliners Contractors” with other terrorist over the Internet The Violent and Repeat Juvenile Offender Accountability and Rehabilitation Act of 1999 • Passed by the Senate on May 20, 1999 • Requires Internet Service Providers “to provide residential customers with computer software or other filtering or blocking system that allows the customer to prevent access of minors to material on the Internet Anti-censorship Argument “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” (US Constitution) Pros & Cons • Constitution‟s framers believed that freedom of inquiry and liberty of expression were the hallmarks of a democratic society March 29, 2001 • The 9th US Court of Appeals overturned an Oregon court‟s ruling that order anti-abortion activists who created a website, which provides the names of addresses of abortion doctors to pay $107 million in damages to Planned Parenthood and four doctors -critics =“domestic terrorism and deadly threats” -anti-abortionists argue= “nothing in their materials specifically advocated violence against abortion providers” Conclusion • Ultimately, censorship of any kind is a complex issue in which consideration of both individual First Amendment rights and national interests must be considered. We can see by examining the court decisions regarding terrorist speech online and offline, that the circumstances of each case play a role in determining the court‟s ruling and that decisions specifically applying to Internet issues have yet to be set.
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