Friday, April 8, 2011

Is Your Net Being Censored?

Threats to Internet Freedom

Internet Censorship - First Amendement Error

Threats to Free Speech on the Net: Censorship and Copyright Law

Despite the universally recognized benefits of the Internet revolution by academics and millions of Internet users everywhere, some special interests seek to undermine the core feature that has made the Internet so successful: its freedom.

There are two main threats to freedom of speech on the Internet today. The first threat to free speech on the Internet is website filtering and censorship by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Many Americans are unaware that Internet censorship is currently practiced in the United States. It’s true: the Associated Press recently caught Comcast secretly using Web filtering technologies similar to those used in China to censor the Internet.

The second threat to free speech on the Internet is oppressive copyright law enforcement by media conglomerates like Viacomand Warner Brothers. The old-fashioned, literal interpretation of copyright law in a digital age is threatening to stifle the creativity of our generation by criminalizing our creative social behavior. Some awesome Stanford University professors have played a crucial role in the fight to defend free speech on the Internet. Lawrence Lessig, professor of law at Stanford Law School and founder of the Stanford Center for Internet and Society has led the fight to preserve freedom on the Internet. Professor Lessig’s work to establishCreative Commons, a groundbreaking non-profit organization “devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally” has been one of his greatest successes.

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