Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Amendment I to the Constitution of the United States
ratified 15 December 1791
Over two centuries ago, the founders of this land saw fit to institute this and nine other protections for American citizens into the supreme law of this land. The Constitution of the United States and its amendments are, if I may refer to pop culture and use the Star Trek universe as a metaphor, like the Prime Directive of the United Federation of Planets. It is the rule that we and our government are supposed to follow in dealing with others around us. Our adoption is voluntary, but the compulsion on the Government to follow the directive is incontrovertible.
The Internet is a creation of the Government which had spread beyond its borders and beyond its control. In an attempt to regain control, the Government is now running the risk of violating the founders’ prime directive.
Like many things today, the Internet is a tool.
It’s a tool for freedom of information, for freedom of expression.
Like all tools, the Internet can be abused.
However, what’s abuse to one person can be of use to another.
Who decides? It’s up to the individual.
Hit the BACK button. Turn the channel. Change the station.
Turn the TV/computer/radio off.
That’s YOUR first line of defense if you don’t like what you
see or what you hear.
What about the children? Who decides for them?
Don’t abdicate your parental responsibilities!
If you’re allowing your kids on the Net,
you should either trust them or be aware of where they’re “surfing”.
Or, how’s this for a novel idea?
How about both?
In this age of political correctness, it’s fashionable to want the government to protect us from ourselves. That’s why debate rages about the Internet, V-chips, and the like.
The United States is supposed to be about freedom.
Not just any brand of freedom, but personal freedom.
That’s what makes this country special. I realize that also makes this country a scary place to live sometimes. Because it means that we have to work at it a lot harder than we’d like. Those are the breaks. It’s the price we pay for freedom.
If we don’t pay it, then we get fascism, not freedom.