Free Speech and Cyber Space Research Paper

Total Length: 933 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

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People can communicate with family and friends even at very long distances without having to pay exorbitant amounts for long-distance calls. Disabled people who are socially isolated have a means of contacting others like themselves. Kids struggling with their homework can receive help from their classmates or get instant feedback from others. There are also the more personal aspects of a person's life which are taken care of by Internet access.

Of course, there are a myriad of issues with the internet which are not nearly so positive. People have organized crimes on the internet, have planned them out and sought out individuals to help them with their plans. White-collar criminals have used the internet to defraud people of their money. People illegally download everything from movies to music and video games so they do not have to pay for them by going to the store and buying them legally. Whenever someone goes online, they release information of a kind to the rest of the world. Those who have put their credit card or social security information online either for purchasing things or for applications has had their identities stolen.

Children are particularly at risk for victimization while online. Again, they have had identities stolen, but also many have become the victims of child predators, adults who stalk children online usually through social media of some kind and lure them into a physical meeting where they can be abducted, sexually victimized, and then many wind up dead. Those who do not actually have meetings with these predators have been convinced to pose for sexual photographs and in various stages of undress.
These people then share their exploits or photos and films with other like-minded people all via the anonymity granted them by their computers.

The internet provides positive things, but it grants the ability to victimize and be victimized by people who have little fear of there being ramifications for their actions. In the case of the production or creation of child pornography, the photos and materials are sent along the web and it becomes hard to trace their origins, so the perpetrators go on without fear of consequences.

For all the above reasons, the internet has been asked to self-regulate, to prevent children from being contacted by perpetrators, to stop thieves and fraudsters from making a living off of the suffering of others, and stopping otherwise law abiding people from criminal action simply because they do not fear consequences. In the case of illegal downloading, many people do it because they are of the opinion it is a victimless crime and that "everyone does it." This is a form of censorship because governments doing the regulation demand that the internet providers refrain from doing business with some people because of potential victimization.….....

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