The Internet provides a world of knowledge and social connectivity at the click of a mouse. Whether on a desktop computer or via a mobile device, people in almost every country have access to the portal of the Internet. In the US there is a constant debate toward what this means for individuals. The Internet provides an avenue for communication. Furthermore the First Amendment of the Constitution ensures free speech and freedom of press should mean that individuals can go online without worry of regulation. However, is that actually the case? If you have Virginia CenturyLink Internet, you should know the truth.
Issues with Safety
In the instances of illegal activity , such as child pornography and drug trafficking, the lines of freedom of speech are blurred. After all, when the Internet provides a gateway for communication that ends up with sexual abuse, drug use or murder, there is a line that has been crossed. For the federal government this line means that regulations regarding Internet service must be put into action. Here are the regulations that the US federal government has attempted to impart on the use of the Internet by adults:
- Communications Decency Act (CDA) that regulates indecency and obscenity on the Internet with exceptions to third party services who use services, as well as those operators who have made every effort to restrictoffensive materials
- Child Online Protection Act (COPA) is intended to protect children but is found unconstitutional because it hinders adults’ protected speech
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects online service providers against unlawful copyright infringement
- Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is a law that protects those under 13 from providing their personal information or from using certain websites that are not accepted for children
- Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a law that protects children who use the Internet in schools or libraries by blocking in appropriate content and monitoring services, such as chat rooms or emailsystems, where children could be taken advantage of in regards to their personal information
- Trading with the Enemy Act prohibits companies in the US from trading online with companies on the blacklist via OFAC
While there are several laws and regulations in the books and in the works, the main goal is to protect the innocence of children and the humanity of adults. Having an ongoing conversation regarding Internet service and regulations with the federal government that makes laws pertaining to the use and access of the Internet’s services is key to maintaining our freedoms and rights for open communication.