Freedom of Speech
Should the people be allowed complete freedom of speech and press on the internet?
Not entirely. When someone has complete and utter freedom to publish whatever they want on the internet, it can potentially cause serious problems. They could say things or upload photos that may compromise another person and their privacy. The people should be allowed freedom of speech and press on the internet, but only to a certain extent.
The Litigation Group from Public Citizen states that the rapid growth of the internet and internet technologies provides a renewed opportunity for citizens to have their voices heard on a wide variety of issues. But what happens when that voice becomes too loud? As stated earlier, it can become a problem, ("The Litigation Group").
An example of the power of freedom of speech and press on the internet was in a federal case where the judge ruled to shut down a website. A Swiss bank had a website called Wikileaks.org, and it is said that it was publishing stolen, confidential bank records. They say that this site is a "whistleblower site," which means that the information published is supposed to remain secret ("Free Expression").
Another example of a free speech case and the internet was in Littleton, CO. Bryan Lopez, a junior at Littleton High School, had posted some satirical things about the school on the internet. He used the site Myspace.com to write this information. It had information about the rundown appearance of the school, the behavior and demographics of students and faculty members, and other things such as percieved racial biases of teachers and administrators and poor supply of student resources. Even though this couldn't be accessed this from any school computers, it somehow was filtered through other sites and was made apparent to the school administrators. He was suspended for a total of fifteen days. This case was eventually dissolved, without any lawsuits ("American Civil Liberties Union").
So should we really have overall and complete freedom to say what we want and publish what we want onto the internet? If it causes this much trouble with the government, it shouldn't be that leaniant. It doesn't even have to be official government problems. It could be two teenagers having it out on instant messenger or Myspace, and something gets said that is way out of line. But with freedom of speech and press even on the internet,that teen is protected. So what happens? Nothing. There should be more restrictions on speech, press, and their effects on the internet.
By Maggie B