Kids Have First Amendment Rights, Too
Peck, Robert S., Symons, Ann K., American Libraries
TWO INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM FIGHTERS CLARIFY WHAT THE "BIRTH CERTIFICATE FOR THE INTERNET" MEANS FOR LIBRARIANS AND MINORS AS THE SCHOOL YEAR BEGINS
In striking down the purpotedly Internet-purifying Communications Decency Act (CDA), the U.S. Supreme Court held that First Amendment principles apply with undiminished vitality in the vast, uninhibited expanses of cyberspace. Likening electronic conversations to those of a town crier with an enhanced audience and transmitted text and images to Revolutionary-era pamphlets, the Court's opinion enunciated an expansive view of free speech for the 21st century that was rooted in its 18th-century textual origins.
ALA and Freedom to Read Foundation lawyer Bruce Ennis, who argued the case before the Supreme Court, called the decision the "birth certificate for the Internet." The High Court's decision guarantees that speech on the Internet receives the highest level of constitutional protection available, equal to that afforded to newspapers and books and not the more limited free-speech protection granted to broadcasters.
Some answers to Internet problems skirt around fights
While the Court's decision definitively resolved the freespeech status of "indecent" and "patently offensive" electronic expression, many people, quite naturally, continue to be concerned about the exposure of young children to the Internet's most untamed frontiers, from sexually explicit material to violence to "politically incorrect" speech. President Clinton announced that he wants to encourage efforts to develop a "V-chip" for the Internet. The U.S. Congress and the states have begun to …
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Publication information: Article title: Kids Have First Amendment Rights, Too. Contributors: Peck, Robert S. - Author, Symons, Ann K. - Author. Magazine title: American Libraries. Volume: 28. Issue: 8 Publication date: September 1997. Page number: 64+. © 1984 American Library Association. COPYRIGHT 1997 Gale Group.
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