The United States was founded on the principles of justice, freedom and equality for all. Today the country prides itself for being the land of the free and the home of the brave. Recently, however, it appears that the country has started to diverge from these principles as the government starts contemplating the possibility of censuring internet materials that are considered inappropriate (including pornography and racial propaganda). In attempting to limit the circulation of such materials, the government contemplates alternatives (be it at a federal or state level) to impose the usage of filtering programs and there has even been discussion of possibly criminalizing those who circulate such materials. I consider that either alternative goes against the United States’ core. American citizens have inalienable rights to freedom of speech, press and expression, and attempting to censure such rights constitutes a flagrant violation of Americans’ civil and human rights.
The Internet revolutionized the way in which communications and information circulate. Today people around the world have instant access to almost any kind of information and/or content they wish to view. Based on this many believe that the Internet has reaffirmed people’s rights to be free and pursuit their own happiness by whatever means they may deem necessary (just as long as they do not affect others in a negative way). Others, however, consider that the Internet is not an enhancement to people’s right to free expression, but instead a direct threat to the stability of such principles. Government certainly believes this to be the case; “regulators have fallen back on alternatives, predicated on the fact that, in contrast to the usual free expression scenario, the Internet is not dyadic” (Kreimer, 2006, p. 1). I believe such a view is outright wrong. People have a right to watch pornography if they want and if they indulge in racist propaganda (or anything else for that matter) that is their prerogative. As long as people do not transgress their own rights and threaten the rights of others, each should be able to see, read and listen to what he\she wants.