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Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Close Up the Internet and Repeal the First Amendment – Election Season is Here

You know elections are upon us when politicians start talking about wanting to “close up” the Internet, or censor Twitter and Facebook.  Throw in a couple terrorist attacks and you have the perfect storm for loss of cherished First Amendment rights. Donald Trump’s suggestion that America should consider “closing up the Internet in some way…

Private Censorship – Fighting Suppression of Speech by Non-Governmental Actors

Government censorship in the Internet age has been a consistent focal point for free speech advocates.  Recent examples of censorship by the American government can be egregious, including the curtailment of First Amendment rights through mass surveillance, overregulation of disfavored speech, criminal prosecution, and outright bans on books, movies, and websites.  However, the First Amendment…

The Great Firewall of Britain

We started hearing rumblings of anti-porn censorship by European governments at the beginning of the year. Back in March, the E.U. Parliament voted on a proposal that would have set out the path for laws “banning pornography in all media” across the E.U., including the Internet. Fortunately, the controversial “porn ban” section of the proposal…

Unspoken Words: The Chilling Effect of NSA Surveillance Abuses

In early 2012 when the news first went mainstream that the NSA was building its “Spy Center” in Utah, public reaction was much closer to Area 51-esque skepticism than the warranted level of alarm.  However, recent events show that we can barely go a week without another accusation of the National Security Agency abusing its…

Criminalizing Online Innovation: State Attorneys General Seek to Amend Section 230

Deceptively invoking the ‘save the children’ mantra yet again, State AG’s are reigniting the battle against online escort advertising websites, this time calling on Congress to amend one of the Internet’s few statutory guardians: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.  Section 230, arguably the most important law to date in terms of protecting online…

Florida Sheriff Continues ‘War on Porn’ and Sets Sights on Backpage

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is well known for his faith-based campaign against erotic entertainment.  His morality police strike again, this time with a promise to go after the world’s second largest classified ad website, Backpage.com.  The threats of prosecution come on the heels of a four day sting operation resulting in the arrest of…

Dangerous Intersections

Could a webcam model also be a paid escort and an active member of a “hookup” dating site?  Naturally, the answer is “yes,” but at what costs?  Blurring the lines between these adult-themed user categories creates an uncharted hybrid of legal exposure, for both, the individual model/escort and those operating the associated websites.  However, more…

Feminism or Fascism: Iceland’s Stunning Ban on Pornography May Be Spreading

Iceland recently made headlines with the latest project on its allegedly progressive agenda: a nation-wide ban on pornography.  No stranger to proscribing activities related to commercializing sex, Iceland has already passed laws banning printed pornography, prostitution and stripping, and has done so all in the name of feminism.  Rattling off the standard laundry list of…

2012 in Review: Internet Censorship & the Acronyms We Love to Hate

With the new year upon us, two things become painfully apparent in concluding 2012 sans post-apocalyptic bedlam: 1) the Mayans seem to have preferred tequila breaks over finishing their calendaring duties, and 2) there are no more excuses justifying willful blindness to any of the damage done during the last twelve months.  No, we’re not…

Caged Pussy Riot: Protecting the Peace or Putin’s Political Revenge?

Between YouTube videos sparking Middle Eastern riots, and the Westboro Baptist Church continuing its ministry one hateful protest at a time, recent headlines have illustrated the unique place that Free Speech rights occupy in American society and jurisprudence.  While these particular examples of expression are obviously disturbing to many, it is just such offensive speech…