The Internet has been referred to as a “global brain,” a “collective consciousness,” “the new home of Mind." Necessarily, limitations on access to information via the Internet are comparable to mental censorship, in that “undesirable” thoughts, ideas, or behaviors are indirectly restricted. Freedom of information and freedom of expression on all topics are necessary elements of a healthy democracy. The 1996 Communications Decency Act violates First Amendment protections of the right to receive and exchange ideas. Internet filtering software specifically designed to block information based on its content, inevitably prevents access to certain viewpoints, and thereby threatens cognitive liberty and creative, innovative thought.

See Also

Intellectual Freedom
Academic Freedom
Book Banning
Free Speech

Resources

Banning Books in the Digital Age: New Federal Law Makes Librarians Internet Censors
by Richard Glen Boire

Chilling Effects
A Berkman Center/Electronic Freedom Foundation project and website to empower Internet users with detailed information about their rights in the online environment.

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
A non-profit, non-partisan organization working in the public interest to protect fundamental civil liberties, including privacy and freedom of expression in the arena of computers and the Internet.

Peacefire
Organization that monitors Internet filtering software, and provides evasion technology.

Free Access to Information & Freedom of Expression
International Federation of Library Association and Institutions

The Constitutionality of the Communications Decency Act: Censorship on the Internet

See No Evil: A Self-Censored Internet
by Douglas Rushkoff

"The ability to dictate what we think about is controlled, to some extent, by the people who decide on the content of our media--which headlines will be printed, which groups will win recording contracts, and which stories will appear on the evening news. The ability to dictate *how* we think is controlled by the people who produce the tools of media--the browsers, file-sharing programs, and networks through which all this content is disseminated and, with any luck, discussed."


If you would like to expound on any of these issues or suggest additional resources, please contact us at
info@cognitiveliberty.org.


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