Freedom of Speech, Press, and Assembly

??s equivalent arises, as does the question of increasing concerns that come up where civil rights and law enforcement agencies clash whilst dealing with social media and the World Wide Web.

It may be argued by civil right enthusiasts, that the internet is merely a virtual forum to exchange ideas. However, the limits first arose when the internet became a hub of indecent activities and the exchange of pornographic material arose. This matter was sought to be corrected by levying the Communications Decency Act in 1996, as it restricted unsafe and indecent material from getting shared especially for the minors and imposed criminal penalties on them (Parker, 2003).

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An important development in the history of the tussles between the content displayed on the internet as well as the first amendment resulted in the case of Reno versus American Civil Liberties Union in 1996. It resulted in putting an end to the “Communications Decency Act”, as it was decided that the internet was an amalgamation of diverse interactions and possesses extremely low barriers for interaction. Thus, it is next to impossible to monitor its activities strictly (Crawford et al., 1996).

However, these are not the only concerns civil liberty supporters have with law enforcement officials. In the wake of 9/11, the problems of terrorist activities have also been displayed on the internet. This has been discovered in the form of websites that have been restricted in many a countries due to sensitive content being displayed on them (Allport, 2003). The imposition of this ban may seem to antagonize the very concept of freedom of speech by the first amendment, were it to be compared thus. Yet, at times social media and internet content needs restriction to protect the safety and sovereignty of their nation.

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