Right Responsibilities And Real Deal By Butler Essay

Rights, Responsibility and the Real Deal by Jeremy Butler The Right to Free
Speech is Protected Ideas are the backbone of democracy. However we see fit to
express those ideas is a right provided in the Constitution of the United
States. No matter the format of that expression someone will find them offensive
and seek to stop that expression. The Communications Decency Act is just the
latest incarnation of small minds raging against the tide. The CDA stomps on the
first amendment of the Constitution like a bunch of bikers in hobnailed boots.

It must be relentlessly pursued until dead. Everyone participating in the 24
Hours of Democracy is part of the hunting party that will see to that.

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Thankfully we are not alone, the ACLU, EFF, VTW and others are on our side. And
let’s not forget our most powerful ally is the Constitution itself. The framers
of the Constitution fought a bloody Revolution based on freedom of speech and
other rights of a truly free people. They included no qualifications on that
free speech. That principle has been upheld with minimal exceptions (no shouting
“FIRE” in a crowded theater, please). The CDA is not the first (or
last) legislation to attack free speech, and it won’t survive in the courts any
better than past laws. That is the purpose of the judicial branch of the
government, to balance the excesses of the legislative (Congress) and the
executive (President) branches. Our forefathers included that in the
Constitution too, almost as if they knew that government would be dominated by
self serving, arrogant prostitutes who could only be controlled by pitting them
against one another. I believe in the U.S. system of government, even while
questioning the motives and methods of the participants. Our voices and votes
will be heard. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s just government. It is our
Responsibility to Maintain the Net Culture Pornography is a tripwire, out in the
fringes of the larger issue of free speech. I’m glad it’s there, so we know when
the storm troopers are coming (no pun intended), but it is not the reason the
First Amendment is there. Open political discourse, such as 24 Hours of
Democracy, is the idea the founders were protecting. So long as the general
public only hears “We want our porn” they will never hear the real
message “We are fighting for your freedom”. We cannot forget the
General Public; we must gather and nurture their support. The Net has always
been about openness, but at the same time it has always been self policing (ask
any flamee). It is our responsibility to maintain that environment. While the
anything goes rule must be protected, we must provide the tools to allow parents
to control the content of what their children access. We must voluntarily adopt
some form of rating system that makes it simple. We must not only provide the
means, we must aggressively and happily promote them (without whining). To do
less is to avoid our responsibility and hand control over to others. This is a
political issue, if we don’t police ourselves then the public will demand that
it be done for them. If it is done by the government, you can be assured we will
come full circle to this point again. It is that simple. Providing Content on
the Net is the Real Deal. The whole telecommunications bill is about the Net of
the Future. The floodgates are open, the carriers can now build their pipes from
any place to any place, everybody gets to create content for sale and the media
giants are happy. Picture the land rushes into the West, a cannon goes off and
everybody charges off to stake their claim. The Net has one key difference,
unlimited territory. Right now anybody with the right equipment and the
knowledge can be a Net/Web presence with the content of their choice and
basically doesn’t have to ask ANYBODY. That must be protected from central
authority, whether governmental or corporate. That responsibility falls to us,
because we are here and we understand what we have. We are the Thomas Paine’s of
our age with a printing press, a burning desire for freedom and the will to risk
it all to print a political pamphlet. We have the tools, the desire is evident
in 24 Hours of Democracy, and thanks to a functional democratic system the risks
are relatively low (no gallows at least). We must create our own territory and
defend it. There will be casualties, just like Phil Zimmerman and Steve Jackson,
but that is the price of freedom. The public is coming to the Net, we must
promote Net culture as we know it. If we fail ,then all we end up with is 500
channel cable, VoD, home shopping and whatever else the media giants deliver for
us to consume (including all the pornography you are willing to pay for), while
they sell us their products.


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