Computers, Information Technology, the Internet, Ethics, Society and Human Values

Philip Pecorino, Ph.D.

Queensborough Community College,  CUNY

Chapter 4 Law: Freedom of Speech and Censorship



The Constitution in Cyberspace," Laurence H. Tribe

Freedom of Expression ACLU

Readings on Computer Communications and Freedom of Expression

The Internet Censorship Saga: 1994-1997

Banning newsgroups at CMU in 1994
The Great Cyberporn Scare of 1995
The Communications Decency Act of 1996

Communications Decency Act CDA  TEXT

Reno v. ACLU, 1997 (CDA unconstitutional)

ACLU v. Reno III (Third Circuit, 2001)

ACLU site on Internet Censorship

Commission on Online Protection Act  Commission Report, Executive Summary    

Children's Privacy Legislation (USA).


What Things Regulate Speech:CDA 2.0 vs. Filtering  Lawrence Lessig Concerning matters of security of information and freedom of expression

James Boyle, Foucault in Cyberspace:  Surveillance, Sovereignty, and Hardwired Censors, 66 U. Cin. L. Rev. 177 (1997) (Lexis-Nexis)   

Azad Tribune -Arabic-Iran based-Azad Tribune is a platform for bloggers, journalists and activists to discuss issues relating to freedom of expression. Azad Tribune is a project by ARTICLE 19 – an international campaign for freedom of expression worldwide


First Amendment - background

Schenck v. U.S., 249 U.S. 47 (1919)
Abrams v. U.S., 250 U.S. 616 (1919)
Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)
Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969)
FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978)
Sable Communications v. FCC, 492 U.S. 115 (1989)
New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964)
Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323 (1974) 

UMKC E-Commerce Tax Policy Project Information about taxes on E-Commerce both domestically and internationally

Children's Access to the Web


SOCIETIES and Organizations

Electronic Frontier Foundation. John Perry Barlow is a retired Wyoming cattle rancher, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Since May of 1998, he has been a Fellow at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society   His manifesto, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace has been widely distributed on the Net and can be found on more than 20, 000 sites. Partly as a consequence of that, he was called "the Thomas Jefferson of Cyberspace" by Yahoo Internet Life Magazine back when such cyber-hyperbole was fashionable.

Electronic Frontier Canada (gopher)

Electronic Privacy Information Center  EPIC

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia

F.A.C.T.Net Inc. (a non-profit Internet digest, news service, library, dialogue center, and archive dedicated to the promotion and defense of international free thought, free speech, and privacy rights)



COURSE  MIT 6.805/6.806/STS085: Ethics and Law on the Electronic Frontier Privacy and Transparency

Web Surfer's Caveat: These are class notes, intended to comment on readings and amplify class discussion. They should be read as such. They are not intended for publication or general distribution.                @copyright 2006 Philip A. Pecorino                       

Last updated 8-2006                                                              Return to Table of Contents