Legislation to Help Protect Children in Cyberspace
At this point, you may be wondering how it could be that so many crimes in real life can so easily be committed in cyberspace? Selling drugs, pedaling child porn, sexual predatory behavior, etc. seems to run rampant in the online world, how come? The nature of Internet pornography, indecency, obscenity, and the sort of person who uses it has resulted in a war that is being waged on the Internet, in children’s homes, and certainly on Capitol Hill. The debate has raised not only questions of what exactly is obscenity, harassment, free speech, and censorship, but also of government control over the Internet. In other words, technology has forced us to question what we have always assumed about some very important ideas and made us face the precious balance between democracy and safety. Also, federal and state laws that appropriately delineates actions and consequences has not kept up with the pace of developing technology. We see this in all aspects of our lives. There is more technology available than we know what to do with and how to manage. Yet another reason for legislative inadequacy deals with the enforcement aspect. Because technology is everywhere, sexual predators and other criminals are more of a “moving target” than ever before. They can support their criminal behavior from just about anywhere and at any time of the day or night. The authorities simply do not have the necessary human and financial resources to stay one step ahead.
Whatever legislation ends up being imposed in this arena, it will set a precedent for how the government deals with the exchange of information in the future. Is the Internet a free forum for discussion, or is it a broadcasting service, and therefore subject to the same restrictions as television, print, or radio? Are communications on the Internet covered by the right to privacy? And who is accountable for what happens on it?
Although more slowly than we would like, legislation continues to further the cause of protecting children online. Following is a summary of several major laws of which to be aware (in chronological order of enactment) and accompanying websites for further details. Then, I would like to increase your awareness of other efforts and remind you to take action by participating in the legislative process.
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- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- The Homework Debate
- Social Cognitive Theory
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- First Grade Sight Words List