Arguments Supporting the CDA


"Act as free men, but do not let your freedom be a cover for evil."
--Apostle Peter to churches in the Mediterranean

Congress passed the CDA to protect children. Therefore most of the support I found came from pro-family and Christian organizations.

The Family Research Council is a pro-family group that continues to work toward passing the CDA. The online article was Catherine Cleaver's response to the overturning of the CDA. In it she wrote, "the Telecommunications Act was Congress's attempt to expand the development of the Internet through various means, including financial incentives and discounts for schools to provide Internet access to all children. The goal of stimulating the growth and use of the Internet for all, including children, requires a concomitant responsibility to take steps to make the Internet safely available to them." She also stated that "the CDA is not a ban on indecency and should not be interpreted to have the same effect as a ban" (8).

Authors of the "Responsible Speech Page" fight for responsible control of indecent material on the Internet. Responsible Speech advocates ask Internet publishers to use the privlege of free speech, but not to abuse it. "Responsible Speech" authors contend, "There appears to be a fairly common misconception that being free to do something means you possess an irrevocable license to do it. What seems to be lacking is an understanding that our 'rights' also confer an irrevocable responsibility to exercise our freedoms intelligently and responsibly" (4). The authors They propose a solution to the restrictions of the CDA: require a "tag" that would alert surfers of questionable speech on messages and pages and would permit parents to screen the information and allow non-consenting adults the opportunity to avoid it. The authors of the Original Responsible Speech Page believe this is a viable answer to to the CDA because the tag would prove there is no intent to harm individuals with indecent information(4). However, under the CDA merely posting the information would be illegal whether or not there is a tag or an intent to harm. The information would still be available to minors who choose to ignore the alert.

Most of the information I found on the internet was anti-CDA. One of my friends made a good point. He said, "Maybe that's because you were on the Internet...the actual thing they're trying to censor. For support of the act, you should probably go to the library and look in the stacks." After considering that, I think he's probably right. People who feel the need for Internet censorship probably aren't on it enough to realize the value of free speech in this medium. Or the impossibility of censoring it.

More Pages Supporting the CDA

Also, more information about the CDA!