Cyber Porn








Imagine a place where you have access to anything and everything one could want. Some would say that is only existent in a utopia, and some would say that describes the Internet. Many adults go on to the net and access pornographic material that would be unsuitable for children. This is called cyberporn. The controversy lies in the fact that children are accessing these materials also. Government, activist groups, and concerned parents are fighting to regulate obscene material found over the Internet to protect children. The first amendment is the only thing protecting adults from losing their rights to obtain pornographic or indecent material on the net. Under the first amendment the government must not regulate cyberporn.
Online sex has been around since the first bulletin boards were available over the computer in the early 1980\'s. People would pay to down load pornographic pictures and talk dirty to each other. Usenet groups took control of porn after the Internet came about. They did not charge people to down load picture and to interact with others. In result, Internet porn grew (Rosen 16). Things have changed drastically since then with over a million different sites available to access porn. Now it is not just for adults. Children are accessing the obscene materials. This brings rise to issues of how to protect them from problems that can arise. The materials they view, could influence children. They could also be subjected to cybersex in a chat room full of people that could be three times their age. Worst of all pedophilias could influence children to meet with them outside of the computer. The government and the United States citizens must now figure out how to protect our children from the effects of cyberporn, and yet at the same time protect the adults from loosing their constitutional rights.
In response to the need to protect children the Communications Decency Act was passed. The first part of the CDA states if you display “indecent” or “patently offensive” information on the Internet, “in a manner available to a person under eighteen years of age,” you are a criminal and have broken the law. The second part of the CDA reads you have a defense against prosecution if you take “reasonable, effective, and appropriate action” by restricting access to minors by needing a credit card (verified), debit account, adult access code, or adult personal identification number. This act is to be thought of as a way to legally zone porn behind and electric gate that can only be accessed by those who have adult identification. To receive full access to pornographic materials, one can pay a one-time fee of $9.95 to an “Adult Check” service (Levy 54). Also the Child Pornography Protection Act has been passed. It is to combat the use of computer technology that enables a pornographer to alter a picture of a child to make it seem as though the child engaged in an explicit sex act (Quittner 74). Rulings about child pornography have existed for years and will always enacted whether it is in the cyber universe or in magazine and movies. State laws are also being made against smut found on the inter net. New York passed a law making information found on the Internet that would be illegal if published in a book or magazine, illegal. People who violate the law could receive up to four years in jail (Rosen 16). The Exon amendment, if passed, will make communication between adults limited and restrict kids from accessing these materials. This is part of the House of Representatives Contract with the American people saying that they need to protect children from the exposure to pornography over the Internet (Rafter A3). The Supreme court is having a lot of conflict with these new laws so until they can be passed parents will need to use the technology that is already available to censor the net. Children can get into a lot of trouble and bad situations while visiting a cyberporn site. The worst possible situation is if they were becoming a victim of a pedophile while in a cybersex chat room. After visiting some of the sites, “...pedophiles will use the materials to arouse themselves and then seek out children...Whether it’s simulated