Signed into law in April by Governor Patrick and effective today, the law, Chapter 74 of the Acts of 2010, imposes severe restrictions on the distribution of constitutionally protected speech on the Internet. The law could make anyone who operates a website or communicates through a listserv criminally liable for nudity or sexually related material, if the material can be considered “harmful to minors” under the law’s definition. In effect, it bans from the Internet anything that may be “harmful to minors,” including material adults have a First Amendment right to view. Violators can be fined $10,000 or sentenced to up to five years in prison, or both.
“The Internet is the broadest, most participatory marketplace for human expression ever created, enabling hundreds of millions of people of all ages throughout the world to communicate with a speed and ease never before possible,” said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “If allowed to go into effect, this law would reduce all Internet content and discussion to a level suitable for young children. It must not be allowed to go into effect.”
The point here is simply this. The ruling class will continue trying to use wedge and emotionally loaded issues like this in order to put a stop to the free exchange of information on the Internet, because that exchange is a threat to their political control.
I remain surprised that I have to explain this to anyone.
The signs are clear. In Australia, you already have government censorship via blacklisting of web sites IN PLACE and active.
And now, our very own government is pushing a program called ‘Perfect Citizen’, with obvious lack of irony or knowledge of the term ‘Orwellian’.