TECH 08

TECH #8
6/27/97

The world wide web became a bit more tangible with the recent Supreme Court decision
ruling the Communications Decency Act unconstitutional. That law put a ban on the
dissemination over the internet of sexually explicit material to anyone younger than 18.
The high court ruled that key parts of the CDA violates free speech rights, amounting to
illegal government censorship. Hey wait a minute! Isn’t it a bad thing to show pictures of
naked men and women to children? That’s not the point.

To listen to ultra conservative supporters of the CDA, the internet is a gutter populated
with perverts trying to snatch the innocence from our children. This simply isn’t true. All
the talk about how easy it is to find nudity on line unfairly overshadows what is good and
wholesome about the internet. The fact that web addresses relating to art and science
outnumber adult sites by hundreds of thousands to one seemed to be forgotten in the fray
over the controversial legislation. Thank goodness it has been put aside.

You want to know what’s right about the internet? Try clicking on the Port Folio Weekly
web site at http://www1.infi.net/portfolio. It’s a wonderful resource for Hampton Roads
families looking for things to do with the kids. Or try the official Disney web address and
download pictures of the new animated film Hercules. If there are no youngsters running
around your life right now, wonderful vistas explaining science and displaying art abound
on the web. Take a walk through the Smithsonian. Look through the Hubble telescope.
Discover the good life on line.