Philosophical Reflections on Free Speech in Cyberspace
Computer Ethics Institute, April 27, 1995
Richard A. Spinello, Boston College
"Since its inception a libertarian ethic has prevailed in cyberspace. There has been a great reluctance to restrict or screen any form of information on the network for fear of stifling an atmosphere that encourages a free and open exchange of ideas. . . . But there are two trends which may force us to rethink this laissez-faire approach. The first is the increased use of the Internet, the prototype of the impending information highway. . . . its informal rules of behavior are starting to break down. The other trend which is unrelated and somewhat more subtle is the propensity to regard civil liberties as absolutes."
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