INTERNET FREE EXPRESSION ALLIANCE
NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION JOINS INTERNET FREE EXPRESSION ALLIANCE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For Immediate Release
December 1, 1997
Contact: David Greene (800) 477-6233/(202) 393-2787
Washington, DC -- Only five months ago, the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression celebrated the Supreme Court's decision in ACLU v. Reno that reaffirmed the central role of free expression in our democracy and acknowledged that the Internet was a uniquely powerful forum. Today NCFE joins the Internet Free Expression Alliance in response to efforts that, rather than celebrate, apologize for the Internet's role in providing exchange of information and cultivating free expression,
"In the clamor to provide parents with technological tools to control what materials their children can access online, the Internet industry is threatening the Internet's fundamental character," said NCFE executive director David Mendoza. "Parents must be truthfully informed about what these so-called 'blocking technologies' would censor from their children including a wide range of artistic, educational, political material."
Mendoza emphasized that the federal government's ambiguous role in the current efforts to exert control over Internet content does not diminish the harm that would befall the freedom of expression. "This nation's Free Speech ethic is not just a restriction on governmental action - 'Congress shall make no law. . .' - it is also an affirmation that we as a society value unfettered public discourse. By straightjacketing the Internet it would barely resemble the 'dynamic' medium lauded by the Supreme Court as providing 'any person with a phone line . . . a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox.'
"NCFE continues to encourage instead efforts to educate parents about the Internet so that they may play their proper role in determining what their children can access, as well has engaging in family discussions about societal dangers that existed before and apart from the Internet," he concluded.
The National Campaign for Freedom of Expression is an educational and advocacy network of artists, arts organizations and concerned citizens founded to fight censorship and to protect and extend the First Amendment right to freedom of artistic expression. NCFE is the only national organization exclusively dedicated to challenging the erosion of the First Amendment as applied to the support, presentation, and creation of the arts in our culture.
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