Defending Free speech in the Digital Age
A first-person account of the fight to preserve First Amendment rights in the digital age.
Lawyer and writer Mike Godwin has been at the forefront of the struggle to preserve freedom of speech on the Internet. In Cyber Rights he recounts the major cases and issues in which he was involved and offers his views on free speech and other constitutional rights in the digital age. Godwin shows how the law and the Constitution apply, or should apply, in cyberspace and defends the Net against those who would damage it for their own purposes. Godwin details events and phenomena that have shaped our understanding of rights in cyberspace—including early antihacker fears that colored law enforcement activities in the early 1990s, the struggle between the Church of Scientology and its critics on the Net, disputes about protecting copyrighted works on the Net, and what he calls "the great cyberporn panic." That panic, he shows, laid bare the plans of those hoping to use our children in an effort to impose a new censorship regime on what otherwise could be the most liberating communications medium the world has seen. Most important, Godwin shows how anyone—not just lawyers, journalists, policy makers, and the rich and well connected—can use the Net to hold media and political institutions accountable and to ensure that the truth is known.