The Current Fcc Issue And 1st Amendment Rights

641 words - 3 pages

The same censorship that made George Orwell's novel "1984" a classic can be seen currently in the Federal Communications Commission's ("FCC") campaign for censorship. The present day actions taken by the FCC to deny the right to freedom of expression should be deemed unconstitutional.The First Amendment in the United States Bill of Rights states that we have the freedom of expression without government interference. However, bills passed by the government, such as the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004 ("Decency Act"), are in direct violation of this Amendment. The Decency Act essentially gives the FCC the ability to fine broadcast station licensees for demonstrating or broadcasting what the FCC defines as obscene, indecent, or profane language or images. The main objective of the Act is to monitor indecency. With the passing of the Decency Act, congress made a law t ...view middle of the document...

This is only one of many cases in which the FCC has unjustly imposed fines upon individuals exercising their freedom of speech.When a law or limitation on one's rights is considered by Congress a balancing test is taken into account: weather the benefits of the law outweigh the loss of freedom. With the instant law, one must ask what benefits are gained by restricting freedom of speech. After all, this freedom of speech is one of America's most valued assets.The FCC is going the wrong way about fighting indecency by using censorship. Censorship hinders crucial emotions and statements, and encroaches upon our ability to express ourselves. Censorship is defined as deleting parts of publications or correspondence or theatrical performances. If a set phrase of emotional distress is deleted from its context because it is found to be indecent, it causes the main idea to be ineffective; it becomes a waste of inspiration.With the introduction of the "V-chip" by the TV industry in 1997, came a new alternative to censorship. The V-chip gives every television show a "T.V. rating" that allows you, the viewer, to decide weather or not a certain program is offensive or obscene. The V-chip puts the power of censorship in your hands. The same concept of a rating system has been introduced into the video game industry, the internet, and some radio programs intended for a mature audience.With the passing of the Patriot Act in 2001, many Americans were left wondering if our Fourth Amendment rights were all that we were going to lose or if this was only the beginning. Now we're at risk of losing our First Amendment rights. "The thought police", also known as the FCC, are repressing our ability to express our true emotions by penalizing and reprimanding us with high fines. The FCC's main objective can be accomplished by using alternatives to censorship, such as the V-chip, without revoking our first amendment. In 1787, the citizens of the United States were given the unalienable right to freedom of speech. In 2004, that same freedom was taken away by the passing of the Decency Act.


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