Hate Crime on the Internet: Ramifications of Internet Technology on Today's Children, Focusing on the Prevalence of Internet Hate, and Recommendations on How to Shield Children from the Negative Impact of Violent Media, Hearing Before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, One Hundred Sixth Congress, First Session, September 14, 1999 [open pdf - 1MB]
From the opening statement of Orrin G. Hatch: "The Internet is a technology that heralds a breadth of understanding and education never before imagined. It holds a promise for disseminating knowledge and breaking down barriers to learning and understanding that is unrivaled, and I have accordingly been a staunch advocate and proponent of efforts to keep the Internet unregulated and competitive. However, today's hearing will focus on ramifications of Internet technology that can only be described as troubling. Unfortunately, for many parents, one of the timeless truths of good parenting, to teach children not to speak with strangers, has passed from the realm of the possible into a relic of a bygone day. We live in a time, according to a recent poll, when a full 60 percent of parents disagree with the proposition that the Internet is a safe place for kids. And no wonder. In a technology seldom understood as well by parents as by their children, the universal information-sharing neighborhood established by the Internet has come to shelter a league of misfits intent on marketing their brand of hate to America's future. The knowledge of our children's lives, without which we cannot hope to fulfill our responsibilities as parents, seems increasingly out of our grasp, and the imagination and introspection that are so essential to a child's development are threatened by a technology where the power for advancement of knowledge exists alongside the possibility of contamination through hate. The strangers we warned our children not to speak to are, I fear, the very ones using the anonymity promised in cyberspace to prowl for children, to whom they could never hope to endear themselves on a street corner. […] We must be vigilant and prompt in our efforts to begin eliminating hate on the Internet, but we must also do so with exactitude. From this complicated maze of issues, there is simply no simple answer, and with the First Amendment as our country's first premise, we know that any solutions that we endorse must recognize that the surest way to defeat the message of hate is to hold it under the harsh light of public scrutiny." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Orrin Hatch, Patrick J. Leahy, Michael J. Gennaco, Edward M. Kennedy, Abraham Cooper, Wade Henderson, Howard Berkowitz, Joseph T. Roy, Karen Narasaki.
S. Hrg. 106-803; Senate Hearing 106-803; Serial No. J-106-48
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