Assignment and Points for the Week Chapter 3 in our Cyberethics text deals with the umbrella topic of Cyberspeech. Even though we have a first amendment guarantee of our rights to free speech, we are also, in some way, guaranteed that we will be protected from the free speech of others, and this can be seen in the courts that try cases of slander (when someone verbally abuses us to others) and libel (when someone puts that abuse in writing). In whatever instance we speak, we make a conscious choice to do so publicly or privately, but we may not be consciously aware of the implications or value of our choices.

Read the articles in Chapter 3 (pages 87-136) and respond on the discussion board with a three-paragraph journal concerning what you think to be the most salient point within the section.

30 points for the discussion board -- up to 15 for the first posting and up to 15 for subsequent postings (worth up to 3 points each).


30 points for the activities -- they are each worth ten points, and you may do up to three of them. They are as follows:

a) View the ACLU and EFF websites. How do they characterize the threat against free speech? How significant do you feel this threat is?
b) If we take the concept of free speech seriously, then can we, in your opinion, draw a line? View the Imperial Knights of America and Virtual Child Pornography.
c) Review the Electronic Privacy Information Center and the Freedom to Read Foundation. What connections do you draw between the freedom of speech and the right to read anonymously?
d) Given the reality of the anonymous voodoo doll, where would you draw the line at anonymity?
e) Sherry Turkle's "Who Am We?" provides a strong defense of anonymity. Read the article and discuss what you think is her most important point.
f) While some online cybersex chats, like encourage viewer anonymity, others, like "The Temple" in CU World (an otherwise family and academic oriented site) require that cameras be on the faces of participants. In your opinion, how much of ourselves can we reveal and still preserve our anonymity?
g) To what extent ought we to ensure rights of anonymity to criminals in the case of murder? (Remember our discussion in Week 7 about sex offenders.)
h) How would you teach the value of anonymity in cyber-relations to elementary and secondary school children who are developing a fluency in cyberspace? What ought they to know about how to conduct themselves and how much information to give others? Find a website that you can use in your lesson.
i) What are the pros and cons of anonymous remailers, in your opinion?