To a considerable degree, the rights of teachers are governed by the same principles applied to other government employees. When the government acts as employer, it may impose rules and regulations on employees, including some that affect their speech rights on work-related matters. For example, in government-funded health programs, the government may instruct its personnel to provide advice about family planning services, but not about abortion
Censorship -- the control of the information and ideas circulated within a society -- has been a hallmark of dictatorships throughout history. In the 20th Century, censorship was achieved through the examination of books, plays, films, television and radio programs, news reports, and other forms of communication for the purpose of altering or suppressing ideas found to be objectionable or offensive. The rationales for censorship have varied, with some censors targeting material deemed to be indecent or obscene; heretical or blasphemous; or seditious or treasonous. Thus, ideas have been suppressed under the guise of protecting three basic social institutions: the family, the church, and the state.
It is a violation of federal law to air obscene programming at any time. It is also a violation of federal law to air indecent programming or profane language during certain hours. Congress has given the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the responsibility for administratively enforcing these laws
Obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution and cannot be broadcast at any time. The Supreme Court has established that, to be obscene, material must meet a three-pronged test:
An average person, applying contemporary community standards, must find that the material, as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest;
The material must depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable law; and
The material, taken as a whole, must lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
What is dangerous or disturbing to one person or segment of society may be exciting and innovative to others and perhaps just "the truth" to still others. This combination of multiplicity of values and concern for young people keeps censorship alive in school and public libraries. Current concerns for literacy and critical thinking in education may actually increase incidents of censorship. Literacy assumes the power of texts and encourages exposure to competing ideas and beliefs
A constant stream of revolutionary new technologies erode existing protections, and greatly expanded powers for our security agencies allow the government to peer into our lives without due process or meaningful oversight. Our rights and liberties have undergone constant erosion since 9/11. Ten years later, the websites we browse are tracked, our cell phones log our movements, our tweets are monitored by the FBI, our Internet communications being read and stored, and the NSA secretly wiretaps our calls.
Within the past ten years, courts and legislatures have found these arguments so persuasive that censorship is now a relative rarity in most states... Somehow, things have not worked out as they were supposed to, and many civil-libertarians have said this was not what they meant...they also got a world in which homosexual rape is simulated on the stage, in which the public flocks to witness professional fornication, in which New York's Times Square has become a hideous marketplace for printed filth
As part of the 1941 War Powers Act, the (first) Lady's husband created the Office of Censorship, and appointed Byron Price, a respected Associated Press editor, to run it. Price convinced the President to let the media censor itself. He issued guidelines, but they came down to one pre-publication question for reporters: Is this information I would to like to have if I were the enemy?
China operates the world’s most elaborate and opaque system of Internet censorship. But Congress, under pressure to take action against the theft of intellectual property, is considering misguided legislation that would strengthen China’s Great Firewall and even bring major features of it to America...The bills aim not to censor political or religious speech as China does, but to protect American intellectual property
Censorship for reasons of security established in the World Wars, was institutionalized when President Truman allowed peacetime agencies to classify materials as “Top Secret,” etc. While this system was subsequently modified, the Defense Department and other government bureaus control massive amounts of information, a position increasingly complicated by computers and telecommunications technology. The 1966 Freedom of Information Act allowed citizens to view much government information on themselves and, with restrictions, on other public figures
Debates sometimes overlook subtler and yet troubling questions like those of ABC and Disney, where media conglomerates have created a climate in which news hostile to the corporate culture seldom is broadcast. Political correctness also evokes self-censorship. Omissions accepted so as not to offend (gay parents in elementary school books) or because of perceptions of audience (lack of minority figures or interracial romance on network television) remind us that self-censorship has a deep toll when significant issues are never discussed This is epitomized in the dramatic AIDS slogan: “Silence=Death.”