When a Pressure Group Calls
April 1997

Peace Symbol

Katherine Phelps

The Internet has given people greater ability to express opinions, debate ideas, and publish information than ever before. Such activities are core rights within a democratic society. Nevertheless, some people are afraid of allowing freedom of expression for various reasons. As such the Internet seems to pose a great threat to them and their way of life. The result is that certain religious, political, and corporate groups may decide to take things into their own hands in order to stop individuals from posting certain messages or maintaining certain kinds of Web pages. To further their cause they may also pressure the Internet Service Providers who give access to those who post "offending" material.

Should you be the individual that a pressure group focuses upon in order to abridge your freedom of expression, or the ISP who has users that a pressure group objects to, it is important to know that you can take certain clear steps to ensure your safety and the strongest case possible should you end up in court.

Remember that the pressure group you are facing is made up of human individuals and, however misguided, they have a right to their beliefs. They do NOT have a right to harass or harm other individuals, and you have the right to question their beliefs and stand up for what you believe in.