Internet censorship discussed in Constitution Day lecture

Washburn Review

“Censoring the Internet” will be the topic of a Constitution and Citizenship Day presentation at noon, Friday, Sept. 17, in room 100 of Henderson Learning Resources Center, Washburn University.  The public is welcome and no admission is charged.

The purpose of Constitution and Citizenship Day is to honor and celebrate the privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship for both native-born and naturalized citizens, while commemorating the creation and signing of the supreme law of our land.

The speaker will be Derek Bambauer, an associate professor at Brooklyn (N.Y.) Law School, where he teaches Internet and intellectual property law.

He has published articles on intellectual property, information control and health law and has written technical articles on data recovery, fault tolerance and deployment of software upgrades.

Bambauer has presented on issues including spam and Internet filtering in both technical and policy settings, model laws for spam regulation and China’s online controls. He is also one of the authors of “Info/Law,” a blog that addresses Internet law, intellectual property and information law.

A former principal systems engineer at Lotus Development Corp. (part of IBM), Bambauer spent two years as a research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.

At Berkman, he was a member of the OpenNet Initiative, an academic consortium that tests and studies Internet censorship in countries such as China, Iran and Vietnam.

In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt designated the third Sunday in May as I Am an American Day. The observance, as stated by Roosevelt, was to honor those who have recently become members of our body politic, and at the same time reaffirm our allegiance to the principles of American citizenship.

He called upon federal, state and local officials, as well as patriotic and civic organizations, to hold exercises designed to impress upon our citizens, both native-born and naturalized, the privileges of their new status in our democracy and their responsibility for building this nation’s security and advancing its welfare.

In 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed a bill that renamed the holiday Citizenship Day and moved the observance to Sept. 17, the date the Constitution was signed in 1787.

Following the passage of a joint resolution in 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed the week beginning Sept. 17 and ending Sept. 23 each year as Constitution Week.

In 2004, Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) entered an amendment, known as Public Law 108-477, to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005 that changed the name of the Sept. 17 holiday to “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.”

The public is also invited to hear the arguments in three Kansas Court of Appeals cases at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. that day in Henderson 100.

Cameras are not permitted in the room when the Court of Appeals hears arguments from 9 to 11:30 a.m.