Supreme Court

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by X3 Classic on in Uncategorized

We knew this would not get passed but here is the latest:

Since 1998, the Justice Department has
been pushing an anti-pornography law that is so vague and
technologically illiterate that support for it finally crumbled last
week when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the department’s
appeal. The law, the Child Online Protection Act, was ruled
unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
last summer.

The law was so vague that many major newspapers signed on to a
lawsuit against it because it could put their Web sites in jeopardy.

The law read:

Whoever knowingly and with knowledge of the character of
the material, in interstate or foreign commerce by means of the World
Wide Web, makes any communication for commercial purposes that is
available to any minor and that includes any material that is harmful
to minors shall be fined not more than $50,000, imprisoned not more
than 6 months, or both.

The phrase “harmful to minors” was vague and left up to community
interpretation with no standard for what might constitute a violation.

The New York Times,
which was a party to the lawsuit, wrote on Monday: “Society has a
legitimate interest in keeping sexually explicit material away from
minors. But as the courts have repeatedly emphasized, it cannot be done
through a sweeping censorship regime.”

The other problem with the law was it applied only to data sent from
a server to a Web page. CNET’s Declan McCullagh pointed to the
technological problems with the law:

Another reason for the erosion of support may be that
because the law was written so long ago, it’s surprisingly limited. It
applies only to material delivered “by means of the World Wide
Web”–meaning that it doesn’t cover peer-to-peer file sharing, the
Usenet newsgroups, … games like Virtual Hottie 2, those naughty things
happening in Second Life, videos watched via a third-party iPhone
application, or streaming porn viewed through the VideoLAN Client,
RealPlayer, or Windows Media Player desktop applications.

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