In January of 1996, Congress passed and the President signed the Communications Decency Act. This law makes it a criminal offense to make available on the Internet to anyone under 18 material that is "indecent." What is or is not "indecent" depends on where you are and what you think; it's not defined in the law and it's definitely broader than "obscenity." Many people find these pages "indecent." We don't know if the FBI would agree but we don't like the idea that they get to put us in jail if they do.
Right after the law went into effect, a large and diverse group of people and organizations challenged the law in court as an infringement of the First Amendment right to free speech. Last spring, a three judge panel agreed and enjoined the law. That decision was then appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court heard arguments this past February and will release a decision in June. We at CPS are part of the amicus brief in this case.
For more information about the CDA case and about free speech and freedom on the Internet generally, visit these sites:
|some people don't want kids to see these pages|