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Judges rule that COPA restricts free speech.

7:36 pm on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Court Nixes Child Net Porn Law [wired.com] (-Wired)

A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the Child Online Protection Act restricted free speech by barring website operators from posting information inappropriate for minors unless they limited the site to adults. The ruling upheld an injunction blocking the government from enforcing the law.
9:31 pm on Mar 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I love to see our constitution enforced but not sure what to make of this.

I think it is sort of unconstitutional to have to be forced to include and exclude content (Speech) for one thing due to something else such as an adult site.

Who judges what is inappropriate for minors? No to be picky but what's the basis?


4:33 pm on Mar 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think the next paragragh explains the ruling a little better.

"The court said that in practice, the law made it too difficult for adults to view material protected by the First Amendment, including many non-pornographic sites."

I expect that the law makers can refine the verbiage in this law and pass effective legislation.

4:41 pm on Mar 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This kind of thing is truly outrageous. The responsibility to define what is appropriate and then monitor the children belongs to their parents. The internet is not a babysitter for children nor should it be made rated G for anyone without a credit card or other age-verifying scheme. You wouldn't let your child run around a city by him/herself, nor should you let your child roam the unfiltered internet alone. It is not only freedom of speech that is reduced by this type of legislation, but also privacy. In order to access material deemed "adult" by some governmental body (which could include a huge range of things), you'd have to participate in some type of identify-verification system. This is NOT a good idea.
1:22 pm on Mar 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Who judges what is inappropriate for minors? No to be picky but what's the basis?

The courts have ruled that material may be regulated if it is of a strictly prurient nature according to local community standards.

Michealangelo's David has art value, therefore escapes the "strictly prurient" part. The courts consider that different communities may view things differently. e.g. things that are scandalous in Upstate South Carolina (my home) may be accepted in Las Vegas or San Francisco. Hence, the second part of that standard.


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