[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Child Online Protection Act is unconstitutional


=============================== BEGIN ================================

Anti-Smut Law Struck Down

4:05 p.m.  1.Feb.99.PST

A new law that restricts Web smut violates the First Amendment, a 
federal judge ruled Monday in a widely watched lawsuit.

Calling a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union a "rare 
case," US District Judge Lowell A. Reed Jr. said he would like to see 
future attempts by Congress to regulate the Net succeed -- but the law 
went too far.

"Perhaps we do the minors of this country harm if First Amendment 
protections, which they will with age inherit fully, are chipped away 
in the name of their protection," Reed wrote in a preliminary 
injunction ruling.

Reed barred the government from prosecuting anyone under the Child 
Online Protection Act, which restricts "harmful to minors" material on 
commercial Web sites, unless the government appeals.

In January, Reed heard arguments by the ACLU and the US Department of 
Justice in a lawsuit challenging the law, which Congress approved last 
year as part of a mammoth spending measure.

================================ END =================================