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Supreme Court
Strikes Down Internet Porn Law

Supreme Court
Strikes Down Internet Porn Law

The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a decision that a federal law created to keep children away from Internet pornography violates free speech rights.

The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a decision that a federal law created to keep children away from Internet pornography violates free speech rights.

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal from the Justice Department, handing the victory over to those who argued that Congress's efforts to regulate cyberspace violated free speech rights.

The law required that website operators use credit card numbers and access codes to keep children away from seeing adult content. Violators faced up to six months in prison and fines up to $50,000 per day.

The law was adopted in 1998 when the Supreme Court struck down another law called the Communications Decency Act. It has never been enforced because lower courts have repeatedly ruled it unconstitutional.

The Justice Department appealed to the Supreme Court after a U.S. appeals court in Philadelphia declared the law unconstitutional for being overly broad and too vague.

In enforced, the law would have punished as many as 700 million websites. The law was challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union and a number of gay adult booksellers and online properties, including A Different Light Bookstores and PlanetOut Corp. (Advocate.com)

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