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The underlying problem of cyberporn was taken, at this point, as a given.
Representative Billy Tauzin of Louisiana made this clear in a speech to the House: The bill that we are considering today makes an honest attempt, without interference with the First Amendment, to provide that our sons or daughters will not easily access this information without our consent. 3783 attempts to address all the issues raised by the Supreme Court.
The day after the issue was published, Iowa Senator Charles Grassey directly referred to the Rimm study on the floor of the U. Grassley had read the Eightythree point five percent of all computerized photographs available on the Internet are pornographic. President, I want to repeat that: 83.5 percent of the 900,000 images reviewed — these are all on the Internet are pornographic, according to the Carnegie Mellon study.
In both cases, Internet content legislation is directly linked to mediafueled moral panics that concern uses of technology deemed harmful to children. The technopanic over online predators is remarkably similar to the cyberporn panic; both are fueled by media coverage, both rely on the idea of harm to children as the justification for Internet content restriction, and both have resulted in carefully crafted legislation to circumvent First Amendment concerns.
The 83.5 percent statistic which had prompted the story and fueled the entire cyberporn panic turned out to be largely made up (Hoffman and Novak, 1995b). An injunction was passed before the law went into effect, and on 12 June 1996, it was struck down 9-0 by the U. The Supreme Court did not agree with this defense, arguing instead that: The CDA differs from the various laws and orders upheld in those cases in many ways, including that it does not allow parents to consent to their children’s use of restricted materials; is not limited to commercial transactions; fails to provide any definition of indecent and omits any requirement that patently offensive material lack socially redeeming value; neither limits its broad categorical prohibitions to particular times nor bases them on an evaluation by an agency familiar with the mediums unique characteristics; is punitive; applies to a medium that, unlike radio, receives full First Amendment protection; and cannot be properly analyzed as a form of time, place, and manner regulation because it is a content based blanket restriction on speech.
These precedents, then, do not require the Court to uphold the CDA and are fully consistent with the application of the most stringent review of its provisions ( established the precedent that Internet content is entitled to the highest form of First Amendment protection, making further legislative regulation of adult content online difficult. A little over a year later, Senator Dan Coats (R IN), determined to circumvent the First Amendment issues which had doomed the CDA, introduced the Child Online Protection Act (COPA).
This is of particular interest currently as a new Internet content bill, the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA), is being debated in the U. Research demonstrates that legislation proposed — or passed to curb these problems is an extraordinary response; it is misguided and in many cases masks the underlying problem.
Introduction: The cyberporn panic Technopanics What is My Space?