"This law requires, in effect, that any adult wishing to receive constitutionally protected material must register with a Web site before receiving information," said David Sobel, EPIC's general counsel. "We are confident that the courts will continue to protect the right of all Americans to receive informationwithout sacrificing their privacy.". But proponents of the Oxley bill, which passed the House last week, counter that the statute is narrowly tailored to only apply to commercial sites that offer any communication, image, or writing that contains nudity or actual or simulated sex, or that "lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific" value.
Supporters say the bill will make Web site operators think twice before they slap up pornography or other sexual material without using an adult verification system or requesting a credit card number, "It will force these commercial adult sites to take their 'teasers' and place them behind credit card technology--which is like putting a brown wrapper around material in cyberspace," Monique Nelson, chief executive of Enough is Enough, which lobbied for thelegislation, said today, "We are saying that this same material, that is not available to children on the street, should not be commercially available on the Web," she added, "We will fight hard to defend this god is greater than the highs and lows iphone case legislation."..
However, it is unclear if the Child Online Protection Act could adequately serve its purpose. In an October 5 letter to the House Commerce Committee, Anthony Sutin, acting assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, said he had severe reservations about the constitutionality of the billand expressed concern that there would not be enough manpower to enforce the statute in addition to busting child pornographerson the Net among other criminal offenders. "The department's enforcement of a new criminal prohibition such as that proposed in the [Child Online Protection Act] could require undesirable diversion of critical investigative and prosecutorial resources that the department currently invests in combating traffickers in hard-core child pornography, in thwarting child predators, and in prosecuting large-scale and multidistrict commercial distributors of obscene materials," Sutin wrote.
"Such god is greater than the highs and lows iphone case a provision would likely be challenged on constitutional grounds, since it would be a content-based restriction applicable to 'the vast democratic of the Internet,'" he added, citing the Supreme Court decision in the CDA, Unlike material that is "harmful to minors," it already is illegal to post "obscenity" on the Net, Under the so-called Miller Test, material is "obscene" if it meets three criteria: "the average person, applying contemporary communitystandards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to theprurient interest"; "if the work depicts or describes, in a patentlyoffensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable statelaw"; and "if the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic,political, or scientific value."..
In addition to the commercial Web site provision, the Child OnlineProtection Act lays out other requirements. The bill passed by the House also calls for a public-private commission to study emerging technologies that could limit minors' access to adult content, such as the creation of a special red-light district domain, such as "adult.us," which could be blocked by filtering products. Free speech groups are preparing to file a suit against the government if the Child Online Protection Act is signed into law as expected.
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