FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Top News

Supreme Court Evaluates Online Porn Law

October 17, 2003  | 

The question of how to reconcile the problem of online child pornography with the danger of excessive censorship has again reached the Supreme Court.

The Child Online Protection Act, called COPA, was passed by Congress in 1998, but has never been enforced because of disagreements over its constitutionality. A federal appeals court, in March, called the Internet pornography law “constitutionally infirm.”

Under COPA, a law designed to protect children from Internet pornography by censoring online material, a first-time conviction could bring six months in jail and $50,000 in fines. Repeat offenders would get additional fines.

The American Civil Liberties Union has challenged COPA on the grounds that it hinders free speech.

The Bush Administration appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that children are “unprotected from the harmful effects of the enormous amount of pornography on the World Wide Web.”

The ACLU argues that under COPA, many people who post explicit images and information on the Internet for legitimate reasons would be labeled criminals. Web sites that offer information on gynecology and safe sex, for example, could be covered under the law, says the ACLU.

Solicitor General Theodore Olson says the law targets commercial pornographers and that it is a reasonable law.

In a previous decision, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the law unconstitutional because it judged Internet content based on “contemporary community standards.”

The law’s opponents say this basis for judging online content can easily change with time, and even from household to household, making it impossible to be judged federally.

This will be the second time the Supreme Court will evaluate COPA’s constitutionality.

Request more info about this product / service / company


Be the first to comment on this story





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

School Shootings in North Carolina and Kentucky Leave Two Injured
Two U.S. schools were placed on lockdown Tuesday following separate incidents – one in...
Police Impostors Rob Medical Marijuana Patient
Police say they have several leads to follow after posting images of three men...
Video: Secret Service Head Grilled on White House Breach
Facing blistering criticism from Congress, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson said...
Calif. Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring 'Drone' Warrants
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have required police to obtain warrants for...
IACP Congratulates Winners of 2014 National Law Enforcement Challenge
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) offers its congratulations to the...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine