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Ear to the Ground

Judge Rules for Web Freedom

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Posted on Mar 22, 2007

Yet another court has ruled against the 1994 Child Online Protection Act, a major victory for civil rights advocates. The law has been a mess from the start. With the stated goal of protecting kids from pornography, it would punish offending websites with $50,000 fines and jail time for exposing children to “harmful” material, whether intentionally or not. Innocent sites like Salon and BoingBoing could’ve been targeted under the legislation.


Judge Reed said that while he sympathised with the need to protect minors, the 1998 Child Online Protection Act was problematic.

“I may not turn a blind eye to the law… to protect this nation’s youth by upholding a flawed statute, especially when a more effective and less restrictive alternative is readily available,” he wrote.

The act was challenged by civil liberties groups and sexual health and other websites, including the online magazine, which claimed it was too restrictive and unconstitutional.

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By wykydred, March 25, 2007 at 2:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh golly gosh! Someone who believes adults should regulate their own online experiences and searches without access restraint?! And that parents need to parent their own children?!

Bet it last a week before the hypichristians put more millions into law-breaker maker’s pockets to clamp down even harder on individual freedom.

I raised my kids without your help or religious idiocies, now you raise yours. Thank you Judge Reed! A Constitutionalist in the justice system. What next? One in the Senate? The Presidency???

All right. I’ll stop being silly now…

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By Broiler, March 23, 2007 at 8:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Holy crap a judge with brains!
Thank you Judge Reed for temporarily
sending the inmates back to their rooms.

Imagine parents being involved in the
upbringing, teaching and supervising
of their own children. What a novel idea.
Sadly, there’s no chance of it catching on.

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