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The Internet - The Communications Decency Act & Cda Ii

material materials ban based

Described as a deregulation measure, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 imposed sweeping content regulations on electronic media. Sections 502 and 507 of the act were known as the Communications Decency Act (CDA). The CDA made it a crime to distribute obscene material using the Internet, punishable by two years in jail and a $250,000 fine. The restriction of such material would be based on contemporary community standards. But the CDA also applied to indecent material which is constitutionally protected.

The CDA was drafted after the emergence of the graphics-based World Wide Web and public reactions to surfing across sexually explicit images. But the Supreme Court struck the CDA down as unconstitutionally vague and unenforceable. In September of 1998, the House passed the Children's Online Protection Act (COPA), dubbed the CDA II, that would ban open display of the majority of sexually explicit materials on the Internet. COPA would ban commercial Web sites from carrying materials harmful to minors without first placing those materials in an area that can be accessed only by persons over 18 years of age.

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