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Can’t Stop the Porn

Another ruling against the federal online porn law:

    A federal appeals court has ruled that a law meant to safeguard children against Internet pornography is riddled with problems that make it “constitutionally infirm.”

    A three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the Child Online Protection Act restricted free speech by barring Web page operators from posting information inappropriate for minors unless they limited the site to adults. The ruling upheld an injunction blocking the government from enforcing the law.

    The court said that in practice, the law made it too difficult for adults to view material protected by the First Amendment, including many non-pornographic sites.

    ….Previously, the 3rd Circuit had ruled the law unconstitutional on grounds that it allowed the legality of Internet content to be judged by “contemporary community standards.”

    On appeal, the Supreme Court said that evaluation standard alone did not make the law unconstitutional, and sent the case back for further evaluation.

    In Thursday’s opinion, the court said that in seeking to define material harmful to minors, the law made no distinction between things inappropriate for a 5-year-old and things harmful to someone in their early teens.

    The judges said that while the law sought to get around free-speech arguments by making the restrictions apply only to Web operators who posted material for “commercial purposes,” it didn’t address what level of profitability was required.

    The court also said screening methods suggested by the government, including requiring Web-page viewers to give a credit card number, would unfairly require adults to identify themselves before viewing constitutionally protected material such as medical sites offering sex advice. [Washington Post]

Those online anti-porn laws are slippery bastards, aren’t they?

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014.Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted.Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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