Hundreds of Worldwide Web site providers blackened their pages for forty-eight hours to protest the enactment of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 ("CDA"). The CDA regulates the transmission of sexually explicit material, both obscene and indecent, over the Internet. The CDA protesters claimed the law, designed to protect children, impermissibly infringes on adults' First Amendment rights to send and receive sexually explicit material. This note begins by exploring the challenged provisions of the CDA and the positions of those parties who opposed the CDA in the federal district court declaratory judgment actions. Next, the note examines applicable case precedent and factual characteristics of Internet technology relevant to the CDA. Finally, this note analyzes key constitutional problems within the current CDA and offers and evaluates several specific options for saving the Act.
Note, Salvaging the Communications Decency Act in the Wake of ACLU v. Reno and Shea v. Reno, 45 Clev. St. L. Rev. 271 (1997)