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Communications Decency Act (off topic - kind of)

>On Mon, 12 Feb 1996, Chuck Graves wrote:
>>      Greetings, all.
>>      Am I missing something about the CDA? I thought said Act had to do 
>>      with: 1) sexually explicit materials and 2) public availability to 
>>      minors.

and Michael Limner, esq responded:
>Thats right.  And 'sexual explict' is very vauge.  The standards are 
>being taken acroos the board, thus, the most restrictive apply.

The law, as I understand it, does not say 'sexually explicit' it says '
indecent.'  Indecent is a broader term.  One can be indecent without being
sexually explicit.

So, if we discuss clan bluefeather on this list, and a minor is subscribed
to it, that can be termed 'indecent.'

Discussing abortion, gay rights, painting nude pictures, underwear,
descriptions of injuries or surgical procedures, non-Christian religion,
even the news(!) can be considered 'indecent.'  Better not discuss those
topics if we don't have an age statement from every subscriber.  Sorry, kids.
 We can't discuss topics any person in the US may condsider indecent in
front of you.  You'll all have to un-subscribe or we'll have to not discuss
those things.

So, how's the weather in your area?

<did you all detect that sarcasm?>

>>      Frankly, no one has taken away your right to privately post whatever
>>      you damn well please.
>Wrong.  If you post to a list that is avliable to minors or that has 
>unrestricted access, you can be liable for distributing obscene material 
>to a minor (if the material is judged obscene).

It affects private posts as well, not just ones to a list.  If I send a steamy
private e-mail to my spouse or boy/girlfriend, and it is read by a minor:
bingo! A violation of the law.  Scary, huh?

>>      Enforcement beyond that I would think: 1) absurd, 2) criminal, 3) 
>>      unconstitutional, and 4) impossible...in increasing degree of effort
>>      (or insanity as the case may be.)
>That may be, but these _are_ Republicans we are talking about.  Common 
>sense and the realities of the internet are not something under 
>consideration here.  An interesting note: Newt - who has his own Web 
>page, opposed the law.

Let's not be more divisive than Congress is.  Yes, a majority of Republicans
backed the bill.  But, IMNSHO, the real description of those that backed it
is not Republican or Democrat - it's *Ignorant*.  Or Anti-American.

Do you realize that this means, taken to a not-very-exteme conclusion, that
17 year olds can't discuss birth or birth control on the net?


        - Anarra