FREE SPEECH FOR THE NET

A PANEL OF FEDERAL JUDGES OVERTURNS THE COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT

It's been a suspenseful spring in cyberspace. Everyone has felt it, from the folks who gather for online chats at Bianca's Smut Shack to the Netizens who post daily dispatches to the "fight censorship" E-mail list. The whole information revolution was jeopardized, the cybernauts believed, by a primly named federal statute called the Communications Decency Act. Signed into law by President Clinton on Feb. 8, after being passed by an admittedly Net-illiterate Congress, the CDA was supposed to squelch online pornography and make the Net safe for children by banning "indecent" content. But the legislation was so vague and broad that...

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