The Senate has overwhelmingly approved ameasure that would ban the transmission of sexually-explicit or "indecent" material over online computer services and the Internet.The 84-16 vote late Wednesday on the amendment -- part of a sweeping telecommunications reform bill expected to pass today -- backed provisions sponsored by Sen. James Exon (D-Neb.), who peppered a floor speech with references to "disgusting" pictures and material culled from the Internet this week. Exon's amendment, whose victory has sent free-speech advocates into a tailspin, would impose fines of up to $100,000 and prison terms of up to two years forknowingly transmitting"obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy or indecent" pictures or comments over electronic networks accessible to anyone under 18. (Another proposal to send cable operators to jail for carrying explicit material failed at the last minute.) "This is a very cynical vote," saysTIME senior technology editor Philip Elmer-DeWitt. "It's unconstitutional, and the first time anybody challenges it, it's going to be thrown out." The handful of opponents Wednesday found a rare conservative ally in Republican Orrin Hatch of Utah, who criticized the cheap political theatrics at play: "It's kind of a game, to see who can be the most against pornography and obscenity," Hatch said. "It's a political exercise, and I'm against it."