Massachusetts Bids To Restrict Internet Indecency
Remember the Communications Decency Act? Enacted 1996, found unconstitutional 1997. Or its successor attempt to reduce discourse on the Internet to what is suitable for 8-year-olds, the Child Online Protection Act? Invalidated 2003. Seven state laws attempting to restrict Internet content on grounds of decency have been struck down. Despite all this, Massachusetts has now added a couple of paragraphs to its (traditionally bricks-and-mortar) indecency law that applies a “harmful to minors” test to Internet content. The ACLU of Massachusetts and others have brought suit to block the law, which went into effect on July 11. Coincidentally, today a US appeals court tossed out the FCC’s indecency policy.