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Supreme Court keeps Net porn law on ice


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#1 NeonWizard

NeonWizard

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 02:20 PM

A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday barred prosecutors from filing criminal cases under a federal law designed to restrict Internet pornography, concluding that enforcement could violate Americans' free-speech rights.

The 5-4 ruling upheld an appeals court injunction preventing the Department of Justice from enforcing the Child Online Protection Act, or COPA, until a full trial takes place. COPA restricts sexually explicit material deemed "harmful to minors" that appears on commercial Web sites, and it includes civil and criminal penalties.

Tuesday's decision effectively forwards COPA to a Philadelphia court for additional proceedings, including a full trial.

The Bush administration signaled that it would continue to defend the law.

"Congress has repeatedly attempted to address this serious need, and the court yet again opposed these common-sense measures to protect America's children," the Justice Department said in a statement. "The department will continue to work to defend children from the dangerous predators who lurk in the dark shadows of the World Wide Web."

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