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Judge throws out Child Porn Law

In his infinite wisdom a federal judge throws out a Pennsylvania law requiring Internet service providers to block Web sites containing child pornography, saying the tools also cause "massive suppression" of constitutionally protected material.

The 2002 law was aimed at forcing companies like America Online to block customers from viewing Web sites with sexually explicit images of children. No one challenged the state's right to stop child porn, which is already illegal under federal law. But lawyers for the Center for Democracy and Technology and the American Civil Liberties Union had argued that the filtering technology used to block such Web sites is too clumsy.

Over two years, the groups said, Internet service providers trying to obey blocking orders were forced to cut access to at least 1.5 million legal Web sites that had nothing to do with child pornography or even legal pornography, but shared Internet addresses with the offending sites.

U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois agreed the law could not be enforced without also blocking protected material. "There is little evidence that the act has reduced the production of child pornography or the child sexual abuse associated with its creation," DuBois wrote. "On the other hand, there is an abundance of evidence that implementation of the act has resulted in massive suppression of speech protected by the First Amendment."


Don't you just love lawyers?

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