cr> OPPOSITION: AFA seeks to expand CDA


Craig A. Johnson

A really reptilian message from those folks who care so much about the 
American "family."

The revised CDA wasn't enough for them.  They want to sterilize
cyberspace, and in the process, may well intellectually and
culturally sterilize their own children.  This is "family values?"
Sounds more like proto-"fascist" values, a la Pat Buchanan and his
"brown shirts," fellow travelers, and "religious right" hangers on.


Date:          Tue, 20 Feb 1996 12:30:25 -0800 (PST)
To:            •••@••.•••
From:          •••@••.••• (--Todd Lappin-->)
Subject:       OPPOSITION: AFA seeks to expand CDA

While I warms my heart to know that the American Family Association
thinks the Communications Decency act is a dud, the following message
demonstrates that the organization does not intend to let the issue

Specifically, they're now seeking to expand the scope of Internet
Service Provider (ISP) liability for "indecent" content. That makes
about as much sense as asking AT&T to censor your telephone
conversations, but regardless... the bottom line is that the American
Family Association is *very* determined to impose its social agenda on
cyberspace through government legislation.

Moreover, at this point it's hardly clear to what extent ISP's are or
are not liable for online content under the CURRENT provisions of the
Communcations Decency Act.  Given this ambiguity, a more stringent
clamp-down would only expand the "chilling effect" on free speech.

Spread the word!

--Todd Lappin-->
Section Editor
WIRED Magazine



WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- American Family Association issued
the following: "Less than one week after the Communications Decency
Act was signed into law by President Clinton, it is obvious that the
law, designed to curb computer pornography, is not working and never
will work," said Patrick Trueman, director of American Family
Association governmental affairs.  This fact was made clear by the
action this week of CompuServe, a major access provider to the
Internet, to restore access to pornographic Internet sites it had
recently blocked under pressure from German prosecutors.

Access providers to the Internet have a financial incentive to provide
access to pornography and they will not block such sites until they
are under a legalobligation to do so, Trueman said.  The
Communications Decency Act included specific provisions protecting
access providers from criminal liability and until those provisions
are repealed, CDA will be nearly useless, he added.

Trueman wrote to leaders of pro-family groups today urging them to
unite behind a tough anti-pornography measure like that sponsored by
Congressman Henry Hyde.  The Hyde measure, which would have made
anyone liable who knowingly and intentionally provides pornography to
children or obscene pornography to anyone, was defeated in committee
by supporters of CDA. "The reality is CDA does not work and it will
never work.  For its enforcement it relies on a massive number of
prosecutions by the Justice Department of individuals who put illegal
pornography on the Internet while the major distributors and money
makers from the distribution of pornography -- the access providers --
are given a free ride," Trueman said in his letter to pro-family

Trueman urged pro-family leaders to act now to change the law. "There
is no point in waiting months or years.  CompuServe has made that
clear in its recent actions which demonstrate that the law has little,
if any, deterrent effect," Trueman said in his letter.

CONTACT:  Patrick A. Trueman of the American Family Association:



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