Exon-like Plague Hits New York


Craig A. Johnson

Below are excerpts from an article posted by Dave Farber to his IP 
list.   The story details the porn and "child protection" craze that 
is sweeping the country in the wake of Exon's "indecent" bill.


Date:          Fri, 19 Jan 1996 06:04:49 -0500
From:          Dave Farber <•••@••.•••>
Subject:       IP: NY Exxon Bill soon to pass
To:            •••@••.••• (interesting-people mailing list)


Posted-Date: Thu, 18 Jan 1996 22:49:22 -0500
From: •••@••.••• (John Perz)

As if the Exxon bill isn't bad enough, now we've gotta worry about all
50 state legislatures getting into the act! :(

The following article appeared in the Albany Times-Union on Wednesday,
January 17th, 1996.  The title is PORN BILL PROVOKES CONCERNS ONLINE,
OFF.  Measure's foes say state effort to thwart pedophiles punishes
computer services.  Byline is by Sarah Metzgar.

Albany - A bill intended to thwart online pedophiles is breezing its
way through the Legislature, worrying computer-service providers who
fear they'll be held criminally liable.

The measure, which would prohibit "disseminating indecent material to
minors," is on the verge of passage. 

"We need to put these protections into place to safeguard our
children,"  said Assemblywoman RoAnne Destito, a Utica Democrat who
introduced the Assembly Bill.  "I'm pleased it's one of the first
bills to get prompt attention."

If the bill passes, making sexual advances toward minors in
cyberspace would be a felony.

"According to these bills, you're equally liable if you transmit the
information - even if you couldn't control it or didn't know what
people were saying to each other," said Dianne Kennedy, a spokeswoman
for the New York State Newspaper Publishers Association.  "Obviously,
we're not in favor of pedophilescontacting children, but it's like
holding Amtrak responsible if a pedophile takes a train from Buffalo
to New York City to meet up with a child.

The newspaper association is involved in the lobbying effort
because many newspapers are starting to provide access to the
Internet.  Newspaper publishers are being joined by the Interactive
Services Association.

Jill Lesser, a spokeswoman for People for the American Way, A
Washington DC based civil-liberties organization reviewed the bill on
Tuesday.  "It does not have an exemption for online service providers,
or the people involved in certain parts of the chain in sending a

Lesser said the bill, to some extent, exempts material with
educational and scientific content - but puts the burden on the
provider, who would have to prove in court that the material has

                        ~ CYBER-RIGHTS ~
  For subscription info, archived postings/documents, and other useful
  material, visit the CPSR Cyber-Rights Web Page at:


  You are encouraged to forward and cross-post list traffic,
  pursuant to any contained copyright & redistribution restrictions.