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Thursday, 28 October 2010 09:16

Judge overturns daft US internet law

Written by Nick Farell
y_lawbookhammer

Because not everyone on the Internet is a kid
A daft US law which insisted that all Internet content be censored so that it would not harm a seven year old child has been tossed out by a Judge. The law was drafted in Massachusetts which is famous for the Salem Witch trials and has been coming up with stupid court cases ever since.

Lawmakers came up with the idea that they should have a law covering "matter harmful to minors" and that it should cover the World Wide Wibble. The politicians were spooked when a state supreme court ruled that the "matter" which could harm minors did not legally include electronic transmissions. This overturned the conviction of a man who engaged in sex chat with someone who he believed to be 13.

The politicians rushed through a law “to protect children” without engaging brain. They extended "harmful to minors" clauses to the Internet, dirty books, films, pamphlets, pictures, plays, dances, and apparently statues.

So this means that all email, instant messages, text messages, and any other communication created by means of use of the Internet or wireless network, all had to be written so that they did not harm a seven year old child. Not surprisingly the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) complained about the law and said that it was too broad.

It meant that every communication on the Internet may potentially be received by a minor and therefore may potentially be the basis for prosecution. To make matter worse, because Internet speakers have no means to restrict minors in Massachusetts from accessing their communications, the Act meant that the entire Internet had to be written to a level suitable for young children.

Federal judge Rya Zobel agreed and issuing a preliminary injunction on the April amendments for violating the First Amendment right to free speech. The problem, she said was that the new law failed to mention that the content had to be targeted at a minor.

Nick Farell

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