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Regulation of Computer-generated virtual Child Pornography under American and French Jurisprudence: One Country’s Protected “Speech” is another’s Harmful Smut.
Unformatted Document Text:  telecommunication infrastructure. The backbone or infrastructure of the Internet include satellite systems, wireline and wireless telephone systems, microwave links using the radio communication spectrum as well as thousands of miles of submarine or undersea fiber optic cable. With the transformation of the Internet from an instrument of military communication, and information technology research to a multi-communication platform, it soon became a magnet for the sex trade. Sexual material of all tastes and lack thereof, became available on the Internet first for free and subsequently for a fee. Thousands of electronic bulletin boards, ‘zines, Web sites, discussion groups and portals became conduits for the sex industry. As the Internet sank lower into the gutter, it started taking children along for the ride. 40 Alarmed at cases of child predators and child molesters who met their unwitting prey on the Internet, Congress passed a rash of laws aimed at protecting children from the excesses of the Internet. The most important of these laws was the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) 41 passed as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. 42 Two provisions of the CDA sought to protect minors from harmful material on the Internet. 43 Several groups filed suit 44 challenging the constitutionality of the two provisions which criminalized knowing transmission of obscene and indecent material to minors under 18 years of age, and the knowing transmission of 40 See SHARON DOCTER, REGULATION OF INDECENCY IN ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION, IN SUSAN DRUCKER AND GARY GUMPERT (EDS.), REAL LAW @ VIRTUAL SPACE 183 (2000). 41 47 U.S.C. §223 et seq. (1996). 42 Pub.L. 104-104, 110 Stat.56 (1996). 43 47 U.S.C § 223 (a)(1)(B)(ii) (Supp. 1997) (The Plaintiffs found §§ 223(a)(1) and 223 (d) spefically troubling). 44 See Reno v. ACLU, 117 S.Ct.2329 (1997).

Authors: Eko, Lyombe.
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background image
telecommunication infrastructure. The backbone or infrastructure of the Internet
include satellite systems, wireline and wireless telephone systems, microwave
links using the radio communication spectrum as well as thousands of miles of
submarine or undersea fiber optic cable.
With the transformation of the Internet from an instrument of military
communication, and information technology research to a multi-communication
platform, it soon became a magnet for the sex trade. Sexual material of all tastes
and lack thereof, became available on the Internet first for free and subsequently
for a fee. Thousands of electronic bulletin boards, ‘zines, Web sites, discussion
groups and portals became conduits for the sex industry. As the Internet sank
lower into the gutter, it started taking children along for the ride.
40
Alarmed at
cases of child predators and child molesters who met their unwitting prey on the
Internet, Congress passed a rash of laws aimed at protecting children from the
excesses of the Internet. The most important of these laws was the
Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA)
41
passed as part of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996.
42
Two provisions of the CDA sought to protect minors from harmful material on
the Internet.
43
Several groups filed suit
44
challenging the constitutionality of the
two provisions which criminalized knowing transmission of obscene and indecent
material to minors under 18 years of age, and the knowing transmission of
40
See SHARON DOCTER, REGULATION OF INDECENCY IN ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION,
IN SUSAN DRUCKER AND GARY GUMPERT (EDS.), REAL LAW @ VIRTUAL SPACE 183 (2000).
41
47 U.S.C. §223 et seq. (1996).
42
Pub.L. 104-104, 110 Stat.56 (1996).
43
47 U.S.C § 223 (a)(1)(B)(ii) (Supp. 1997) (The Plaintiffs found §§ 223(a)(1) and 223 (d) spefically
troubling).
44
See Reno v. ACLU, 117 S.Ct.2329 (1997).


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