COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT
\kəmjˌuːnɪkˈe͡ɪʃənz dˈiːsənsi ˈakt], \kəmjˌuːnɪkˈeɪʃənz dˈiːsənsi ˈakt], \k_ə_m_j_ˌuː_n_ɪ_k_ˈeɪ_ʃ_ə_n_z d_ˈiː_s_ə_n_s_i_ ˈa_k_t]\
Definitions of COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT
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(CDA) An amendment to the U.S. 1996 TelecommunicationsBill that went into effect on 1996-02-08. The law, originallyproposed by Senator James Exon to protect children fromobscenity on the Internet, ended up making it punishable byfines of up to $250,000 to post indecent language on theInternet anywhere that a minor could read it.Thousands of outraged Internet users turned their webpages black in protest or displayed the Electronic FrontierFoundation's special icons.On 1996-06-12, a three-judge panel in Philadelphia ruled theCDA unconstitutional and issued an injunction against theUnited States Justice Department forbidding them to enforcethe "indecency" provisions of the law. Internet userscelebrated by displaying an animated "Free Speech" fireworksicon to their web pages, courtesy of the VotersTelecommunications Watch. The Justice Department appealedthe decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
By Denis Howe
Word of the day
- paying excessive attention to the clock (in anticipation of stopping work)