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Zensur im Internet

In Sachen Zensur usf. ist sicher noch nicht das letzte Wort 
Von "versions.com", einem Dienst, den man subscribieren kann und der 
ueber verschiedenste Dinge informiert, erhielt ich heute die folgende 
Mitteilung, die ich einfach so weiterreiche.
Mit freundlichem Gruss
gez. G.Gierse

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20006 202/637-9800

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE           For further information, contact: June
12, 1996                         Sydney Rubin, 202/828-8829


PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania -- Parents, librarians, online companies,
publishers, newspaper reporters and others challenging government
censorship of cyberspace today hailed an historic decision by a federal
court enjoining the government from enforcing portions of a new law
which violate constitutionally protected free speech.

But plaintiffs in the American Library Association v. U.S. Department of
Justice suit warned that the battle against the Communications Decency
Act may not be over if the government appeals today's decision to the
Supreme Court.

"This is a victory for the Internet and for everyone who values free
speech," said Jerry Berman of the Center for Democracy and Technology
and a co-founder of the Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition that
organized the suit.

In their 175-page decision, the three judge panel of the U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvnia found the law
unconstitutional on grounds that it violated rights of free speech. All
three judges -- Dolores K. Sloviter, chief judge of the U.S. Third
Circuit Court of Appeals, and U.S. District Judges Ronald L. Buckwalter
and Stewart Dalzell wrote individual opinions supporting the panel's
unanimous decision to enforce an injunction against the government.

"Our findings of fact -- many of them undisputed -- express our
understanding of the Internet. These Findings lead to the conclusion
that Congress may not regulate indecency on the Internet at all," wrote
Judge Dalzell, referring to the extensive study of the Internet.

The Judges concluded: the "plaintiffs have shown irreparable injury, no
party has any interest in the enforcement of an unconstitutional law,
and therefore the public interest will be served by granting a
preliminary injunction."

The 27 plaintiffs in the case, which was joined by the court with
another suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, complained
that the law imposed criminal penalities on speech in cyberspace that is
otherwise entirely lawful. It was the first time in American history
that criminal penalities had been placed on the exercise of free speech.

The result of the unconstitutional law was that books legal on library
shelves could land a librarian in jail if posted on-line. The terms used
in the law were so vague that they encompassed vast amounts of material
with literary, artistic, political, cultural and medical value, and
threatened to penalize people who did not realize they were violating a

The law was not aimed at curbing obscenity or child pornography on the
Internet, which already are against the law.

"We are ecstatic. Librarians can continue to provide ideas and
information to the public regardless of the format, without concern
about fines or jail terms," said Judith Krug from the American Library
Association. "This is victory for anyone who uses the public libraries."

In addition, the law would fail in its goal of protecting children since
large amounts of material on the Internet originate overseas, beyond the
reach of U.S. law.

During five days of hearings, plaintiffs showed the court the unique
nature of the new medium and demonstrated software that allows parents
to easily monitor and control the material coming into homes and
schools. Plaintiffs argued that such technology was more effective than
any law, empowered users to make their own judgements about what they
wanted to see and protected Americans' First Amendment rights to free

"The court today did for children and adults what Congress did not -- It
decided that parental control tools combined with user education and
enforcement of existing laws is a more effective and constitutional way
to protect children and safeguard our freedoms," said Bill Burrington,
Assistant General Counsel of America Online.

Other countries were watching the outcome of the case closely. Many
nations, such as Germany, France and Japan, are just beginning to
grapple with Internet issues. Other nations, such as China and Saudi
Arabia, already have imposed strict controls on the medium, which Judge
Dalzell referred to during the hearings as "the most democratic medium
yet devised by the imagination of man."

"This court is the first to fully grapple with and grasp the unique
nature and potential of the Internet. The court's decision today to
afford communications over the Internet heightened protections
recognizes the value of this new medium in a democracy," said Bruce J.
Ennis, lead attorney in the case. "This decision will help define the
legal framework for future decision related to the Internet."

The plaintiffs in the case include: American Library Association, Inc.;
America Online, Inc.; American Booksellers Association, Inc.; American
Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; American Society of
Newspaper Editors; Apple Computer, Inc.; Association of American
Publishers, Inc.; Association of Publishers, Editors and Writers;
Commercial Internet eXchange Association; CompuServe Incorporated;
Families Against Internet Censorship; Freedom to Read Foundation, Inc.;
Health Sciences Libraries Consortium; HotWired Ventures LLC; Interactive
Digital Software Association; Interactive Services Association; Magazine
Publishers of America, Inc.; Microsoft Corporation; Microsoft Network;
National Press Photographers Association; NETCOM On-Line Communication
Services, Inc.; Newspaper Association of America; Opnet, Inc.; Prodigy
Services Company; Wired Ventures, Ltd.; the Society of Professional
Journalists; and the Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition,
representing more than 40,000 individual Internet users. 

Listeninformationen unter http://www.inetbib.de.