The Supreme Court has refused to overrule the lower federal courts after they pronounced the Child Online Protection Act as “unconstitutional.”
The law itself, which would have barred websites from making harmful content available to minors over the internet, has been embroiled in a battle with the courts since 1998 and has never passed into use.
Philadelphia’s federal appeal court stated that the law would violate the First Amendment because there are far less intrusive ways to filter internet content.
This is the second attempt by Congress along these lines to have been deemed unconstitutional after the failure last year of the Communications Decency Act, that ran along a similar path.
The Children’s Internet Protection Act, the successor of the two previous acts, was passed into law in 2000. It differs from the Child Online Protection Act by allowing adults to remove, or have removed for them, blocks on sexual material.
While the other two laws have been blocked permanently, there is still the ongoing dispute about the Deleting Online Predators Act which requires funded organizations (such as schools and libraries) to block social networking sites, such as Facebook.
Source: USA Today