JUSTICES REJECT WEB LAW FOR KIDS
Newsday/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher
The Supreme Court said yesterday it won't consider reviving a federal law intended toprotect children from explicit material on the Internet. The Child Online Protection Act waspassed in 1998 but never took effect because lower federal courts struck it down asunconstitutional. The American Civil Liberties Union fought the law, arguing it wouldcriminalize constitutionally protected speech on the Internet. The law would have barredWeb sites from making harmful content available to minors over the Internet. Acknowledgingthat most material on the Internet deserves First Amendment protection, the executive director ofthe Stony Brook group Parents for Megan's Law said free speech was not intended to exploitchildren. The government has a responsibility to protect our most vulnerable, and I am verydisappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, said Laura Ahearn. I am confident thatfederal lawmakers will act swiftly to enact laws to protect children from pornographers who placeprofit above child safety.