Twitter icon

Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Confusing terms
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Death penalty

Same-sex marriage

Human rights
Gays in the military
Sex & gender
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news



Religious Tolerance logo


Laws Restricting Internet Content

horizontal rule

Blue Ribbon Symbol

horizontal rule


bullet "When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church - and there was nobody left to be concerned." Martin Niemöller. Quoted in the Congressional Record, 14, October 1968, Page 31,636.

horizontal rule


The Internet represents a problem for those who want to regulate free speech. Anybody anywhere in the world can put any material on the Internet at any time; it can then be read by anyone else in the world. Since the Internet has no way of determining the age of the person who is accessing a web page, there is no way to effectively prevent all minors from gaining access to material that is inappropriate for them to view. Some companies produce censorship software to which a family can subscribe. But this is not completely effective. In addition, some software developed by conservative organizations bans a wide range of religious, philosophical, and social material in the name of preventing access to pornography.

President Clinton (D) signed into law the 1996 Telecommunications Bill on 1996-FEB-8. This law contained two amendments which are related to freedom of speech on the Internet.

bullet An amendment to Section 223 of Title 47 of the United States Code.
bullet An amendment to the Comstock Act.

Both restrict what may appear on the Internet. The US Supreme Court, in a rare 1997 unanimous decision, declared these amendments to be unconstitutional (Reno v. ACLU; 96-511). The court sided with the American Library Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, and AIDS Education Global Information, and others who argued that it was unconstitutional to remove from the Internet all material that might be harmful to minors.

A second, more narrowly focused House bill was sponsored by Michael Oxley (R- OH) and signed into law on 1998-OCT. It is the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). It became law as part of the federal budget. It has faced a court challenge by a broad group, ranging from obstetricians to booksellers. It was also declared unconstitutional.

Still another attempt by the federal government, the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was also declared unconstitutional. State bills have followed, but have not succeeded.

In 2002, President Bush signed the  "Dot Kids Implementation and Efficiency Act of 2002" It creates a special Internet domain with website names like Websites in this domain are heavily regulated for content so that nothing unsuitable for children 12 years of age or younger will appear. This has not been challenged in the court. But it has proven to be a failure. There is only one website remaining in this sub-domain. It consists of a single paragraph that discusses the suspension of the sub-domain.

Sponsored link

Topics in this section:

horizontal rule

Site navigation:

 Home > Religious laws > here


 Home > Religious conflict > Specific conflicts > here

horizontal rule

Copyright © 1996 to 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2017-FEB-22
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or to the "religious laws" menu, or to the "specific religious conflict" menu, or choose:


Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.


Sponsored links