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TUCoPS :: Truly Miscellaneous :: coxwyden.txt

The Cox-Wyden alternative to the Exon-Gorton censorship bill




Subject: Cox-Wyden Alternative to Exon-Coats
Date: Fri Jun 30 15:02:19 1995


Reps. Cox and Wyden today introduced the "Internet Freedom and 
Family Empowerment Act."  It is intended to be an alternative to 
the Exon-Coats language adopted by the Senate.  The text of the 
bill as introduced is re-printed below.

David L. Sobel
Legal Counsel
Electronic Privacy Information Center
http:/www.epic.org

=================================================================

[Not official House document -- prepared by
Electronic Privacy Information Center]

104th Congress
1st Session

                            H.R. _____


                 In the House of Representatives

Mr. Cox (for himself and Mr. Wyden) introduced the following bill; 
which was referred to the Committee on __________

                             A Bill

To encourage and protect private sector initiatives that improve 
user control over computer information services.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

   This Act may be cited as the "Internet Freedom and Family 
Empowerment Act."

SEC. 2. ONLINE FAMILY EMPOWERMENT.

   Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 201 et. 
seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:


"SEC. 230. PROTECTION FOR PRIVATE BLOCKING AND SCREENING OF 
OFFENSIVE MATERIAL; FCC CONTENT AND ECONOMIC REGULATION OF 
COMPUTER SERVICES PROHIBITED. 

"(a) FINDINGS.-- The Congress finds the following:

      "(1) The rapidly developing array of Internet and other 
interactive computer services available to individual Americans 
represent an extraordinary advance in the availability of 
educational and informational resources to our citizens.

     "(2) These services offer users a great degree of control 
over the information that they receive, as well as the potential 
for even greater control in the future as technology develops.

     "(3) The Internet and other interactive computer services 
offer a forum for a true diversity of political discourse, unique 
opportunities for cultural development, and myriad avenues for 
intellectual activity.

     "(4) The Internet and other interactive computer services 
have flourished, to the benefit of all Americans, with a minimum 
of government regulation.

     "(5) Increasingly Americans are relying on interactive media 
for a variety of political, educational, cultural, and 
entertainment services.

  "(b) POLICY‹ It is the policy of the United States to ‹

   "(1) promote the continued development of the Internet and 
other interactive computer services and other interactive media:

   "(2) preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that 
presently exists for the Internet and other interactive computer 
services, unfettered by State or Federal regulation:

   "(3) encourage the development of technologies which maximize 
user control over the information received by individuals, 
families, and schools who use the Internet and other interactive 
computer services;

   "(4) remove disincentives for the development and utilization 
of blocking and filtering technologies that empower parents to 
restrict their children's access to objectionable or inappropriate 
online material; and

   "(5) ensure vigorous enforcement of criminal laws to deter 
and punish trafficking in obscenity, stalking, and harassment by 
means of computer.

 "(c) PROTECTION FOR 'GOOD SAMARITAN' BLOCKING AND SCREENING OF 
OFFENSIVE MATERIAL. ‹ No provider or user of interactive computer 
services shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any 
information provided by an information content provider.  No 
provider or user of interactive computer services shall be held 
liable on account of ‹

   "(1) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict 
access to material that the provider or user considers to be 
obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, 
or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is 
constitutionally protected; or

   "(2) any action taken to make available to information 
content providers or others the technical means to restrict access 
to material described in paragraph (1).

  "(d) FCC REGULATION OF THE INTERNET AND OTHER INTERACTIVE 
COMPUTER SERVICES PROHIBITED.‹Nothing in this Act shall be 
construed to grant any jurisdiction or authority to the Commission 
with respect to economic or content regulation of the Internet or 
other interactive computer services.

 "(e) EFFECTS ON OTHER LAWS ‹

             "(1) NO EFFECT ON CRIMINAL LAW. ‹ Nothing in this 
section shall be construed to impair the enforcement of section 
223 of this Act, chapter 71 (relating to obscenity) or 110 
(relating to sexual exploitation of children) of title 18, United 
States Code, or any other Federal criminal statute.

            "(2) NO EFFECT ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW - nothing 
in this section shall be construed to limit or expand any law 
pertaining to intellectual property.

             "(3) IN GENERAL  - Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to prevent any state from enforcing any state law that 
is consistent  with this section

  "(f) Definitions - As used in this section:

             "(1) INTERNET. - The term 'Internet' means the 
international computer network of both Federal and non-Federal 
interoperable packet switched data networks.

           "(2) INTERACTIVE COMPUTER SERVICE. - The term 
'interactive computer service' means any information that provides 
computer access to multiple users via modem to a remote computer 
service, including specifically a service that provides access to 
the Internet.

         "(3) INFORMATION CONTENT PROVIDER. - the term 
'information content provider' means any person or entity that is 
responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development 
of information provided by the Internet or any other interactive 
computer service, including any person or entity that creates or 
develops blocking or screening software to permit control over 
offensive material.

         "(4) INFORMATION SERVICE. - The term 'information 
service' means the offering of a capability for generating, 
acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, 
utilizing, or making available information via telecommunications, 
and includes electronic publishing, but does not include any use 
of any such capability for the management, control, or operation 
of a telecommunications system or the management of a 
telecommunications service."
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