The ACLU has returned to court for the latest round in the battle against Internet censorship with ACLU v. Gonzales…
originally ACLU v. Reno…
then ACLU v. Ashcroft…
and now ACLU v. Gonzales.
My, how time flies.
The ACLU is challenging the “Child Online Protection Act” (COPA), which would impose draconian criminal sanctions, with penalties of up to $50,000 per day and up to six months imprisonment, for online material acknowledged as valuable for adults but judged “harmful to minors.” The court will decide whether the law violates the constitutional right to free speech.
The Child Online Protection Act sounds like it would be all about restricting kiddie porn, right? Not quite. Our clients include Salon.com Editor-in-Chief Joan Walsh and Aaron Peckham, owner and maintainer of UrbanDictionary.com, among a number of others. (Check out the entries for ACLU in the Urban Dictionary.)
In the spirit of Dover, ACLU National staff is blogging on the trial. Testifying today is Professor Ronald Mann, a law professor who specializes in the study of electronic commerce and payment systems with a particular emphasis on credit cards.
The ACLU also set up a pretty good page on this case here.
Lisa in Pittsburgh