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Supreme Court Strikes Down CDA For information about current free speech issues concerning the Internet, visit the Center for Democracy and Technology.

The Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition came together to oppose Congress' first attempt to regulate content on the Internet, the Communications Decency Act, which the U.S. Supreme Court found unconstitutional on June 26, 1997.

This site is being preserved as a resource on the landmark CDA case.

Welcome to the home of the Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition (CIEC), a broad group of Internet users, library groups, publishers, online service providers, and civil liberties groups fighting for the future of the First Amendment and the future of free expression in the Information age. more...

Supreme Court Rules CDA Unconstitutional
[Thursday June 26, 1997 ]

"As a matter of constitutional tradition, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we presume that governmental regulation of the content of speech is more likely to interfere with the free exchange of ideas than to encourage it. The interest in encouraging freedom of expression in a democratic society outweighs any theoretical but unproven benefit of censorship." -- Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the majority

The Supreme Court today ruled unanimously that the Communications Decency Act violates the First Amendment. Writing for the court, Justice John Paul Stevens held that "the CDA places an unacceptably heavy burden on protected speech" and found that all provisions of the CDA are unconsitutional as they apply to "indecent" or "patently offensive" speech. In a separate concurrence, Chief Justice William Rhenquist and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor agreed that the provisions of the CDA are all unconstitutional except in their narrow application to "communications between an adult and one or more minors."

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