Feature on ALA v. Pataki

Document Date: June 20, 1997

ALA v. Pataki

The Challenge to New York’s Internet Censorship Law

ACLU Staff Attorney Ann Beeson questions ACLU Associate Director Barry Steinhardt on the impact of New York’s Internet censorship law.Case Materials

Legal Documents

Court Transcripts April 3-7

  • April 3, Day One
    • Plaintiff lawyers Christopher Hansen and Ann Beeson , ACLU; Michael Hertz and Anat Hakim, Latham & Watkins (pro-bono attorneys).
    • For the Defendants: Michael McCartney, Investigator, Office of the Attorney General, Buffalo, New York
  • April 4, Day Two
    • For the Plaintiffs: Diane Kovacs , computer consultant (Mrs. Kovacs will present a live Internet demonstration to the court.
  • April 7, Day Three
    • For the Plaintiffs:

    • Matthew Ehrlich, host of LAMBDA conference on ECHO
    • Rudolf Kinsky, artist and member of Art on the Net
    • Maurice Friedman, executive director, Westchester Library System
    • Barry Steinhardt, associate director, American Civil Liberties Union

Expert Witnesses

  • Bill Burrington, America Online
  • Gerald Michalski, managing editor, Release 1.0

Plaintiff Declarations

Press Releases

06/20/1997 — New York Judge Prohibits State Regulation of Internet
04/18/1997 — NY’s Internet Censorship Law Crosses State Lines, Violating Commerce Clause and Free Speech Rights
04/09/1997 — Witnesses Describe Internet Censorship Fears to Court; Oral Argument Set for April 22
04/03/1997 — New York Courtroom Gets Wired As Groups Present Evidence In Challenge to State Cyber-Censorship Law

Press Conference Materials

Pictured left to right: Nancy Kranich, ALA, Glenn Haumann, Bibliobytes, Ann Beeson, ACLU, Norman Siegel, NYCLU, Maurice Friedman, Westchester Library System, and Shabbir Safdar, Voters Telecommunications Watch
(Photo by Emily Whitfield)

Press Release

01/14/1997 — ACLU, Library Groups and Others Sue to Block New York State Internet Censorship Law

Streaming Video of Press Conference

January 14, 1997 Press Conference announcing lawsuit against New York state Internet censorship law held at CyberCafé
(courtesy of


American Library Association statement and backgrounder

The Plaintiffs

Other Related Links

Online Censorship in the States
ACLU v. Miller, the Challenge to Georgia’s internet censorship law
Voter’s Telecommunications Watch
ACLU v. Reno Collection

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