The ACLU’s vision of an uncensored Internet was clearly shared by the U.S. Supreme Court when it struck down the 1996 Communications Decency Act (CDA), a federal law that outlawed “indecent” communications online. Ruling unanimously in Reno v. ACLU, the Court declared the Internet to be a free speech zone, deserving of at least as much First Amendment protection as that afforded to books, newspapers and magazines. The government, the Court said, can no more restrict a person’s access to words or images on the Internet than it could be allowed to snatch a book out of a reader’s hands in the library, or cover over a statue of a nude in a museum.
The importance of the Internet as the “the most participatory form of mass speech yet developed,” requires that the courts perpetually uphold the freedom of speech.
FREE SPEECH LITIGATION
> Ashcroft v. ACLU – Challenge to Internet Censorship Law
> US v. American Library Assn. – Supreme Court Rules On Challenge to Library Web Blocking Law
> Edelman v. N2H2 Inc. – Protecting Censorware Research from DMCA
> Melvin v.Doe – Challenging Frivolous Breaches of Online Anonymity
> Closed Internet free speech cases
> List of other relevant Internet free speech litigation
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