Online Censorship PageAs Supreme Court Prepares to Rule on CDA,
Two Federal Judges Strike Down
State Cyber-Censorship Laws
New York — On the eve of a landmark Supreme Court ruling on the federal law criminalizing “indecency” on the Internet, two federal district judges, one in New York and one in Georgia, today struck down laws barring free speech in cyberspace.
Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the New York and Georgia challenges as well the federal lawsuit, said the New York law, dubbed “mini-CDA,” adopted much of the language of the censorship provisions of the Federal Communications Decency Act, much of it word for word, while the Georgia law criminalized anonymous or pseudonymous online speech.
The decisions, issued by Federal District Judge Loretta A. Preska in New York and Federal District Judge Marvin Shoob in Georgia, mark the first rulings in challenges to state Internet censorship laws. The ACLU has also challenged a law in Virginia barring state employees from accessing so-called indecency. The Virginia case, Urofsky v. Allen, was filed on behalf of six state university professors and is set to go to trial in the fall.
- Feature on ALA v. Pataki including additional information on the case and information on the plaintiffs
- Summary of decision in ALA v. Pataki
- Complaint in ALA v. Pataki
Georgia Litigation: ACLU v. Miller
- Federal District Court Decision in ACLU v. Miller
- ACLU v. Miller Complaint
- Brief in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction
- Reply In Support Of Motion For Preliminary InjunctionResponse To Defendants’ Motion To Dismiss
- Opposition Legal Documents in ACLU v. Miller
- 06/20/1997 — ACLU Wins First-Ever Challenge to a State Internet Censorship Law in Georgia
- 01/30/1997 — Georgia Courtroom Gets Wired As Groups Present Evidence In First Challenge to State Cyber-Censorship Law
- 09/24/1996 — Groups Challenge Georgia Law Restricting Free Speech in Cyberspace
- Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling in Urofsky v. Gilmore
- Urofsky v. Allen Brief of the Appellees
- Judge Leonie M. Brinkema’s decision in Urofsky v. Allen
- Urofsky v. Allen Brief in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgement
- Urofsky v. Allen Complaint
- 09/20/1999 — ACLU Gears Up for Next Round of Appeals In Challenges to Internet Censorship Laws
- 02/10/1999 — In First Loss for Online Free Speech, Appeals Court Gags Virginia State Employees
- 02/27/1998 — Federal Judge in Virginia Strikes Down Restrictive Internet Censorship Law
- 05/08/1997 — ACLU Files Challenge to Virginia Internet Law on Behalf of Six University Professors
Censorship on Campus
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