On February 8, 1996, President Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 into law and explained that the legislation would "stimulate investment, promote competition, [and] provide open access for all citizens to the Information Superhighway." However, contrary to the goal of "opening wide the door to the Information Age," provisions of the Act violate the Constitution's First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech by imposing far-reaching new federal criminal liabilities on Americans who exercise their free speech rights on the Internet. In particular, a little-noticed provision of the Act, which expands an 1873 law banning abortion-related speech by criminalizing Internet discussion and information about abortion, continues to be a source of concern among pro-choice activists, First Amendment scholars, and electronic providers and users.
Sheryl L. Herndon L. Herndon,
THE COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT: ABORTING THE FIRST AMENDMENT?,
Rich. J.L. & Tech
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/jolt/vol3/iss1/4