Jacking in from the "Sticking it to the Net" port:

Washington, DC -- The congressional committee meeting to lash together a unified telecom reform bill today (Dec. 6th) voted to bastardize the so-called "White Proposal" that addressed the "cyberporn" issue by voting to strike a constitutionally defined definition for obscenity and instead returning to the draconian "indecency" standard.

Rep. Rick White's (R-Wash.) proposal had substituted a constitutionally defined method of determining obscenity by using the "harmful to minors" standard for that of the more nefarious and unconstitutional "indecency" standard in a competing proposal being offered by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Il.)

Those two House proposals sit opposite anti-cyberporn language in the Senate's bill as authored by Sen. James Exon (D-Neb.)

The House members of the conference committee met for 30 minutes in a closed caucus to vote on the Hyde and White proposals to determine which they would present to the full committee. On a vote of 17-16, the House members voted to retain all the language in the White proposal except for the "harmful to minors" standard, replacing it with the "indecency" language. The move is akin ramming a hot poker up the ass of the Internet.

And under the "indecency" language, that last sentence, if somehow viewed by a minor, could make Dispatch criminally liable for a $100,000 fine and toss my ass in jail for two years. And unless any system that carried this "indecent" article had taken extreme steps to assure that it didn't find its way into the hands of its underage subscribers, the service provider would be liable as well.

When the House caucus presented this rat bastard proposal back to the full committee, Exon crowed: "Well, we're right back were we began" with the same type of bill "that the Senate passed with a strong 84 votes."

The battle has just begun.

Meeks out...

Copyright © 1995 CyberWire Dispatch / Brock N. Meeks <brock@well.com>