On-Line Pornography: Control May Prove as Tricky as Definition

By Nathaniel Sheppard Jr. 1995, Chicago Tribune | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), December 23, 1995 | Go to article overview

On-Line Pornography: Control May Prove as Tricky as Definition


Nathaniel Sheppard Jr. 1995, Chicago Tribune, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


EACH DAY, PATRONS of the Northbrook Public Library in Illinois vie for time on computers linking them to the Internet and its universe of information.

But the popular service could be discontinued, according to library officials, if Congress passes a proposal for a telecommunications reform bill that would establish criminal penalties for the dissemination of sexually explicit materials over computer networks.

Chadwick Raymond, executive director of the library, said the services could be curtailed to protect employees from criminal sanctions if patrons were to download images of old master paintings depicting nudity, or contemporary fiction quoting vulgar language.

While there was dispute Thursday over the status of some elements of the measure before Congress, provisions offered by Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., and Sen. James Exon, D-Neb., would hold Internet service providers criminally liable for materials downloaded through their services and considered "indecent" by local community standards.

Library and school officials say that their institutions would be included in the sanctions because they, too, provide Internet access.

The law also would impose sanctions against other types of communications deemed obscene, lewd, lascivious, abusive, filthy with the intent to annoy, threatening or harassing to another person.

"The problem for us is that our employees could face being jailed because they assisted" someone in accessing information that someone elsewhere decided was indecent, Raymond said.

At issue is exactly what constitutes indecency. Critics say there is no generally agreed upon definition of indecency and that the community standards approach is argumentative.

The Internet, by design, has no physical borders, and what may be offensive in one community may not raise an eyebrow in another.

The Supreme Court has not been able to define indecency, nor have members of Congress - as the debate over how to describe what should be banned enters its eighth month.

Since spring, members of Congress have debated whether to proscribe "indecent" materials as proposed by Hyde and Exon or materials that are "harmful to minors," a less restrictive standard favored by other lawmakers.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

On-Line Pornography: Control May Prove as Tricky as Definition
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.