Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Crackdown on the Web

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Crackdown on the Web

Article excerpt

A newly expanded version of an old law may spell the end for many porn Web sites as well as sexy gay Internet personals. Under the federal government's stricter regulations, which took effect June 23, all Web sites with explicit adult content must now keep thorough records proving that all models on the sites are 18 or older--even if the content comes from another source--and the sites must make the records available for inspection every week.

After the amended regulation--U.S. Code, title 18, section 2257---was published in May, Web sites scrambled to update their paperwork while others shut down altogether. Gay.com temporarily took down all personals photos it thought could possibly be illegal under 2257.

The new regulation also contains guidelines defining what is or is not sexually explicit, and punishment for violating the guidelines has increased, with a first-time offender receiving up to five years in prison. The Free Speech Coalition, whose members include Gay. …

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