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Internet law points out to the legal issues relating to distributive, communicative and transactional aspects of networked technologies and strategies for information. The internet law is a less known when compared to that of topics such as freedom of speech, expression, intellectual property rights, jurisdiction and privacy. The Congress party, since 1996 enacted several laws to handle the sexual predators and sexually explicit materials found on the net. A. Harrison Barnes owner of discusses several laws passed by Congress in this article.

The CDA or the Communications Decency Act was passed in the year 1996. It was an attempt by the Congress party to bring about regulations so that the children do not have access to the sexually explicit materials posted on the net. It passed a law saying that “indecent” materials should not be viewed by children. The verdict of the Supreme Court stated the Communications Decency Act as unconstitutional in the year 1997 on the grounds that “indecent” and “broad suppression of speech addressed to adults” are extremely vague.

A. Harrison Barnes further talks about another act called COPA or The Child Online Protection Act in the year 1998. It was almost the continuation of the CDA law, with the only difference that the web sites were required to verify the age of the visitors. This required the users to provide age proofs before accessing those websites containing sexually explicit materials. There were protests from different corners of the society like the civil liberty organizations against this law. In 1999 there were orders against the enforcement of this law. In the year 2002, the Supreme Court found the COPA as unconstitutional.

In the year 2000, the Congress government enacted the CIPA or Children’s Internet Protection Act. The law was enforced in the year 2001. The law when enforced required the libraries and schools to receive funds from federal technology to install software that blocks pornographic websites on their computers. However the American Library Association filed a case against the pronouncement of this judgment on the ground that it was unconstitutional. However, even today the constitutional validity remains untested says A. Harrison Barnes of There are several states that have been passing numerous judgments for reducing the amount of spam, unwanted e-mails that comes across them.

The laws, rules and regulations are all limited by geographical and territorial boundaries. Jurisdiction is an indispensable subject when it comes to administrative, judicial and legislative competences. Law of a state cannot encroach upon the laws of some other states says Harrison Barnes. A particular law may be extraneous to another state. Thus there comes in the question of territorial sovereignty, when it comes to enforcement of laws and regulations. There cannot be any uniform internet law that can be applied universally. This gives rise to conflicting situations when it comes to determining whether the contents posted in a particular website is legal or illegal. In some countries it might be legal, where as it might be illegal in some other countries. This gives rise to conflict of law issues.

Among the problems stated above, there may also be cases, when dealing with internet laws, it becomes difficult to decide whether internet should be free from restraints or it should be having some degree of restrictions. Those who feel that the internet should be free from restraints believe that it should be left to the government to allow the internet community to go for self regulation says A. Harrison Barnes. John Perry Barlow admitted himself that “Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract. This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different”. He further said that men have minds, which are completely liberated to dwell in with no lawful constraints. To quote him, “Human civilization is developing its own (collective) mind. All we want is to be free to inhabit it with no legal constraints. Since you make sure we cannot harm you, you have no ethical right to intrude our lives. So stop intruding!”

The rules and regulations in the US do not filter the materials posted on the internet, whereas in the Middle East and Asian countries, the government has enforced several codes to block the viewers from coming in contact with inappropriate contents. Saudi Arabia and China are the two nations that have gained considerable amount of success in regulating traffic into these sites containing sexually explicit matters says A. Harrison Barnes.

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