About 1 percent of Web sites indexed by Google and Microsoft are sexually explicit, according to a U.S. government-commissioned study.
Government lawyers introduced the study in court this month as the Justice Department seeks to revive the 1998 Child Online Protection Act, which required commercial Web sites to collect a credit card number or other proof of age before allowing Internet users to view material deemed "harmful to minors."
COPA is bad law that was temporarily (and rightly) frozen by the Supreme Court because it likely violates the First Amendment because, in my opinion, it is unconstitutionally overbroad, not narrowly tailored, and chills speech. But now, the Justice Department is back at it again, trying to revive the law. Great.
The plaintiffs, including Salon.com, say they would fear prosecution under the law for publishing material as varied as erotic literature to photos of naked inmates at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.