frequently asked questionscases & resources  
Has Congress ever tried to prohibit hate speech on the Internet?

Yes. Congress passed the Child Internet Protection Act, a law primarily aimed at prohibiting the transmission of child pornography over the Internet. One of the provisions of CIPA required public libraries, as a condition of their receiving federal subsidies, to have Internet filters on their computer terminals so that library patrons would be unable to access offensive Web sites. These Internet filters block, among other things, access to sites that espouse or display hate speech. In American Library Ass’n, Inc. v. U.S., 201 F. Supp. 2d 401 (E.D. Pa. 2002), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found that provision of CIPA unconstitutional. (See Filtering article in this section.)

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