internet (content) enjoys full First Amendment protections just like other media forms and faces little regulatory oversight.
The Federal Communication Communication (FCC) exercises some control over internet service, but not the content.
Most internet content regulation was established by The Communications Decency Act (1996).
|The Communications Decency Act (1996)
This act was passed in a bid to control internet content, mainly indecent material and pornography.
Most important part (to internet freedom) is Section 230 of the act, which differentiates between an internet service provider and information content provider.
Regarding internet service providers:
Regarding an information content provider:
This simply means that you cannot sue internet service providers such as Spectrum, Comcast, or even platforms such as Google, Facebook, or YouTube for defamatory things people post about you via their internet service or platform. This is because they do not regulate the content, just the infrastructure that houses that content. A person posting on the platform is responsible for the content. However, if the providers edits the content, they will likely lose this immunity.
|The Role of the Communications Decency Act
|The Communications Decency Act Controversy
The ACLU sued the government for the excessiveness of the obscenity-related portions of the law regarding the protection of minors from exposure to indecent and obscene material.
In Reno v. ACLU (1997), the Supreme Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional because:
|The Children's internet Protection Act (2000)
Over time, most internet decency laws have been struck down except for the Children's internet Protection Act (2000) because it only places restrictions on computers in schools and libraries using E-rate. This is a government subsidy given to public libraries to offset the costs of providing internet services.
The act requires that:
Read more here.
Even though the FCC cannot regulate internet content, it can regulated internet service via the Telecommunications Act (1996).
This means that the FCC can regulate internet Service Provider (ISPs) and not the content they carry.
Read more about net neutrality here.