================================================================= [Not official version -- prepared by Electronic Privacy Information Center] 104th Congress 1st Session In the House of Representatives Mr. Cox (for himself and Mr. Wyden) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on __________ A Bill To encourage and protect private sector initiatives that improve user control over computer information services. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the "Internet Freedom and Family Empowerment Act." SEC. 2. ONLINE FAMILY EMPOWERMENT. Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 201 et. seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section: "SEC. 230. PROTECTION FOR PRIVATE BLOCKING AND SCREENING OF OFFENSIVE MATERIAL; FCC CONTENT AND ECONOMIC REGULATION OF COMPUTER SERVICES PROHIBITED. "(a) FINDINGS.-- The Congress finds the following: "(1) The rapidly developing array of Internet and other interactive computer services available to individual Americans represent an extraordinary advance in the availability of educational and informational resources to our citizens. "(2) These services offer users a great degree of control over the information that they receive, as well as the potential for even greater control in the future as technology develops. "(3) The Internet and other interactive computer services offer a forum for a true diversity of political discourse, unique opportunities for cultural development, and myriad avenues for intellectual activity. "(4) The Internet and other interactive computer services have flourished, to the benefit of all Americans, with a minimum of government regulation. "(5) Increasingly Americans are relying on interactive media for a variety of political, educational, cultural, and entertainment services. "(b) POLICY- It is the policy of the United States to - "(1) promote the continued development of the Internet and other interactive computer services and other interactive media: "(2) preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet and other interactive computer services, unfettered by State or Federal regulation: "(3) encourage the development of technologies which maximize user control over the information received by individuals, families, and schools who use the Internet and other interactive computer services; "(4) remove disincentives for the development and utilization of blocking and filtering technologies that empower parents to restrict their children's access to objectionable or inappropriate online material; and "(5) ensure vigorous enforcement of criminal laws to deter and punish trafficking in obscenity, stalking, and harassment by means of computer. "(c) PROTECTION FOR 'GOOD SAMARITAN' BLOCKING AND SCREENING OF OFFENSIVE MATERIAL. - No provider or user of interactive computer services shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by an information content provider. No provider or user of interactive computer services shall be held liable on account of - "(1) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or "(2) any action taken to make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph (1). "(d) FCC REGULATION OF THE INTERNET AND OTHER INTERACTIVE COMPUTER SERVICES PROHIBITED.-Nothing in this Act shall be construed to grant any jurisdiction or authority to the Commission with respect to economic or content regulation of the Internet or other interactive computer services. "(e) EFFECTS ON OTHER LAWS - "(1) NO EFFECT ON CRIMINAL LAW. - Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair the enforcement of section 223 of this Act, chapter 71 (relating to obscenity) or 110 (relating to sexual exploitation of children) of title 18, United States Code, or any other Federal criminal statute. "(2) NO EFFECT ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW - nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or expand any law pertaining to intellectual property. "(3) IN GENERAL - Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any state from enforcing any state law that is consistent with this section "(f) Definitions - As used in this section: "(1) INTERNET. - The term 'Internet' means the international computer network of both Federal and non-Federal interoperable packet switched data networks. "(2) INTERACTIVE COMPUTER SERVICE. - The term 'interactive computer service' means any information that provides computer access to multiple users via modem to a remote computer service, including specifically a service that provides access to the Internet. "(3) INFORMATION CONTENT PROVIDER. - the term 'information content provider' means any person or entity that is responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development of information provided by the Internet or any other interactive computer service, including any person or entity that creates or develops blocking or screening software to permit control over offensive material. "(4) INFORMATION SERVICE. - The term 'information service' means the offering of a capability for generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information via telecommunications, and includes electronic publishing, but does not include any use of any such capability for the management, control, or operation of a telecommunications system or the management of a telecommunications service."