June 26, 1996
Today, the Supreme Court ruled that portions of the Communications Decency Act addressing indecency are not constitutional. We will study its opinion closely.
The administration remains firmly committed to the provisions -- both in the CDA and elsewhere in the criminal code -- that prohibit the transmission of obscenity over the Internet and via other media. Similarly, we remain committed to vigorous enforcement of federal prohibitions against transmission of child pornography over the Internet, and another prohibition that makes criminal the use of the Internet by pedophiles to entice children to engage in sexual activity.
The Internet is an incredibly powerful medium for freedom of speech and freedom of expression that should be protected. It is the biggest change in human communications since the printing press, and is being used to educate our children, promote electronic commerce, provide valuable health care information, and allow citizens to keep in touch with their government. But there is material on the Internet that is clearly inappropriate for children. As a parent, I understand the concerns that parents have about their children accessing inappropriate material.
If we are to make the Internet a powerful resource for learning, we must give parents and teachers the tools they need to make the Internet safe for children.
Therefore, in the coming days, I will convene industry leaders and groups representing teachers, parents and librarians. We can and must develop a solution for the Internet that is as powerful for the computer as the v-chip will be for the television, and that protects children in ways that are consistent with America's free speech values. With the right technology and rating systems - we can help ensure that our children don't end up in the red light districts of cyberspace.