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Governor signs Internet 'indecency' act

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  1. Content Restrictions
Governor signs Internet 'indecency' act 04/06/98 NEW MEXICO--In early March, Gov. Gary Johnson signed into law a provision making it…

Governor signs Internet ‘indecency’ act

04/06/98

NEW MEXICO–In early March, Gov. Gary Johnson signed into law a provision making it a crime to send “indecent” material to minors over the Internet.

Senate Bill 121, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Ingle (R-Chaves), makes it a misdemeanor to disseminate to a minor on-line material that is “offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable material for minors, is utterly without redeeming social importance for minors,” and “lacks serious literary, artistic, political and scientific value.”

In a press release, the national office of the ACLU contended that the legal language of the act is so broad that an image of Michelangelo’s David and educational information about prisoner rape, safe sex practices and abortion could be censored.

Ann Beeson, an ACLU national staff attorney, said that the ACLU will challenge the law, following the arguments used in fighting the Communications Decency Act of 1997, which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down.

Twenty-four other states have considered or passed Internet censorship legislation the last three years, the ACLU reported in a press release.

The ACLU has successfully challenged similar Internet indecency acts in New York and Virginia.

The law goes into effect July 1. (S. 127)