Text: H.R.1978 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/30/1995)

 
[Congressional Bills 104th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 1978 Introduced in House (IH)]







104th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1978

 To encourage and protect private sector initiatives that improve user 
              control over computer information services.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             June 30, 1995

   Mr. Cox of California (for himself and Mr. Wyden) introduced the 
    following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Commerce

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 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) Effect 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 service that provides 
        computer access to multiple users via modem to a remote 
        computer server, 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 
        or other techniques to permit user 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.''.
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