Nevertheless, Senator Exon, joined by Senator Coats, in 1995 proposed the Communication Decency Act(CDA). The pervasiveness of this problem led Congress to pass the Internet Censorship Bill of 1995, also known as the Exon/Coats CDA. The bill amended section 223 (47 U.S.C. 223) of the Communication Act of 1934 to establish a prohibition on commercial distribution of material on the World Wide Web that is harmful to minors. The Act makes it a criminal offense to make available to children any indecent material or to send anything indecent with the “intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass” (Stop the Communication Decency Act). Under this bill, a person breaks the law if he/she puts offensive material like pornography on a web page without making sure children cannot access the page. Furthermore, if a person verbally assaults someone on the Internet Relay Chat (IRC), he/she breaks the law. Under the CDA then, at a university where some students may be under 18 years old, a LAN that carries the alt.sex.newsgroup (i.e., adult materials) breaks the law.
Censorship of the Internet by F. Cutugno (via nosebleed/#bs on irc.mozilla.org)