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Arguments Continue In COPA Trial

November 21, 2006

In hearings at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania yesterday, attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union argued that the Child Online Protection Act intended to prevent children from exposure to online pornography is so imprecisely written it would thwart the free speech rights of adults.

To bolster their artgument, the attorneys maintained that filtering technology was a more effective tool than outright banning.

Citing the popularity of such sites as, which is an online magazine about sexual politics, are and literature, as well as Urban Dictionary, which catalogues contemorary slang, ACLU attorney Chris Hansen said that COPA would force such sites to stop publishing.

"That's an awful lot of speech that would be chilled by COPA going into effect," Hansen said.

But as to the filters, U.S. Attorney JOel McEvain argued against their effectiveness.

"Evidence shows that many parents do not actrively use the filters," U.S. Justice Department attroney Joel McElvain said.

A rulling from Justice Lowell Read is expected in spring, 2007.

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