Jonathan Wallace and Mark Mangan have written a book on
free speech on the Internet. You have reached the online
summary and epilogue...
We describe the genesis of the Communications Decency Act and
the cases, such as Amateur Action and Jake Baker that fueled
our moral legislators' call for online censorship. In chapters
on Phil Zimmerman, Prodigy, and the Scientology lawsuits, we
detail the confused struggle of the courts to define legal standards
for cyberspace. We also recount the meteoric emergence and
disappearance of Marty Rimm and his infamous "Cyberporn" study,
followed by the story of Senator Exon and his campaign against
"predators, pedophiles and pornographers"
on the Net. Finally, in a summary chapter, we look at the
sorry history of frightened over-reaction to past communications
technologies, including writing, the printing press, the telegraph,
telephone, radio and television. We conclude with some "advice
to the perplexed" to promote the freedom of speech in cyberspace while
allowing parents to block content they deem unsuitable for
The book has been printed in hardcover by
Henry Holt & Co. and is in bookstores now.
Since it hit the shelves in April, Sex, Laws, and Cyberspace has been reviewed most notably by The Chicago Tribune ("Making a Strong Case for an Uncensored Internet", April 24).
It has been featured on NBC's Extra, CNBC's America's Business, and a political show on America's Talking network. We have both also interviewed and debated the issues on over a dozen radio shows around the country.
Look for an upcoming review in the "Books in Brief" section
of the Sunday
New York Times Book Review (May 26).
Order the Book Directly]
Read More about the CDA
and how the government has banned "indecency" on the global networks