Sex, Laws and Cyberspace

Mark Mangan and I have written a book on freedom of speech in cyberspace.

We describe the genesis of the Communications Decency Act and the cases that fueled our moral legislators' call for online censorship, such as Amateur Action and Jake Baker. The confused struggle of the courts to define legal standards for cyberspace is detailed in chapters on Phil Zimmerman, Prodigy and the Scientology lawsuits. The meteoric emergence and disappearance of Marty Rimm and the infamous "Cyberporn" study is recounted, 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 their children.

Sex Laws and Cyberspace has been printed in hardcover by Henry Holt & Co. Though it will not be out in bookstores until March, it can be ordered via Amazon Books. It can also be bought directly from the warehouse NOW ... 1-800-488-5233
If you have any questions, feel free to email Mark.

In the meantime, keep checking back to this site, which will give summaries of all the chapters and provide links to all our sources on the Net.

Jonathan Wallace