High court to hear CDA arguments

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The Supreme Court on Friday decided to hear arguments concerning the government's right to control free speech on the Internet. The court's justices voted to review a ruling in an appellate court that struck down major provisions of the Communications Decency Act.

Opponents of the legislation warned that the issues in the case represent "the most important First Amendment case to go to the court in 30 years."

Danny Weitzner of the Center for Democracy and Technology said the case was vital. "This is a really important case ... that decides freedom to speak and freedom to read for the next century." he said.

A three-judge appellate panel in Philadelphia struck down the law last June. The law would make it a crime to make "indecent" or "patently offensive words or pictures" available on the Internet where they could be seen by children.

Copyright December 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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