The most obvious physical analogy for a computer is a television. But opponents of the CDA say that the Internet and the computers that it is accessed on are unlike any telecommunications device ever known. (4) Because of these differences, they say that the Internet cannot be regulated like any other telecommunications device.
Opponents of the CDA also agree that the law was written in a way that restricted the rights of all Americans in a supposed benefit for children. The ACLU, which was responsible for bringing the case all the way to the Supreme Court, is still not convinced that children do not have the right to view indecent material. (8)
First Amendment absolutists see the CDA as a large strike against free speech. They say that the Internet is not like traditional media. Foor the first time in history free speech is available to anyone with a computer. Anyone can express his or her views to a mass audience. (17)
Nicholas Johnson, a former FCC Commissioner, holds that the Internet gives Americans free and easy entry for their own information and ideas, along with access to those of others. (6)
"The CDA presents a challenge for our country: how to preserve the freedom of speech for all our citizens, not just those who have $200 million or more in spare pocket change to buy their own newspaper, broadcast station, or telephone company," said Johnson in an article in the Federal Communications Law Journal. (6)
Other groups are opposed to the CDA because it is so vague that it could be interpreted to prevent information about abortion, birth control, and even pictures of pregnant women like the one of Demi Moore on the cover of Vanity Fair. (19)
The Philadelphia judges who ruled the CDA was unconstitutional had various reasons for doing so. The one that they all agreed on was that the CDA reached speech which is subject to full First Amendment protection for adults. (5) Other reasons included that the language of the law was too vague, the penalties too stiff, and the language too restricting.
Most offensive to opponents of the CDA is the works of art, plays, novels and free marketplace of ideas that are restricted by the CDA. Also offensive is the big-brotherism that is suggested by allowing the government to regulate what can be said on the Internet.