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Re: Effects of S.314 (Communications Decency Act)




On Tue, 7 Feb 1995, Brad Huntting wrote:

> 
> Can anyone confirm this S.314 thing?  It sounds an awful lot like
> the "modem tax" and other urban legends.

Here is everything T.H.O.M.A.S. had on it. (http://thomas.loc.gov)

 S 314 IS
 104th CONGRESS
1st Session
To protect the public from the misuse of the telecommunications
network and telecommunications devices and facilities.
 IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 1 (legislative day, January 30), 1995
 
          Mr. Exon (for himself and Mr. Gorton) introduced the following
bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on
Commerce, Science, and Transportation A BILL
 
          To protect the public from the misuse of the telecommunications
network and telecommunications devices and facilities.
       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,
 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Communications Decency Act of 1995'.
 
          SEC. 2. OBSCENE OR HARASSING USE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES
UNDER THE COMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1934.
 (a) Offenses: Section 223 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47
 
U.S.C. 223) is amended--
 (1) in subsection (a)(1)--
 (A) by striking out `telephone' in the matter above
        subparagraph (A) and inserting `telecommunications device';
 (B) by striking out `makes any comment, request,
        suggestion, or proposal' in subparagraph (A) and inserting
        `makes, transmits, or otherwise makes available any
comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other
communication';
 (C) by striking out subparagraph (B) and inserting the
    following:
      `(B) makes a telephone call or utilizes a
telecommunications device, whether or not conversation or
        communications ensues, without disclosing his identity and
        with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person
      at the called number or who receives the communication;' and
 (D) by striking out subparagraph (D) and inserting the
        following:     
        `(D) makes repeated telephone calls or repeatedly
        initiates communication with a telecommunications device,
during which conversation or communication ensues, solely
      to harass any person at the called number or who receives
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        the communication; or';
22), by striking `telephone facility'
and inserting `telecommunications facility'; 
(3) in subsection (b)(1)--
A) in subparagraph (A)--
      (i) by striking `telephone' and inserting
    `telecommunications device'; and
      (ii) inserting `or initiated the communication' and
    `placed the call', and
B) in subparagraph (B), by striking `telephone facility'
and inserting `telecommunications facility'; and
(4) in subsection (b)(2)-- 
  (A) in subparagraph (A)--
      (i) by striking `by means of telephone, makes' and  
    inserting `by means of telephone or telecommunications 
    device, makes, knowingly transmits, or knowingly makes  
  available'; and
      (ii) by inserting `or initiated the communication'
  after `placed the call'; and
  (B) in subparagraph (B), by striking `telephone facility'
and inserting in lieu thereof `telecommunications facility'.
(b) Penalties: Section 223 of such Act (47 U.S.C. 223) is amended--
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(1) by striking out `$50,000' each place it appears and
inserting `$100,000'; and
  (2) by striking `six months' each place it appears and
inserting `2 years'.
(c) Prohibition on Provision of Access: Subsection (c)(1) of such
section (47 U.S.C. 223(c)) is amended by striking `telephone' and
inserting `telecommunications device.'
(d) Conforming Amendment: The section heading for such section is
amended to read as follows:
`obscene or harassing utilization of telecommunications devices and
facilities in the district of columbia or in interstate or foreign
communications'.
SEC. 3. OBSCENE PROGRAMMING ON CABLE TELEVISION.
Section 639 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 559) is
amended by striking `$10,000' and inserting `$100,000'.
SEC. 4. BROADCASTING OBSCENE LANGUAGE ON RADIO. 
Section 1464 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by
striking out `$10,000' and inserting `$100,000'.
SEC. 5. INTERCEPTION AND DISCLOSURE OF ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS.
Section 2511 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--
(1) in paragraph (1)--
        (A) by striking `wire, oral, or electronic communication'  
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  each place it appears and inserting `wire, oral,     
    electronic, or digital communication', and
    (B) in the matter designated as `(b)', by striking `oral
    communication' in the matter above clause (i) and inserting
      `communication'; and
      (2) in paragraph (2)(a), by striking `wire or electronic   
    communication service' each place it appears (other than in the
  second sentence) and inserting `wire, electronic, or digital   
    communication service'.
SEC. 6. ADDITIONAL PROHIBITION ON BILLING FOR TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE  
 CALLS.
  Section 228(c)(6) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C.
228(c)(6)) is amended--
    (1) by striking `or' at the end of subparagraph (C); 
      (2) by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (D) and
    inserting a semicolon and `or'; and
    (3) by adding at the end thereof the following:
 `(E) the calling party being assessed, by virtue of being
        asked to connect or otherwise transfer to a pay-per-call 
      service, a charge for the call.'. 
SEC. 7. SCRAMBLING OF CABLE CHANNELS FOR NONSUBSCRIBERS.
Part IV of title VI of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 
6
551 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
`SEC. 640. SCRAMBLING OF CABLE CHANNELS FOR NONSUBSCRIBERS.
`(a) Requirement: In providing video programming unsuitable for 
children to any subscriber through a cable system, a cable operator
shall fully scramble or otherwise fully block the video and audio
portion of each channel carrying such programming so that one not a
subscriber does not receive it. 
`(b) Definition: As used in this section, the term `scramble' 
means to rearrange the content of the signal of the programming so
that the programming cannot be received by persons unauthorized to
receive the programming.'.
SEC. 8. CABLE OPERATOR REFUSAL TO CARRY CERTAIN PROGRAMS. 
  (a) Public, Educational, and Governmental Channels: Section
611(e) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 531(e)) is
amended by inserting before the period the following: `, except a  
cable operator may refuse to transmit any public access program or
portion of a public access program which contains obscenity,
indecency, or nudity'.
(b) Cable Channels for Commercial Use: Section 612(c)(2) of the
Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 532(c)(2)) is amended by
striking `an operator' and inserting `a cable operator may refuse
to transmit any leased access program or portion of a leased access
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program which contains obscenity, indecency, or nudity.