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Freedom of speech upheld on the web in Pennsylvania

Hurray! A Federal judge has struck down Pennsylvania's one-of-a-kind law requiring Internet service providers to block IP addresses specified by prosecutors [thanks to Michael Geist's Internet Law News].

A federal court yesterday struck down as unconstitutional a path-breaking Pennsylvania law designed to prevent Internet users from seeing Web sites that contain child pornography.

U.S. District Court Judge Jan E. DuBois threw out the 2002 law, ruling that it violated free-speech rights because it resulted in more than 1 million legitimate sites being blocked but shut down only about 400 offenders.

The law allowed state prosecutors to demand that providers of Internet connections, such as telephone and cable companies, America Online, Microsoft Corp. and others, block access to the sites or face potential criminal penalties.

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