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Preview: Syracuse Science & Technology Law Reporter

Syracuse Science & Technology Law Reporter

Fall 2005

Published: Sat, 25 Mar 2006 22:34:50 EST


The Baby and the Bathwater Too: A Critique of American Library Ass'n v. U.S.

Sat, 25 Mar 2006 22:34:50 EST

Fall 2005
In June 2003, the Supreme Court, in United States v. American Library Ass'n, sent tremors through libraries nationwide when it reversed a finding of the United States District Court (USDC) in Philadelphia that held the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was facially violative of the First Amendment rights of library patrons. Under CIPA, all libraries that accepted federal funding to cover the costs of providing Internet access to their patrons were required to install filtering software programs on their computers to prevent patrons from seeing any material that was obscene or "harmful to minors." The law was not limited to computers used solely by children - computers used by adult patrons, and even staff, were affected. The American Library Association (ALA) had objected to CIPA on the grounds that the broad scope of such filtering programs prevented patrons from exercising their First Amendment right to see materials which were not unlawful, but which the filters prevented them from accessing.

VoIP: A proposal for a Regulatory Scheme

Sat, 25 Mar 2006 22:34:50 EST

Fall 2005
Voice-over-Internet-protocol (hereinafter VoIP) technology allows people "to make telephone calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line." Because of its increasing popularity, there has been extensive lobbying and debate about the role of the federal government in any VoIP regulatory scheme. However, in late 2004, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requested that it be given broad regulatory authority over the VoIP industry. This decision was in response to various inquiries and lawsuits in which state governments attempted to regulate VoIP providers, as they do traditional phone services. The FCC is particularly concerned that "letting states regulate . . . VoIP services would lead to a patchwork of conflicting rules like those which have ensnarled the traditional phone business for decades."

America's War on Terror Goes into Cyberspace. Will the First Amendment Prevent the Government from Giving Chase?

Sat, 25 Mar 2006 22:34:50 EST

Fall 2005
"On September 11, 2001, life in the United States forever changed." While both the United States and the global community have been dealing with terrorist threats for decades, that day is one that will forever affect American political, social, and economic decisions. This note will examine how this era of "America's War on Terror" may cause a shift in legal jurisprudence, similar to the way in which the social structure of the mid-twentieth century created a shift in the law's views of civil rights and racial equality.