CDT

Legal – Cases –  Center for Democracy & Technology et. al. v. Fisher

Case Name: 
CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY & TECHNOLOGY et al v. FISHER, Case No. 2:03-cv-05051-JD, filed September 9, 2003, U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  Jane E., DuBois, presiding

Description:
In 2002, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a law requiring that Internet Services Providers block websites known to host child pornography.   On September 9, 2003, the Center for Democracy and Technology filed a first amendment challenge to the law, arguing that it constituted an illegal prior restraint on speech.  The 12-day trial involved a great deal of technical testimony, and centered around the cost, effectiveness, and degree of “overblocking” caused by various types of filtering, such as IP filtering, DNS filtering, or URL filtering.

Outcome:
The trial court struck down the law on multiple grounds, including that the law was a prior restraint on free speech.

Status:
Closed

Chronology & Legal Documents:
06/07/02          Penn. Statute § 7330 (2002) enacted (Text of law)
09/09/03          CDT, et. al. file complaint
11/18/03           Government replies to complaint
03/01/04          Trial concludes
04/06/04          Plaintiff Proposed Findings of Fact
04/30/04          Defendant Proposed Findings of Fact
09/10/04          Court strikes down Pennsylvania law

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