The Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition -- http://www.ciec.org


** SPECIAL EVENT ANNOUNCEMNT **

JOIN BRUCE ENNIS - FRESH FROM FIGHTING THE CDA AT THE SUPREME COURT - LIVE
ONLINE WEDNESDAY MARCH 19TH 1997 AT 6:00 PM EST (3:00 PM PACIFIC)

March 17, 1997

Please distribute widely with this banner intact. Please post only in
appropriate forums. Do not distribute after March 19, 1997


SPECIAL EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT

On March 19th, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in
the legal challenge to the Communications Decency Act -- a law which
imposes broad content regulations on the Internet. The outcome of this
case will have a profound impact on the future of the Internet and the fate
of the First Amendment in the Information Age. A decision is expected in
June.

Curious how the Supreme Court justices reacted to the arguments? Have
questions abut the case and its implications? Join Bruce Ennis, lead
attorney for the Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition (CIEC), who will
have just finished arguing the case before the Court on behalf of both the
ACLU and CIEC plaintiffs, for a special online debriefing and discussion.

DETAILS ON HOW TO PARTICIPATE:

This special event is presented by the Citizens Internet Empowerment
Coalition, HotWired, and Progressive Networks. It will combine a live
interview with Bruce Ennis, cybercast via RealAudio, with a simultaneous
interactive chat forum where participants can ask questions and discuss the
case.

DATE: Wednesday March 19, 1997
TIME: 6:00 pm Eastern time, 3:00 pm Pacific

Audio feeds and links to the chat discussion will be available from the
following sites:

* Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition - http://www.ciec.org/
* HotWired - http://www.hotwired.com/
* Progressive Networks's WebActive - http://www.webactive.com/

You will need a RealAudio (available free at http://www.realaudio.com/), a
Java enabled browser, or a telnet application on your computer in order to
particpate. Please visit the URL's above for more details.

BACKGROUND ON THE CDA AND THE LAW SUIT

The Communications Decency Act was signed into law as part of the
Telecommunications Reform Act on February 8th 1996. The law makes it a
crime to "display" "indecent" or "patently offensive" material in a public
forum on the Internet. Opponents argue that the law is overly restrictive
and threatens to severely restrict the free flow of information on the
Internet, and that individual users and parents, not the federal
government, are the best judges of material is appropriate for themselves
and their children.

Two lawsuits were filed to challenge the constitutionality of the CDA in a
Philadelphia federal court in February 1996.

The cases have been brought, respectively, by The Citizens Internet
Empowerment Coalition (CIEC), comprised of the American Library
Association. civil liberties groups, Internet Service Providers, Commercial
Online Service Providers, Newspaper, Magazine and Book Publishers, and over
56,000 individual Internet users. The ACLU, along with a coalition of civil
liberties groups, advocacy groups, online content providers, and others
filed the initial case on the day the CDA was signed into law.

The ACLU and CIEC cases will be argued together before the Supreme Court on
March 19, 1997 by CIEC lead attorney Bruce Ennis. A decision is expected
in June.

Detailed information on the legal challenges, as well as information about
the CDA, is available at the following web sites:

* Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition - http://www.ciec.org/
* The ACLU - http://www.aclu.org/

The outcome of this legal battle will have far reaching implications. At
stake is nothing less than the future of the First Amendment in the
information age.


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