Groups Challenge Expanded Mass. Obscenity Law

Internet content providers have asked a judge to stop Massachusetts from enforcing a portion of an expanded obscenity law that includes electronic communications that may be harmful to minors.

The coalition says the new state law effectively bans from the Internet anything that may be considered "harmful to minors," including material adults have a First Amendment right to view.

Supporters say the new law closes a loophole that led the state's highest court to overturn the conviction of a man accused of sending sexually explicit instant messages to someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl.

The content providers are not seeking to bar enforcement as it applies to sexual predators or others who use the Internet to send harmful matter to minors.

U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel did not immediately issue a ruling after hearing arguments Tuesday.

This program aired on October 19, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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