Congress years ago tried to regulate indecency on the Internet through the Child Online Protection Act, through regulation of content that was harmful to minors. Because of the sweeping nature of the restrictions, the Courts have repeatedly invalidated the law. We wrote in March 2007 about a Federal District Court decision invalidating the law (this post also details the provisions and prohibitions of the Act). Now, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the District Court ruling, finding that the law violated the First Amendment rights of website operators, as the government had not shown that the Act’s restrictions were the least restrictive means of accomplishing the government’s objectives – protecting children. According to the Court’s findings, voluntary filters would accomplish the same ends, and allow adults to view adult material which might be harmful to children under the Act’s definition but which is not legally obscene and is therefore constitutionally protected . Our law firm’s Advisory Bulletin on the Third Circuit’s decision can be found here. The Third Circuit decision is available here.