[Congressional Record Volume 141, Number 105 (Monday, June 26, 1995)]
[Pages S9017-S9023]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, there is an article from Time magazine 
and an article from the Spectator magazine that I ask unanimous consent 
to have printed in the Record at the end of my remarks.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (See exhibit 1.)
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, this morning I want to speak on a topic 
that has received a lot of attention around here lately. My topic is 
cyberporn, and that is, computerized pornography. I have introduced S. 
892, entitled the Protection of Children from Computer Pornography Act 
of 1995.
  This legislation is narrowly drawn. It is meant to help protect 
children from sexual predators and exposure to graphic pornography.
  Mr. President, Georgetown University Law School has released a 
remarkable study conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon 
University. This study raises important questions about the 
availability and the nature of cyberporn. It is this article I ask to 
have printed in the Record.
  Later on, on this subject, some time during the middle of July, I 
will be conducting hearings before the full Judiciary Committee to 
fully and completely explore these issues. In the meantime, I want to 
refer to the Carnegie Mellon study, and I want to emphasize that this 
is Carnegie Mellon University. This is not a study done by some 
religious organization analyzing pornography that might be on computer 
  The university surveyed 900,000 computer images. Of these 900,000 
images, 83.5 percent of all computerized photographs available on the 
Internet are pornographic. Mr. President, I want to repeat that: 83.5 
percent of the 900,000 images reviewed--these are all on the Internet--
are pornographic, according to the Carnegie Mellon study.
  Now, of course, that does not mean that all of these images are 
illegal under the Constitution. But with so many graphic images 
available on computer networks, I believe Congress must act and do so 
in a constitutional manner to help parents who are under assault in 
this day and age. There is a flood of vile pornography, and we must act 
to stem this growing tide, because, in the words of Judge Robert Bork, 
it incites perverted minds. I refer to Judge Bork from the Spectator 
article that I have permission to insert in the Record.
  My bill, again, is S. 892, and provides just this sort of 
constitutional, narrowly focused assistance in protecting children, 
while also protecting the rights of consenting adults to transmit and 
receive protected pornographic material--protected, that is, under the 
first amendment.
  Also, according to the Carnegie Mellon University study, cyberporn is 
really big business. Some computer networks which specialize in 
computer pornography take in excess of $1 million per year.
  Later this week, I am going to introduce the Antielectronic 
Racketeering Act of 1995 which will target organized crime which has 
begun to use the awesome powers of computers to engage in criminal 
  As we all know from past debates in this body, organized crime is 
heavily involved in trafficking illegal pornography. The Antielectronic 
Racketeering Act will put a dent into that.
  In closing, Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to give this study by 
Carnegie Mellon University serious consideration, and I urge my 
colleagues to support S. 892. I yield the floor.

                               Exhibit 1

                   [From the Spectator, Feb. 4, 1995]

                    An Electronic Sink of Depravity

       New York.--If last year it was merely modish to be seen 
     speeding down the information superhighway, this year it is 
     fast becoming essential, at least in America. Hitch your 
     wagon to cyberspace, says the new Speaker of the House, Mr. 
     Newt Gingrich, and your democracy will become absolute, with 
     all America joined together for the first time into one vast 
     and egalitarian town meeting.
       Mr. Gingrich made this all clear two weeks ago when he 
     unveiled a new system for bringing Congress to the 
     electronically connected populace, which in honour of 
     President Jefferson is called ``Thomas''. Anyone with a 
     computer and a modem at home or in the office (or even up in 
     the skies, courtesy of USAir's new back-of-the-seat 
     telescreens) may now, with only the click of a few buttons, 
     find the text of any bill, any resolution, any government 
       Mr. Gingrich is hugely excited by this idea--going so far 
     as to suggest, and not at all facetiously, that perhaps every 
     citizen be given a thousand-dollar tax deduction to allow him 
     to buy himself a laptop computer. Thus will all America be 
     conjoined, he argues, and thus will its democracy be ever 
     strengthened as in no other country on earth.
       Fine, say I, and not just because I will become richer by 
     $1,000. For the last three years or so I have been a 
     dedicated and enthusiastic user of the Internet. (The 
     Internet--``the net'' to those in the know--began innocently 
     enough 20 years ago as a vast worldwide network of computers, 
     linked together by government-funded telephone

[[Page S9018]]

     lines, with high-powered government-funded ``exchanges'' to 
     speed calls on their way, which enabled universities and 
     governments to swap information. Five years or so ago, its 
     controllers opted to make it more democratic, and now anyone 
     is able to connect to it; tens of thousands of new 
     subscribers join every day, and the net is becoming truly 
     global, with at least 20 million regular users.)
       I am a typical enough user. I send electronic mail--e-
     mail--to everyone who is similarly hooked up (it is lightning 
     fast and essentially free); and I browse through the world's 
     libraries and data-bases to do research for whatever book I 
     happen to be writing. I bask happily in the 
     Panglossian principle that the Internet seems to enshrine. 
     By virtue of the net, I have complete freedom to explore 
     and trawl for anything I want in what has become by custom 
     an untrammelled, uncontrolled, wholly liberated ocean of 
     information. The Internet seems and sounds to be something 
     almost noble. One can understand why the US Congress named 
     its own portion of the net after Jefferson: all knowledge 
     there is is on hand for all the people--just the kind of 
     thing the great man would have liked.
       But this week, while I was peering into an area of the 
     Internet where I have hitherto not lingered, I discovered 
     something so appalling as to put all such high-minded 
     sentiments into a quite different perspective.
       I had stumbled, not entirely accidentally, into a sinkhole 
     of electronic but very real perversion. The first thing I 
     read, almost as soon as I entered it, was a lengthy, very 
     graphic and in stylistic terms quite competently composed 
     narrative that presented in all its essentials the story of a 
     kidnapping, and the subsequent rape, torture, mutilation and 
     eventual murder of the two victims. That author called 
     himself by a code-name, Blackwind; and while it is quite 
     likely that he is American, almost as certain that he is 
     well-educated and quite possible that he is at least a 
     peripheral member of the academic community, we know, and are 
     allowed to know, nothing else about him.
       His anonymity is faultlessly safeguarded by a system of 
     electronics which has been built into the Internet, and which 
     even the police and the other agents of the state are unable, 
     technically or in law, to penetrate. This is, from their 
     point of view, highly regrettable. Blackwind's offerings--and 
     the very similar stories currently being published on the 
     Internet by scores of men who are in all likelihood as 
     deranged as he seems to be--should be subject to some kind of 
     legal sanction, and for one very understandable reason: the 
     victims of the story he has written are small children.
       One is a six-year old boy named Christopher, who, among 
     other indignities, suffers a castration--reported in loving 
     detail--before being shot. The other is a girl named Karen, 
     who is seven years old and is raped repeatedly by no fewer 
     than nine men, before having her nipples cut off and her 
     throat slashed.
       At the moment of my writing this, I find that there are 
     perhaps 200 similar stories presently circulating and 
     available on one of the so-called ``newsgroups'' on the 
     Internet. The choice of tales is endlessly expanded and 
     refreshed by new and ever more exotic stories that emerge 
     into this particular niche in the other every day, almost 
     every hour. You want tales of fathers sodomizing their three-
     year-old daughters, or of mothers performing fellatio on 
     their prepubescent sons, or of girls coupling with horses, or 
     of the giving of enemas to child virgins? Then you need do no 
     more than visit the newsgroup that is named 
     ``alt.sex.stories'' and all will reliably be there, 24 hours 
     a day, for everyone with a computer and a telephone, anywhere 
     on (or above) the face of the earth.
       There are about 5,000 separate newsgroups on the net, each 
     one of them presenting chatter about some scintilla of human 
     knowledge or endeavour. I have long liked the system, and 
     found it an agreeable way to discover people around the world 
     who have similar interests. I used to tell others who were 
     not yet signed up to the net that using newsgroups was like 
     going into a hugely crowded pub, finding in milliseconds 
     those who wanted to talk about what you wanted to know, 
     having a quick drink with them before leaving, without once 
     having encountered a bore.
       And so, with an alphabetical list running from `ab.fen'--
     which shows you how much fun you can have in Alberta--down to 
     something in German called `zer.zmetz.Wissenschaft.physlk', 
     the enthusiasms of the world's Internet-connected population 
     are distilled into their electronic segments. Alberta-philes 
     can chat with each other, as can German physicists, and those 
     who would bore these are left to chat among themselves. In 
     theory, an admirable arrangement.
       By Jeffersonian rights it should be uplifting to the 
     spirit. In reality it is rather less so. In far too many 
     groups the level of discussion is execrable and juvenile. 
     Arguments break out, insults are exchanged, the chatter 
     drifts aimlessly in and out of relevance. This is a reality 
     of the electronic world that few like to admit. It is 
     prompting many browsers to suspect, as I do, that a 
     dismayingly large number of users of this system are not at 
     all the kind of sturdy champions of freedom and democracy and 
     intellect that Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Gore would like them to 
       More probably, to judge from the tone and the language in 
     many of the groups, they are pasty-faced and dysfunctional 
     men with halitosis who inhabit damp basements. And it is for 
     them, in large measure, that the newsgroups whose titles 
     begin with the code-letters `alt.sex' seem to exist.
       There are 55 of these, offering manna for all diets. Some 
     are fairly light-hearted; `alt.sex.anal', for example 
     contains much spirited chat about amusing uses to which you 
     can put the colonic gateway; `alt.sex.voyeurism' seems to 
     contain reasonably harmless chatter between a whole worldful 
     of civic-minded Peeping Toms, who like to advise one another 
     which public loos in which national parks have eye-sized 
     knotholes in their doors. There is also `alt.sex.nasal.hair', 
     into which I have not thus far been tempted.
       There are a number of the groups, though, which are not so 
     amusing. There is `alt.sex.intergen', where the last letters 
     stand for `intergenerational', which is the current 
     paedophile bulletin-board; and there is my current target, 
     `alt.sex.stories'. I came across it by accident, and I 
     double-clicked my mouse to open it, briefly enthralled. It 
     did not take many seconds before I realized I had been ill-
     prepared for what was on offer.
       There is a kind of classification system. Each story entry 
     lists a title, an author (invariably either a pseudonym, or 
     posted via an anonymous computer that has laundered the words 
     and made the detection of the author impossible), and a 
     series of code-words and symbols that indicate the 
     approximate content.
       Blackwind's many offerings--there were about 200 stories in 
     all, with Blackwind contributing perhaps 15 of them--
     usually fell into the categories that are denoted by the 
     codes `m-f, f-f, scat.pedo.snuff', meaning that they 
     contain scenes of male-female sex, female-female sex, 
     scatological imagery, paedophiliac description and the 
     eventual killing of the central victim. You quickly get, I 
     think, the drift. Others are more horrifying still--those 
     that end with the invariable `snuff' scene, but whose 
     enticements on the way include `best', `torture', `gore' 
     or `amputees', and which refer to sex with animals, 
     bloodlettings, sadistic injury, and the limitless erotic 
     joy of stumps.
       It is important to note that no one polices or, to use the 
     Internet word, `moderates', this group, (Some of the more 
     obscure and non-sexual newsgroups do have a volunteer, 
     usually a specialist in the field, who tries to keep order in 
     what might, if unchecked, become an unruly discussion.) On 
     `alt.sex.stories' there is only one man, a Mr. Joshua Laff of 
     the University of Illinois at Urbana, who oversees the group, 
     in a somewhat lethargic way. He helpfully suggests the code-
     words for the various kinds of perverse interests. He 
     indicates to people who want to talk about sex stories, 
     rather than actually contributing them, that they would be 
     better advised to post their gripes on 
     `alt.sex.stories.discussion', next door, and so on.
       But Mr. Laff has no admitted scruples about what is 
     permitted to go out over the air. So far as he is concerned, 
     the First Amendment to the Constitution protects all that is 
     said on `alt.sex.stories' as free speech. What is 
     demonstrated on these thousands of electronic pages is a 
     living exhibition of the birthright of all who are fortunate 
     enough to be born in the land that has given us the National 
     Rifle Association, the Reverend Jimmy Swaggart, and 
       In truth, Mr. Laff and those who support the published 
     existence of such writings are technically right. No obscene 
     pictures are published--these could be banned in law. No 
     obscene truths are proffered, so far as we know--no 
     confessions of real rapes, nor of actual acts of pedorasty. 
     And since all the stories are prefaced with warnings that 
     those under 18, or those of sensitive disposition, should 
     read no further--devices that presumably attract precisely 
     those they purport to deter--so, the authors seem to agree, 
     their ramblings do no harm at all.
       Most individual states legislate firmly or less so against 
     printed pornography: but so far no one has successfully 
     prosecuted the Internet--not least for the reason that with 
     so amorphous, so global and so informal a linking of 
     computers, who out there can be held responsible? People like 
     Blackwind simply open accounts at what are known as 
     `anonymous posting systems', and their words become filtered 
     through two or three computers in such a way that the 
     original source can never be known, and the perpetrator of 
     any possible crime becomes impossible to find. And, anyway, 
     those who endlessly cry First Amendment! Here we want to say 
     that the publishing of more words, even those from so clearly 
     depraved an individual as Blackwind, can do no harm at all.
       Commonsense would argue otherwise. A long and graphic 
     account of exactly how and at what hour you wait outside a 
     girls' school, how best to bundle a seven-year-old into your 
     van, whether to tell her at the start of her ordeal that she 
     is going to be killed at the end of it (Blackwind's favoured 
     modus operandi), how best to tie her down, which aperture to 
     approach first, and with what--such things can only tempt 
     those who verge on such acts to take a greater interest in 
       Surely such essays tell the thinker of forbidden thoughts 
     that there exists somewhere out there a like-minded group of 
     men for whom such things are really not so bad, the enjoyment 
     of which, if no one is so ill-starred as to get caught, can 
     be limitless. Surely it is naive folly--or, at the other end 
     of the spectrum, gross irresponsibility--to suppose 

[[Page S9019]]

       Such material is not, I am happy to say, universally 
     available. Some of the big corporations which offer public 
     access to the Internet--America On-Line, CompuServe, Prodigy, 
     Mr. Murdoch's Delphi--have systems in place that filter out 
     the more objectionable newsgroups. On America On-Line you may 
     read the ramblings on `alt.sex.voyeurism' and probably even 
     `alt.sex.nasal.hair', but you may read no `alt.sex.stories', 
     nor may you learn techniques for having real relationships, 
     as paedophiles like to say they have, with young children.
       But for those with the wherewithal to find more robust and 
     uncontrolled access to cyberspace--and that means, quite 
     frankly, most of the world's computer users, be they 90 years 
     old or nine--all newsgroups are equally available, the evil 
     along with the excellent. The question we have to ask is 
     whether that should continue to be the case.
       One might not mind so much if the material were being 
     confined to the United States, where most of it originates. 
     But in fact it manages to seep its electronic way everywhere, 
     from Wiltshire to Waziristan. And crucially, no mechanism is 
     yet in place allowing foreigners--whose laws might well be 
     far less tolerantly disposed to it--to filer it out.
       A computer owner in Islington or Islamabad can have easy 
     and inexpensive access to material over the net which would 
     be illegal for him or her to read or buy on any British or 
     Pakistani street. In China, pornographers would be imprisoned 
     for publishing material that any Peking University students 
     can read at the click of a mouse; and the same is true in 
     scores of other countries and societies. The Internet, we 
     smugly say, has become a means of circumventing the 
     restrictive codes of tyrannics. But the reverse of this coin 
     is less attractive; it also allows an almost exclusively 
     American contagion to ooze outwards, unstoppable, like an oil 
     spill, contaminating everyone and everything in its path.
       We cannot, of course, prevent: such things being thought. 
     We may not prevent them being written for self-gratification 
     alone. But, surely, science and the public can somehow 
     conspire and co-operate to see that such writings as are 
     represented by `scat.pedo.torture.snuff' and the like are 
     neither published nor read, and that they do not in 
     consequence have the opportunity to spread outwards as an 
     electronic contagion from the minds of those who, like 
     Blackwind, first create them.
       The Jeffersonian model for universal freedom which Mr. 
     Gingrich so rightly applauds could not take into account the 
     barbarisms of the modern mind. Nor could it imagine the 
     genius by which such barbarisms can be disseminated as they 
     are today, in seconds, to the remotest and still most 
     innocent corners of the world. Someone, perhaps even the 
     Speaker of the House of Representatives, is going to have to 
     consider soon the implications, for ill as well as good, of 
     our venture out onto the information superhighway, or else 
     there are going to be some very messy electronic traffic 

                    [From Time Magazine, June 1995]

                    Cyberporn--On a Screen Near You

                        (By Philip Elmer-Dewitt)

       It's popular, pervasive and surprisingly perverse, 
     according to the first survey of online erotica. And there's 
     no easy way to stamp it out.
       Sex is everywhere these days--in books, magazines, films, 
     television, music videos and bus-stop perfume ads. It is 
     printed on dial-a-porn business cards and slipped under 
     windshield wipers. It is acted out by balloon-breasted models 
     and actors with unflagging erections, then rented for $4 a 
     night at the corner video store. Most Americans have become 
     so inured to the open display of eroticism--and the arguments 
     for why it enjoys special status under the First Amendment--
     that they hardly notice it's there.
       Something about the combination of sex and computers, 
     however, seems to make otherwise worldly-wise adults a little 
     crazy. How else to explain the uproar surrounding the 
     discovery by a U.S. Senator--Nebraska Democrat James Exon--
     that pornographic pictures can be downloaded from the 
     Internet and displayed on a home computer? This, as any 
     computer-savvy undergrad can testify, is old news. Yet 
     suddenly the press is on alert, parents and teachers are up 
     in arms, and lawmakers in Washington are rushing to ban the 
     smut from cyberspace with new legislation--sometimes with 
     little regard to either its effectiveness or its 
       If you think things are crazy now, though, wait until the 
     politicians get hold of a report coming out this week. A 
     research team at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, 
     Pennsylvania, has counted an exhaustive study of online 
     porn--what's available, who is downloading it, what turns 
     them on--and the findings (to be published in the Georgetown 
     Law Journal) are sure to pour fuel on an already explosive 
       The study, titled Marketing Pornography on the Information 
     Superhighway, is significant not only for what it tells us 
     about what's happening on the computer networks but also for 
     what it tells us about ourselves. Pornography's appeal is 
     surprisingly elusive. It plays as much on fear, anxiety, 
     curiosity and taboo as on genuine eroticism. The Carnegie 
     Mellon study, drawing on elaborate computer records of online 
     activity, was able to measure for the first time what people 
     actually download, rather than what they say they want to 
     see. ``We now know what the consumers of computer pornography 
     really look at in the privacy of their own homes,'' says 
     Marty Rimm, the study's principal investigator. ``And we're 
     finding a fundamental shift in the kinds of images they 
       What the Carnegie Mellon researchers discovered was:
       There's an awful lot of porn online. In an 18-month study, 
     the team surveyed 917,410 sexually explicit pictures, 
     descriptions, short stories and film clips. On those Usenet 
     newsgroups where digitized images are stored, 83.5 percent of 
     the pictures were pornographic.
       It is immensely popular. Trading in sexually explicit 
     imagery, according to the report, is now ``one of the largest 
     (if not the largest) recreational applications of users of 
     computer networks.'' At one U.S. University, 13 of the 40 
     most frequently visited newsgroups had names like 
     alt.sex.stories, rec.arts.erotica and alt.sex.bondage.
       It is a big moneymaker. The great majority (71 percent) of 
     the sexual images on the newsgroups surveyed originate from 
     adult-oriented computer bulletin-board systems (BBS) whose 
     operators are trying to lure customers to their private 
     collections of X-rated material. There are thousands of these 
     BBS services, which charge fees (typically $10 to $30 a 
     month) and take credit cards; the five largest have annual 
     revenues in excess of $1 million.
       It is ubiquitous. Using data obtained with permission from 
     BBS operators, the Carnegie Mellon team identified (but did 
     not publish the names of) individual consumers in more than 
     2,000 cities in all 50 states and 40 countries, territories 
     and provinces around the world--including some countries 
     like China, where possession of pornography can be a 
     capital offense.
       It is a guy thing. According to the BBS operators, 98.9 
     percent of the consumers of online porn are men. And there is 
     some evidence that many of the remaining 1.1 percent are 
     women paid to hang out on the ``chat'' rooms and bulletin 
     boards to make the patrons feel more comfortable.
       It is not just naked women. Perhaps because hard-core sex 
     pictures are so widely available elsewhere, the adult BBS 
     market seems to be driven largely by a demand for images that 
     can't be found in the average magazine rack: pedophilia (nude 
     photos of children), hebephilia (youths) and what the 
     researchers call paraphilia--a grab bag of ``deviant'' 
     material that includes images of bondage, sadomasochism, 
     urination, defecation, and sex acts with a barnyard full of 
       The appearance of material like this on a public network 
     accessible to men, women and children around the world raises 
     issues too important to ignore--or to oversimplify. Parents 
     have legitimate concerns about what their kids are being 
     exposed to and, conversely, what those children might miss if 
     their access to the Internet were cut off. Lawmakers must 
     balance public safety with their obligation to preserve 
     essential civil liberties. Men and women have to come to 
     terms with what draws them to such images. And computer 
     programmers have to come up with more enlightened ways to 
     give users control over a network that is, by design, largely 
     out of control.
       The Internet, of course, is more than a place to find 
     pictures of people having sex with dogs. It's a vast 
     marketplace of ideas and information of all sorts--on 
     politics, religion, science and technology. If the fast-
     growing World Wide Web fulfills its early promise, the 
     network could be a powerful engine of economic growth in the 
     21st century. And as the Carnegie Mellon study is careful to 
     point out, pornographic image files, despite their evident 
     popularity, represent only about 3 percent of all the 
     messages on the Usenet newsgroups, while the Usenet itself 
     represents only 11.5 percent of the traffic on the Internet.
       As shocking and, indeed, legally obscene as some of the 
     online porn may be, the researchers found nothing that can't 
     be found in specialty magazines or adult bookstores. Most of 
     the material offered by the private BBS services, in fact, is 
     simply scanned from existing print publications.
       But pornography is different on the computer networks. You 
     can obtain it in the privacy of your home--without having to 
     walk into a seedy bookstore or movie house. You can download 
     only those things that turn you on, rather than buy an entire 
     magazine or video. You can explore different aspects of your 
     sexuality without exposing yourself to communicable diseases 
     or public ridicule. (Unless, of course, someone gets hold of 
     the computer files tracking your online activities, as 
     happened earlier this year to a couple dozen crimson-faced 
     Harvard students.)
       The great fear of parents and teachers, of course, is not 
     that college students will find this stuff but that it will 
     fall into the hands of those much younger--including some, 
     perhaps, who are not emotionally prepared to make sense of 
     what they see.
       Ten-year-old Anders Urmacher, a student at the Dalton 
     School in New York City who likes to hang out with other kids 
     in the Treehouse chat room on America Online, got E-mail from 
     a stranger that contained a mysterious file with instructions 
     for how to download it. He followed the instructions, and 
     then he called his mom. When Linda Mann-Urmacher opened the 
     file, the computer screen filled with 10 thumbnail-size 
     pictures showing couples engaged in various acts of sodomy, 
     heterosexual intercourse and

[[Page S9020]]

     lesbian sex. ``I was not aware that this stuff was online,'' 
     says a shocked Mann-Urmacher. ``Children should not be 
     subjected to these images.''
       This is the flip side of Vice President Al Gore's vision of 
     an information superhighway linking every school and library 
     in the land. When the kids are plugged in, will they be 
     exposed to the seamiest sides of human sexuality? Will they 
     fall prey to child molesters hanging out in electronic chat 
     rooms? It's precisely these fears that have stopped Bonnie 
     Fell of Skokie, Illinois, from signing up for the Internet 
     access her three boys say they desperately need.
       ``They could get bombarded with X-rated porn, and I 
     wouldn't have any idea,'' she says. Mary Veed, a mother of 
     three from nearby Hinsdale, makes a point of trying to keep 
     up with her computer-literate 12-year-old, but sometimes has 
     to settle for monitoring his phone bill. ``Once they get to 
     be a certain age, boys don't always tell Mom what they do,'' 
     she says.
       ``We face a unique, disturbing and urgent circumstance, 
     because it is children who are the computer experts in our 
     nation's families,'' said Republican Senator Dan Coats of 
     Indiana during the debate over the controversial anti-
     cyberporn bill he co-sponsored with Senator Exon.
       According to at least one of those experts--16-year-old 
     David Slifka of Manhattan--the danger of being bombarded with 
     unwanted pictures is greatly exaggerated. ``If you don't want 
     them you won't get them,'' says the veteran Internet surfer. 
     Private adult BBSs require proof of age (usually a driver's 
     license) and are off-limits to minors, and kids have to 
     master some fairly daunting computer science before they can 
     turn so-called binary files on the Usenet into high-
     resolution color pictures. ``The chances of randomly coming 
     across them are unbelievably slim,'' says Slifka.
       While groups like the Family Research Council insist that 
     online child molesters represent a clear and present danger, 
     there is no evidence that it is any greater than the thousand 
     other threats children face every day. Ernie Allen, executive 
     director of the National Center for Missing and Exploited 
     Children, acknowledges that there have been 10 or 12 ``fairly 
     high-profile cases'' in the past year of children being 
     seduced or lured online into situations where they are 
     victimized. Kids who are not online are also at risk, 
     however; more than 800,000 children are reported missing 
     every year in the U.S.
       Yet it is in the name of the children and their parents 
     that lawmakers are racing to fight cyberporn. The first blow 
     was struck by Senators Exon and Coats, who earlier this year 
     introduced revisions to an existing law called the 
     Communications Decency Act. The idea was to extend 
     regulations written to govern the dial-a-porn industry into 
     the computer networks. The bill proposed to outlaw obscene 
     material and impose fines of up to $100,000 and prison terms 
     of up to two years on anyone who knowingly makes ``indecent'' 
     material available to children under 18.
       The measure had problems from the start. In its original 
     version it would have made online-service providers 
     criminally liable for any obscene communications that passed 
     through their systems--a provision that, given the way the 
     networks operate, would have put the entire Internet at risk. 
     Exon and Coats revised the bill but left in place the 
     language about using ``indecent'' words online. ``It's a 
     frontal assault on the First Amendment,'' says Harvard law 
     professor Laurence Tribe. Even veteran prosecutors ridicule 
     it. ``It won't pass scrutiny even in misdemeanor court,'' 
     says one.
       The Exon bill had been written off for dead only a few 
     weeks ago. Republican Senator Larry Pressler of South Dakota, 
     chairman of the Commerce committee, which has jurisdiction 
     over the larger telecommunications-reform act to which it is 
     attached, told Time that he intended to move to table it.
       That was before Exon showed up in the Senate with his 
     ``blue book.'' Exon had asked a friend to download some of 
     the rawer images available online. ``I knew it was bad,'' 
     he says. ``But then when I got on there, it made Playboy 
     and Hustler look like Sunday-school stuff.'' He had the 
     images printed out, stuffed them in a blue folder and 
     invited his colleagues to stop by his desk on the Senate 
     floor to view them. At the end of the debate--which was 
     carried live on c-span--few Senators wanted to cast a 
     nationally televised vote that might later be 
     characterized as pro-pornography. The bill passed 84 to 
       Civil libertarians were outraged. Mike Godwin, staff 
     counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, complained 
     that the indecency portion of the bill would transform the 
     vast library of the Internet into a children's reading room, 
     where only subjects suitable for kids could be discussed. 
     ``It's government censorship,'' said Marc Rotenberg of the 
     Electronic Privacy Information Center. ``The Amendment 
     shouldn't end where the Internet begins.''
       The key issue, according to legal scholars, is whether the 
     Internet is a print medium (like a newspaper), which enjoys 
     strong protection against government interference, or a 
     broadcast medium (like television), which may be subject to 
     all sorts of government control. Perhaps the most significant 
     import of the Exon bill, according to EFF's Godwin, is that 
     it would place the computer networks under the jurisdiction 
     of the Federal Communications Commission, which enforces, 
     among other rules, the injunction against using the famous 
     seven dirty words on the radio. In a Time/CNN poll of 1,000 
     Americans conducted last week by Yankelovich Partners, 
     respondents were sharply split on the issue: 42 percent were 
     for FCC-like control over sexual content on the computer 
     networks; 48 percent were against it.
       By week's end the balance between protecting speech and 
     curbing pornography seemed to be tipping back toward the 
     libertarians. In a move that surprised conservative 
     supporters, House Speaker Newt Gingrich denounced the Exon 
     amendment. ``It is clearly a violation of free speech, and 
     it's a violation of the right of adults to communicate with 
     each other,'' he told a caller on a cable-TV show. It was a 
     key defection, because Gingrich will preside over the 
     computer-decency debate when it moves to the House in July. 
     Meanwhile, two U.S. Representatives, Republican Christopher 
     Cox of California and Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon, were 
     putting together an anti-Exon amendment that would bar 
     federal regulation of the Internet and help parents find ways 
     to block material they found objectionable.
       Coincidentally, in the closely watched case of a University 
     of Michigan student who published a violent sex fantasy on 
     the Internet and was charged with transmitting a threat to 
     injure or kidnap across state lines, a federal judge in 
     Detroit last week dismissed the charges. The judge ruled that 
     while Jake Baker's story might be deeply offensive, it was 
     not a crime.
       How the Carnegie Mellon report will affect the delicate 
     political balance on the cyberporn debate is anybody's guess. 
     Conservatives thumbing through it for rhetorical ammunition 
     will find plenty. Appendix B lists the most frequently 
     downloaded files from a popular adult BBS, providing both the 
     download count and the two-line descriptions posted by the 
     board's operator. Suffice it to say that they all end in 
     exclamation points, many include such phrases as ``nailed to 
     a table!'' and none can be printed in Time.
       How accurately these images reflect America's sexual 
     interests, however, is a matter of some dispute. University 
     of Chicago sociologist Edward Laumann, whose 1994 Sex in 
     America survey painted a far more humdrum picture of 
     America's sex life, says the Carnegie Mellon study may have 
     captured what he calls the ``gaper phenomenon.'' ``There is a 
     curiosity for things that are extraordinary and way out,'' he 
     says. ``It's like driving by a horrible accident. No one 
     wants to be in it, but we all slow down to watch.''
       Other sociologists point out that the difference between 
     the Chicago and Carnegie Mellon reports may be more apparent 
     than real. Those 1 million or 2 million people who download 
     pictures from the Internet represent a self-selected group 
     with an interest in erotica. The Sex in America respondents, 
     by contrast, were a few thousand people selected to represent 
     a cross section of all American. Still, the new research is a 
     gold mine for psychologists, social scientists, computer 
     marketers and anybody with an interest in human boards, they 
     left a digital trail of their transactions, allowing the 
     pornographers to compile data bases about their buying habits 
     and sexual tastes. The more sophisticated operators were able 
     to adjust their inventory and their descriptions to match 
     consumer demand.
       Nobody did this more effectively than Robert Thomas, owner 
     of the Amateur Action BBS in Milpitas, California, and a kind 
     of modern-day Marquis de Sade, according to the Carnegie 
     Mellon report. He is currently serving time in an obscenity 
     case that may be headed for the Supreme Court.
       Thomas, whose BBS is the online-porn market leader, 
     discovered that he could boost sales by trimming soft- and 
     hard-core images from his data base while front-loading his 
     files with pictures of sex acts with animals (852) and nude 
     prepubescent children (more than 5,000), his two most popular 
     categories of porn. He also used copywriting tricks to better 
     serve his customers' fantasies. For example, he described 
     more than 1,200 of his pictures as depicting sex scenes 
     between family members (father and daughter, mother and son), 
     even though there was no evidence that any of the 
     participants were actually related. These ``incest'' images 
     were among his biggest sellers, accounting for 10 percent of 
       The words that worked were sometimes quite revealing. 
     Straightforward oral sex, for example, generally got a 
     lukewarm response. But when Thomas described the same images 
     using words like choke or choking, consumer demand doubled.
       Such findings may cheer antipornography activists; as 
     feminist writer Andrea Dworkin puts it, ``the whole purpose 
     of pornography is to hurt women,'' Catharine MacKinnon, a 
     professor of law at the University of Michigan, goes further. 
     Women are doubly violated by pornography, she writes in 
     Vindication and Resistance, one of three essays in the 
     forthcoming Georgetown Law Journal that offer differing views 
     on the Carnegie Mellon report. They are violated when it is 
     made and exposed to further violence again and again every 
     time it is consumed. ``The question pornography poses in 
     cyberspace,'' she writes, ``is the same one it poses 
     everywhere else: Whether anything will be done about it.''
       But not everyone agrees with Dworkin and MacKinnon, by any 
     means; even some feminist think there is a place in life--and 
     the Internet--for erotica. In her new book, Defending 
     Pornography, Nadine Strossen argues that censoring sexual 
     expression would

[[Page S9021]]

     do women more harm than good, undermining their equality, 
     their autonomy and their freedom.
       The Justice Department, for it part, has not asked for new 
     antiporn legislation. Distributing obscene material across 
     state lines is already illegal under federal law, and child 
     pornography in particular is vigorously prosecuted. Some 40 
     people in 14 states were arrested two years ago in Operation 
     Longarm for exchanging kiddie porn online. And one of the 
     leading characters in the Carnegie Mellon study--a former 
     Rand McNally executive named Robert Copella, who left book 
     publishing to make his fortune selling pedophilia on the 
     networks--was extradited from Tijuana, and is now awaiting 
     sentencing in a New Jersey jail.
       For technical reasons, it is extremely difficult to stamp 
     out anything on the Internet--particularly images stored on 
     the Usenet newsgroup. As Internet pioneer John Gilmore 
     famously put it, ``The Net interprets censorship as damage 
     and routes around it.'' There are border issues as well. 
     Other countries on the Internet--France, for instance--are 
     probably no more interested in having their messages 
     screened by U.S. censors than Americans would be in having 
     theirs screened by, say, the government of Saudi Arabia.
       Historians say it should come as no surprise that the 
     Internet--the most democratic of media--would lead to new 
     calls for censorship. The history of pornography and efforts 
     to suppress it are inextricably bound up with the rise of new 
     media and the emergence of democracy. According to Walter 
     Kendrick, author of The Secret Museum: Pornography in Modern 
     Culture, the modern concept of pornography was invented in 
     the 19th century by European gentlemen whose main concern was 
     to keep obscene material away from women and the lower 
     classes. Things got out of hand with the spread of literacy 
     and education, which made pornography available to anybody 
     who could read. Now, on the computer networks, anybody with a 
     computer and a modem can not only consume pornography but 
     distribute it as well. On the Internet, anybody can be Bob 
       That might not be a bad idea, says Carlin Meyer, a 
     professor at New York Law School whose Georgetown essay takes 
     a far less apocalyptic view than MacKinnon's. She argues that 
     if you don't like the images of sex the pornographers offer, 
     the appropriate response is not to suppress them but to 
     overwhelm them with healthier, more realistic ones. Sex on 
     the Internet, she maintains, might actually be good for young 
     people. ``[Cyberspace] is a safe space in which to explore 
     the forbidden and the taboo,'' she writes. ``It offers the 
     possibility for genuine, unembarrassed conversations about 
     accurate as well as fantasy images of sex.''
       That sounds easier than it probably is. Pornography is 
     powerful stuff, and as long as there is demand for it, there 
     will always be a supply. Better software tools may help check 
     the worst abuses, but there will never be a switch that will 
     cut it off entirely--not without destroying the unbridled 
     expression that is the source of the Internet's (and 
     democracy's) greatest strength. The hard truth, says John 
     Perry Barlow, co-founder of the EFF and father of three young 
     daughters, is that the burden ultimately falls where it 
     always has: on the parents. ``If you don't want your children 
     fixating on filth,'' he says, ``better step up to the tough 
     task of raising them to find it as distasteful as you do 

  Mr. EXON addressed the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nebraska.
  Mr. EXON. Mr. President, I thank my friend and colleague from my 
neighboring State of Iowa, whose usual good judgment has never been 
questioned by this individual. I thank him very much for addressing 
this matter.
  I, too, read the article that he referenced in Time magazine. I got 
in on just the end of his remarks.
  May I inquire of my friend from Iowa, did he have printed in the 
Record that portion of the Time magazine article from this morning's 
Time magazine?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair will observe he did.
  Mr. EXON. I thank the Chair.
  If it was not referenced, I would reference the graphic picture on 
the front of Time magazine today, which I think puts into focus very 
distinctly and directly what my friend from Iowa and this Senator has 
been talking about for a long, long time.
  I would also reference for the Record and ask unanimous consent to 
have printed in the Record, interestingly enough, simultaneously a 
similar story along the same lines that appeared in this morning's 
weekly edition of Newsweek magazine.
  There being no objection, the article was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                     [From Newsweek, July 3, 1995]

                           No Place for Kids?

                   A Parent's Guide to Sex on the Net

                            (By Steven Levy)

       When the annals of cyberspace are uploaded for future 
     generations, digital historians will undoubtedly include a 
     scene from the Senate chamber earlier this month: Nebraska 
     Democrat James Exon brandishing a thin binder now known as 
     the blue book. Inside were images snatched from the shadows 
     and thrust into the center of public discourse. Women bound 
     and being burned by cigarettes. Pierced with swords. Having 
     sex with a German shepherd. As Exon puts it, images that are 
     ``repulsive and far off base.'' Images from the Net.
       Exon compiled his blue book to persuade his Senate 
     colleagues to pass his Communications Decency Act. Partially 
     moved by a private showing in the Senate cloakroom, they did 
     so, overwhelmingly. It is not clear whether the act, which 
     places strict limits on all speech in computer networks, will 
     find its way into law, but its Senate passage was a 
     transforming blow against the Internet empire. Even the most 
     vehement of the Internet's defenders now face a real problem: 
     how to maintain free speech when well-chronicled excesses 
     give the impression that much of cyberspace is a cesspool.
       Indeed, most of the dispatches from the electronic world 
     these days seem to dwell on the dark side. The most prevalent 
     type of anecdote involves someone like Susan Tilghman, a 
     medical doctor in Fairfax, Va. Last fall she hooked the 
     family computer to America Online (AOL). Her sons, 12 and 15 
     years old, enjoyed it so much that she and her husband sought 
     to find out why. Clicking on files their boys had read, the 
     astonished parents found ``pornographic pictures in full 
     color,'' says Tilghman, ``We were horrified.'' She pulled the 
     modem plus immediately.
       Then there are the actual busts of online pornographic 
     rings. Just as in the physical world, traffic in obscene 
     material is illegal in cyberspace, and authorities are 
     beginning to prosecute zealously. The most recent raid 
     occurred last week in Cincinnati, targeting not only 
     purveyors of porn but more than 100 individuals who had 
     allegedly downloaded pornographic images of children via AOL.
       Most disturbing of all are the tales of sexual predators 
     using the Internet and commercial online services to spirit 
     children away from their keyboards. Until now parents have 
     believed that no physical harm could possibly result when 
     their progeny were huddled safely in the bedroom or den, 
     tapping on the family computer. But then came news of cases 
     like the 13-year-old Kentucky girl found in Los Angeles after 
     supposedly being lured by a grown-up cyberpal.
       These reports have triggered a sort of parental panic about 
     cyberspace. Parents are rightfully confused, faced with hard 
     choices about whether to expose their children to the alleged 
     benefits of cyberspace when carnal pitfalls lie ahead. As our 
     culture moves unrelentingly toward the digital realm, some 
     questions--and answers--are finally coming into focus.

                  how much sex is there in cyberspace?

       A lot. Brian Reid, director of the Network Systems 
     Laboratory at Digital Equipment Corp., reports that one of 
     the most popular of the thousands of Usenet discussion groups 
     is the ``alt.sex'' group. He estimates that on a monthly 
     basis between 180,000 and 500,000 users drop in. A glance at 
     some World Wide Web sites shows that while the digital home 
     of the Smithsonian Institution took seven weeks to gather 1.9 
     million visits, or ``hits,'' Playboy's electronic 
     headquarters received 4.7 million hits in a seven-day period 
     last month.
       And this week the Georgetown Law Journal will release a 
     survey headed by Marty Rimm, a 30-year-old researcher at 
     Carnegie Mellon University. In his paper, ``Marketing 
     Pornography on the Information Superhighway,'' Rimm 
     concentrated mostly on adults-only bulletin boards (the 
     equivalent of X-rated bookshops). He provides solid evidence 
     that there's loads of hard-core stuff in cyberspace. Rimm 
     wrote a computer program to analyze descriptions of 917,410 
     dirty pictures (he examined about 10,000 actual images, to 
     check the realiability of the descriptions). His conclusion: 
     ``I think there's almost no question that we're seeing an 
     unprecedented availability and demand of material like 
     sadomasochism, bestiality, vaginal and rectal fisting, 
     eroticized urination . . . and pedophilia.''

              how easy is it to avoid the sexual material?

       Donna Rice Hughes (yes, that Donna Rice), spokesperson for 
     an anti-pornography group called Enough is Enough!, claims 
     that ``children are going online innocently and naively 
     running across material that's illegal even for adults.'' But 
     the way the Internet works, that sort of stuff doesn't tend 
     to pop up uninvited. ``When you watch TV it comes right to 
     you,'' says Donna Hoffman, associate professor of business at 
     Vanderbilt University. ``But on the Internet, you're in an 
     environment with 30 million channels. It's up to you to 
     decide where to go. You don't have to download the images on 
       Groups with ``binaries'' are the picture files, the ones 
     containing the most shocking images. To find them, one needs 
     a good sense of digital direction. Depending on the software 
     you have, you may need a mastery of some codes in the 
     notoriously arcane Unix computer language, or it can involve 
     a few well-chosen clicks of the mouse. In any case, there's 
     no way you get that stuff by accident.
       Kids are very hungry to view sexual materials, and left to 
     their own devices they will

[[Page S9022]]

     find that the Internet provides them with an unprecedented 
     bonanza. In predigital days, getting one's hands on hot 
     pictures required running an often impenetrable gantlet of 
     drugstore clerks and newsstand operators, and finding really 
     hardcore material was out of the question. Not so with the 
     Net. Frank Moretti, associate headmaster of the Dalton School 
     in New York City, which offers Internet access beginning in 
     junior high, thinks that we can deal with that. ``There's a 
     candy store around the corner from our school that has just 
     about every kind of pornographic image,'' he says. ``The 
     challenge is to help our children use self-discipline.''

                 is the internet a haven for predators?

       After years of online activity, ``there have been about a 
     dozen high-profile cases,'' says Ernie Allen, president of 
     the Arlington, Va.-based National Center for Missing and 
     Exploited Children. ``It's not a huge number, but it does 
     indicate that there are risks. But there are risks in 
     everything a child does. Our concern is the nature of the 
     technology. It creates a false sense of security.''
       What parents should warn kids about is the classic scenario 
     described by Detective Bill Dworn, head of the Sexually 
     Exploited Child Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department: 
     ``The pervert can get on any bulletin board and chat with 
     kids all night long. He lies about his age and makes friends. 
     As soon as he can get a telephone number or address, he's 
     likely to look up the kid and molest him or her.'' In real 
     life, this hardly ever happens. Most online services have 
     policies to monitor chat rooms, particularly those designated 
     as ``kids-only.'' No guarantees, but not many kidnappers.
       And if the child is propositioned? ``It happens, but it's 
     less upsetting if a child is prepared for it,'' says Sherry 
     Turkle, an MIT professor whose coming book, ``Life on the 
     Screen,'' includes data about the experiences of nearly 300 
     kids on the Net. ``Better to warn the child and instruct him 
     to say, `I'm not interested,' and just leave.''
       All the publicity about predators has tarnished the image 
     of chat rooms. But the talk areas may have value. ``Kids are 
     finding ways to experiment with self-presentation,'' says 
     Turkle. She's talked with kids about ``Net sex,'' where kids 
     dabble in interactive erotica like this:
       I'm kissing you.
       You fondle my hair.
       I fondle your breast.
       Sometimes there is conscious gender-swapping. Sometimes 
     things go farther than the kids intended. Still, Turkle 
     thinks that there may be benefits in this; after all, no one 
     gets pregnant in cyberspace. ``Adolescence used to be a 
     timeout, sexually speaking,'' she says. ``But in the age of 
     AIDS, sexual experimentation is a deadly game. The Internet 
     is becoming a way to play with identity, where adolescents 
     can develop a sense of themselves.''

             can new laws successfully address the problem?

       The Exon amendment is very broad. It could hamper 
     communication between adults--the essence of online 
     activity--and might not even solve the problems that kids 
     face. ``It would be a mistake to drive us, in a moment of 
     hysteria, to a solution that is unconstitutional, would 
     stultify technology, and wouldn't even fulfill its mission,'' 
     argues * * * Berman, director of the Center for Democracy and 
       But Berman and others have a secret weapon: the House of 
     Representatives. ``There's a generational difference between 
     the House and Senate,'' says Berman. ``They understand the 
     technology and they're not afraid of it.'' The only question 
     was whether this pro-technology impulse, along with a 
     loathing for government regulation, would lead Speaker Newt 
     Gingrich and his minions to defy their allies in the 
     religious right, whose ``Contract With the American Family'' 
     calls for ``protecting children from exposure to pornography 
     on the Internet.''
       The question was answered last Tuesday night when a caller 
     on a cable-TV talk show asked Gingrich what he thought of 
     Exon's amendment. ``I think it has no meaning and no real 
     impact . . .,'' the speaker said. ``It is clearly a violation 
     of free speech and it's a violation of the rights of adults 
     to communicate with each other.''
       But that was not the worst news for would-be monitors of 
     cyberspace. Conservative Republican Chris Cox of California 
     has teamed with liberal Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon to 
     develop the grandiosely entitled Internet Freedom and Family 
     Empowerment Act. Basically, the bill would forbid the federal 
     government from creating any regulatory agency to govern the 
     Internet, relying instead on a variety of means (not yet 
     determined) to protect children. Cox hopes that such 
     legislation will encourage a free-market solution to cybersex 
     from . . . more new technology.

                     can high-tech solutions help?

       Ultimately, James Exon's greatest contribution to the 
     protection of children may not be his legislation but the 
     fear of it has created in Silicon Valley and its virtual 
     environments. Already parents can buy some sophisticated 
     software to block children's access to questionable material. 
     More is on the way; two weeks ago Microsoft, Netscape and the 
     Progressive Networks joined together to develop new 
     prophylactic devices. ``The Exon amendment certainly raised 
     consciousness,'' says Mike Homer of Netscape. ``But we 
     believe there is a variety of fairly straightforward tools 
     that would allow us to self-regulate.'' More than 100 
     companies have called, asking to help. Another, paragraph 
     complementary, scheme in the works is KidCode, a means by 
     which the addresses on the World Wide Web will have voluntary 
     ratings embedded. ``Places that provide erotica on the 
     Internet are wild about the idea of voluntary ratings,'' says 
     Nathaniel Borenstein, designer of KidCode. ``They don't want 
     to sell to kids.''
       Meanwhile, one solution has already hit the market: 
     SurfWatch, created by an eponymous Silicon Valley firm. Its 
     software works by matching a potential Net destination to a 
     proprietary list of forbidden sites. In addition, the $50 
     software package looks for objectionable language. Once 
     parents or educators install it, they have at least one line 
     of defense. ``This is the kind of software that can offer the 
     individual choice as opposed to censorship,'' says SurfWatch 
     vice president Jay Friendland.
       Last week a bogus press release circulated on the Net for a 
     fictional product called Babe Watch that ``looks exactly like 
     SurfWatch but instead of blocking access, actually goes out 
     and locates Web sites with good pictures of babes.'' 
     Undoubtedly a real-life version is in the works. ``If you're 
     a 16-year-old A-quality hacker, you'll be able to turn us 
     off,'' says Friendland.

                     will the problem ever go away?

       The bottom line when it comes to kids, sex and the Internet 
     is that no matter what laws we pass and what high-tech 
     solutions we devise, the three of them together will never be 
     less volatile than the first two alone. We can mitigate but 
     not eliminate the drawbacks of high tech; there's no way to 
     get its benefits without them.
       It's a trade-off that Patricia Shao understands. About six 
     weeks ago, her 13-year-old daughter, visiting a friend, was 
     in an online-service chat room when they were propositioned 
     to have ``cybersex.'' Shao was shocked, and even more so when 
     her daughter casually told her, ``This is what happens when 
     we're online.'' ``They thought it was just a crackpot,'' says 
     Shao, a Bethesda, Md., marketing executive. Instead of 
     pulling the cyberplug, however, Shao took pains to educate 
     herself about online sex. She even engaged in some political 
     activism, signing on with a pro-Exon anti-pornography group. 
     And ultimately, Shao's family purchased its own America 
     Online subscription after her daughter's close encounter with 
     a pixilated stranger.
       If there were more built-in programs like SurfWatch 
     available to her, Shao ways, she'd probably use them. But in 
     the meantime she is making do with the more old-fashioned 
     method of talking to her kids--and trusting them. ``I've 
     warned my children about the obscene material out there, and 
     I trust them not to access it.'' As careful parents will do, 
     she monitors the family online activity somewhat, by tracking 
     the hours they are logged on. But as with other passages--
     going out alone, driving a car--ultimately, you have to let 
     kids grow up. Even if some of the growing up happens online.
  Mr. EXON. The story Newsweek tells is not dissimilar. Alarming facts 
have been brought out into the open even further with the publication 
in these two national magazines. The Newsweek article is entitled ``Sex 
Online: What Parents Should Know.''
  I very much appreciate having the time to take a look at the 
legislation the Senator from Iowa has introduced. I do not know how it 
is significantly different from the measure that was introduced by 
Senator Coats and myself, known as the Decency Act, and approved on the 
Senate floor by a vote of 86 to 14, if I remember it correctly.
  I simply say, this is an ongoing battle. If we have not done anything 
else, I hope all will recognize today at least Americans know that 
there is a real, real problem, primarily with regard to our children, 
our innocent children--at least as we like to think of them.
  It seems to me all of the profit-making motives are now sizing the 
Internet to make money on, and I applaud the efforts of the Senator 
from Iowa and the legislation that he just indicated he intended to 
introduce with regard to crime taking over a more important part of the 
Internet. That happens wherever there is an exciting new development.
  Once again, I emphasize this Senator has followed with keen interest 
the development of the Internet. It so happens this Senator probably is 
one of the few Members of this body who was on the original Internet. 
The original Internet, the only thing like it, was the amateur radio 
network that I became involved as a very young lad, 16 or 17 years old, 
growing up in Lake Andes, SD, and I communicated, dit-dit da-dit, with 
people all over the United States. Of course you had to have a license 
to be an amateur radio operator; you had to pass certain tests. I guess 
no one ever thought about that first Internet being used for the 
purposes that this Internet is being used.
  Nevertheless, as the senior member of the Armed Services Committee I 
was very much involved in the Internet development. Some people wonder 

[[Page S9023]]

did the Internet come from? It came from and was borne by taxpayers' 
dollars, out of the national defense budget. It spread far beyond that 
at this time, and I certainly say and emphasize once again, I am a 
strong supporter of the Internet, the information superhighway. But for 
a long, long time, beginning seriously a little over a year ago, I 
began to develop legislation that would hopefully make the information 
superhighway a safer highway for kids and families to travel. The 
legislation that was passed by the Senate on a 86 to 14 vote within the 
last week or so was a follow-on to a proposal that I addressed and 
attached to the telecommunications bill out of the Commerce Committee 
last year.
  The concept of all of these has been to make a constructive 
suggestion, recognizing constitutional rights. Like that portion 
referred to by the Senator from Iowa, the measure crafted by myself and 
Senator Coats and our staffs, with the help of an awful lot of people, 
does provide protection, constitutional guarantees oftentimes supported 
by the courts in a whole series of areas including the laws that we 
have always had regarding obscenity on the telephone lines and also 
laws similarly against transportation of pornographic and obscene 
materials through the U.S. mail. Further, our law incorporates the 
protections under the first amendment that have been argued out and 
thoroughly discussed and held by the courts under the Dial-a-Porn 
statutes, which is another form of pornography.
  It is safe to say, the issue has been engaged. I think that is for 
the good. Once again, I cannot speak for my cosponsor, Senator Coats, 
or any cosponsor of the measure that passed the Senate, but this 
Senator simply says I am willing to listen to any improvements or 
changes that should be made in this bill. But I certainly am not going 
to stand by and see it watered down to the place where it is totally 
  Therefore, I say I think we have accomplished a great deal by 
clearly, for the first time, illuminating and bringing this to the 
attention of parents of the United States of America. And parents still 
are required, I suggest, to play a key role in how we develop this and 
how it is administered. But the parents, I think, cannot do it alone. 
Therefore, I hope we can continue to work together in a constructive 
fashion and not listen to the voices that simply say, ``I want what I 
want when I want it on the Internet and I don't care what ill effect 
that might have on kids.''
  We have to continue to work together. I hope there is a way to solve 
this problem for the good of all.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Mexico.
  The Senator from New Mexico is advised we have 1 more minute 
remaining in morning business.
  Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent I be allowed to 
speak in morning business for up to 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.