Cybersmut session slated for Senate

Issue will top Commerce Committee's agenda

WASHINGTON — Internet pornography will top the Senate Commerce Committee’s agenda when Congress returns from its long winter recess.

Commerce Committee chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) has slated a hearing, the panel’s first of the new year, for early February on Internet smut. McCain, sources said, is not enthusiastic about one proposal forwarded by Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) which would ban companies from making porn available to anyone 17 years old or younger.

A spokesman for McCain said the Coats proposal would be discussed, but would not be the focus of the hearing. Although McCain has not established a position on Internet porn, he is concerned that some of the proposed remedies would violate the First Amendment. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court threw out the Communications Decency Act — the first attempt by Congress to regulate porn on the Internet.

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