Communications Decency Act of 1996 Law and Legal Definition

The Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) is a U.S. federal law that enacted to regulate pornographic material on the Internet. The Act aimed to protect children from objectionable online material. The CDA amended certain provisions of the Telecommunication Act of 1996.

The CDA prohibited companies or individuals from knowingly transmitting obscene or indecent messages to any person below the age of 18. Additionally, the CDA prohibited companies or individuals from knowingly sending or displaying patently offensive communications.

In 1997, in the case of Reno v. ACLU, the United States Supreme Court struck the anti-indecency provisions of the CDA.