1. S 1482 (Coats Bill).
2. Coats Amendment to S 442 (Internet Tax Freedom Act).
3. HR 3783 (Child Online Protection Act).

1.  S 1482 ("Coats Bill").

Title.  Untitled, but variously referred to as the "Harmful to Minors Act", and "CDA II".

Sponsors. Sen. Dan Coats (R., Ind.).  Cosponsors: Kit Bond (R-MO), Trent Lott (R-MS), Jesse Helms (R-NC), Inhofe (R-OK), Rick Santorum (R-PA), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and John McCain (R-AZ).

Summary.  This is a revised version of the Communications Decency Act tailored to overcome Constitutional objections of the Supreme Court.  It would amend 47 USC 223 to prevent distribution of material on the world wide web that is "harmful to minors" to persons under 17 years of age.  It only applies to the web.

Status.  Introduced November 8, 1997.  Referred to, and approved by  Senate Commerce Committee.   Passed by the Senate on July 23, 1998, as part of the FY 1999 CJS appropriations bill..

History with Links.

2.  Coats Amendment to S 442 (Internet Tax Freedom Act).

Sen. Coats had been expected to also offer the language of S 1482 as an amendment to S 442, the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).  But, the Senate adopted a rule that permitted only germane amendments.   Sen. Coats then offered an amendment (No. 3695) that excludes from the tax moratorium any commercial website engaged in the business of the commercial distribution of material harmful to minors that does not restrict access to such material by children.  The amendment was adopted on 10/7 with only one no vote.  The bill passed on 10/8.  The House has not passed this version of the ITFA.  See, story, "Senate Amends Internet Tax Freedom Act," 10/7/98.

3.  HR 3783 (Child Online Protection Act).

Sponsors. Rep. Mike Oxley (R-OH), and 64 others.

Summary.  This is the House version of Coats bill.  It maintains the same ban on distributing to minors over the Internet material that is "harmful to minors".  However, this bill contains more detail.  It specifies penalties, remedies, and affirmative defenses.  It specifically exempts telecommunications carriers and Internet service providers.  It also bans the Federal Communications Commission from regulating content on the web. 

Status.   A hearing was held September 11.  On September 17 the Telecommunications Subcommittee adopted an amended version by unanimous voice vote.  On September 24 the full House Communications Committee passed a further amended version.  It passed the House, but was also included in the Omnibus Appropriations bill which passed the House on October21, and then the Senate on October 22.  It was signed into law by the President Clinton on October 22.  On October 22, the ACLU and other liberal interests groups filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia seeking to have the statute declared unconstitutional.

Legislative History with Links.

Tech Law Journal Stories.