Reno vs. ACLU

Today is the 10th anniversary of the landmark Reno vs. ACLU decision, which set the course for free speech on the internet.

From the EFF :

Tuesday marks the ten year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Reno v. ACLU, which recognized that free speech on the Internet merits the highest standards of Constitutional protection. EFF participated as both plaintiff and co-counsel in the case, which successfully challenged the online censorship provisions of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996. The Court’s decision — its first involving the Internet — was issued on June 26, 1997.

The CDA fight was one of the first big rallying points for online freedom. When the law passed, thousands of websites turned their backgrounds black in protest. EFF launched its “blue ribbon” campaign and millions of websites around the world joined in support of free speech online. Even today, you can find the blue ribbon throughout the Web.

The Blue Ribbon campaign was the first introduction I had to the EFF – I remember the day the web turned black to fight the CDA, and I remember putting a Blue Ribbon on one of the first very basic websites I created.

Ten years later, I am still a believer and supporter of the EFF – wearing their swag, blogging their causes, and supporting them financially by having become a Pioneer level contributor for the last 5 years.

The EFF supports many different worthy causes, including: fighting for free speech, fair use (including fighting the broadcast flag), illegal spying, and anonymity.

Thanks to all the fine folks at the EFF for all their hard work.

Paul Cutler
Father. Husband. Vinyl Music Lover. Football fan. Python student. He / him.