Making Family-Friendly Internet a Reality: The Internet Community Ports Act

64 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2008

See all articles by Cheryl B. Preston

Cheryl B. Preston

Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School


The time has arrived to work together to find a reasonable balance among the values of the First Amendment, the appeal of an unfettered technological frontier, the right to be free of unwanted speech, and the right of parents to have the aid of the government in protecting children from age-inappropriate sexually explicit content online. One objective of this Article is to stimulate the discussion and the innovation necessary to arrive at some solution. In this Article, I provide an overview of one suggestion, the Internet Community Ports Act (ICPA). ICPA is devised to provide nation-wide support for the effective implementation of Internet zoning technology. ICPA allows parents to make meaningful choices concerning their children's access to sexually graphic material, while still allowing adults to publish and access any legal content online. ICPA relies on channeling content among the over 65,000 Internet ports rather than, as is the current practice, sending virtually all content together over just a handful of ports. ICPA does not prevent any willing adult from speaking or hearing any legal speech. Rather, it gives citizens the option of requesting from their Internet service provider only those ports on which material that is harmful for minors may not be posted. The Article outlines a few of the legal issues ICPA is written to address: drawing a definitional line; choosing whether the standard is community or national; defining a minor; identifying and locating offenders; dealing with proxy sites and hosted sites; creating safe harbors for Internet service providers; allowing for reasonable record keeping; and dealing with unsecured wireless Internet networks. The text of the proposed ICPA is included as a 36-page appendix.

Keywords: Internet Community Ports Act, ICPA, children, Internet regulation, obscenity, cyberlaw, cyberspace, pornography, channeling technology, privacy, freedom of expression, freedom from uninvited speech

Suggested Citation

Preston, Cheryl B., Making Family-Friendly Internet a Reality: The Internet Community Ports Act. Brigham Young University Law Review, Vol. 2007, No. 6, pp. 1471-1533, 2007, Available at SSRN:

Cheryl B. Preston (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School ( email )

430 JRCB
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
United States

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