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Utah Joins Porn Fight

Utah's government created the Utah Child Protection Registry (CPR) to limit children's exposure to pornographic material. However, the Free Speech Coalitions (FSC), a porn industry trade organization, brought suit against the Registry May 6, seeking to enjoin enforcement of the CPR.

The Registry allows Utah residents to place their family's e-mail addresses, instant messenger IDs, mobile phone numbers and fax numbers on a list to which companies are barred from sending messages and advertisements for pornography. According to CPR, more than 150,000 addresses of Utah's citizens are protected under the law.

In Free Speech Coalition v. Shurtleff, filed in the U.S. District Court in Utah, the coalition argues that CPR is preempted by the federal CAN-SPAM Act and that it violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the First Amendment of the Constitution, and the Utah Constitution.

FSC Board Chair Jeffrey Douglas, who is handling the litigation, said in a statement, "The effort to enjoin Utah's CPR is an important part of FSC's litigation strategy to challenge oppressive statutes which not only burden lawful expression and commerce, but in this case actually expose minors to unwanted intrusion by creating a convenient registry which the Federal Trade Commission believes can be easily hacked."

The Registry filed a motion to dismiss the suit May 25 and the Attorney General's Office has joined the suit as well.

Staff Writer

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