Bob Dole fights Internet indecency -- The Senator cosponsors legislation to criminalize filthy material online

By Erin Richter
Updated June 30, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

Fresh from tackling Hollywood, GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Bob Dole is taking up arms against indecency on the Net by cosponsoring legislation now in the hands of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Dole’s measure, introduced by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), would criminalize the ”transmission to minor[s] of indecent material from remote computer facility, electronic communications service, or electronic bulletin board service,” holding such providers as AOL and CompuServe responsible if they possessed ”knowledge of the character of the material.” While conservative groups applaud the bill, some civil rights advocates fear it would be even more restrictive than the Communications Decency Act, which imposes jail terms on those who distribute ”filthy” material. However, unlike the CDA, which passed with little resistance as part of the Telecommunications Reform bill, the Dole-Grassley legislation may face bigger challenges in committee.