Federal Restrictions on Cyber Porn

Child pornography has long been treated severely under both federal and state law in the U.S. Congress first addressed the issue with the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation Act of 1977.  Lawmakers later toughened restrictions in the Child Protection Act of 1984, the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1988, and the Child Protection Restoration and Penalties Enhancement Act of 1990.

In the 1990s, lawmakers twice passed legislation targeting child porn online.  The first was the Child

Pornography Prevention Act (CPPA) of 1996, designed both to close loopholes in existing federal child pornography law and address new technological issues by the following:

  • Criminalizing the act of knowingly possessing, selling, receiving, sending, or transmitting child pornography via the internet or e-mail.
  • Criminalizing so-called “virtual” depictions of child pornography, those that appear to involve minors and those created by computer graphics software.

 The Protection of Children from Sexual Predators Act of 1998 contains further anti-child porn provisions.


Inside Federal Restrictions on Cyber Porn