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February 08, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Internet Protests Planned Over Telecom Bill: Hundreds of Internet sites will go black today to protest President Clinton's signing of a bill that makes publishing sexually explicit material a crime on the worldwide computer network. The indecency provision is part of a revamping of U.S. telecommunications laws passed by Congress last week. It imposes fines of as much as $250,000 and prison terms of up to two years for publishing "indecent material." The American Civil Liberties Union said it plans to ask for a restraining order on enforcing the regulations while it and 19 other organizations file a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality. The Center for Democracy and Technology and Voters Telecommunications Watch are asking computer owners with pages on the World Wide Web to make the background black for 48 hours.

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