Congressmen Call for Aggressive Porn Prosecutions

Feb 11, 2011 2:45 PM PST
WASHINGTON — Free speech advocates are blasting a letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for aggressive prosecution of obscene porn offenses by "major commercial distributors."

The letter was sent by two members of the U.S. House of Representatives — one a democrat, the other a republican — who say that obscenity online and off has "multiplied" over the decade and is now in "crisis" proportion.

Reps. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., and Mike McIntyre, D-N.C. wrote to urge more obscenity prosecutions "against major commercial distributors of hardcore pornography."

"As you know, adult obscenity is not protected by the 1st Amendment," Forbes and McIntyre wrote. "Congress has for decades passed laws seeking to curb the production and distribution of obscene pornography, including on the Internet.

"A consistent and strong commitment to enforcing these laws can have a significant impact.

"We believe it is imperative that the [Justice Department], with cooperation by the FBI, investigate and prosecute all major producers and distributors of adult obscenity. We need your leadership."

The letter was preceded by another letter written to constituents by U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who publicized the Forbes and McIntyre letter, which cited a study by PornographyHarms.com.

The study is made up of research and data that purportedly supports their argument to crack down on obscene porn.

Hatch said in his letter to constituents: "Overwhelming bipartisan majorities of Congress have passed laws to limit the production and distribution of this illegal obscene material, and I hope you will join me in asking the Attorney General to aggressively and consistently enforce these laws."

Attorney Marc Randazza, general counsel to adult company Corbin Fisher, blasted the House members' letter, calling it "shameful."

"These guys complain they have a problem with erotica and don't like the message it sends," Randazza told XBIZ. "This is completely based on superstition and is an attention grabber."

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