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Net Freedom Bill Introduced

In a bid to head off stampeding Net censors at the pass, two Western congressmen have introduced a bill that would forbid the government from regulating online content.

The bill would also allow Net service providers to filter out some objectionable material without being held liable for any they might miss.

Dubbed the "Internet Freedom and Family Empowerment Act," the bill takes the opposite approach to the Exon rider attached to the Senate telecommunications legislation, which calls for fines and imprisonment for those who disseminate obscene or lewd material online.

The sponsors of the bill--Newport Beach's Christopher Cox, a Republican, and Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden--would like to attach the it as a rider to the House version of the telecommunications legislation, which is due for debate starting next month.