Bush signs law promoting censorship of kids' programming

A law signed by President Bush will compel the Federal Communications Commission to explore content-blocking technologies.

Stephanie Condon Staff writer, CBSNews.com
Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.
Stephanie Condon

President Bush on Tuesday signed the Child Safe Viewing Act, requiring the Federal Communications Commission to explore the market for technologies that allow parents to censor the programming their children watch.

The new law requires the FCC to issue a notice of inquiry to examine what advanced content-blocking technologies are available for various communication devices and platforms. It also calls for the FCC to consider how to encourage the development and use of such technologies without affecting content providers' pricing or packaging.

The term "advanced blocking technologies" is defined in the law as technology that enables parents to protect their children from "any indecent or objectionable video or audio programming, as determined by such parent, that is transmitted through the use of wire, wireless, or radio communication."

The FCC will have to report its findings to Congress within 270 days.

The bill was introduced last year by Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. It passed unanimously in the Senate and passed without objection in the House in October.