November 26, 2001 03:37am
FCC Erases Cable Porn Scrambling
by: Pamela McClintock
(WASHINGTON, DC) -- After a long delay, the Federal Communications Commission [http://www.FCC.gov] has complied with a court ruling and erased from the books a regulation requiring cable companies to scramble sexually explicit programming.
Democratic FCC commissioner Michael Copps immediately called on the agency to study other ways Washington can protect children from seeing porn and other sexual content. "That the court found the statute overly broad does not obviate our responsibility to protect children from indecent and obscene programming," Copps said.
Three years ago, a federal court agreed with Playboy Enterprises [http://PlayboyEnterprises.com] that the scrambling rule, passed by Congress in 1996 [http://www.Congress.gov], was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court [http://www.SupremeCourtUS.gov] upheld the ruling last year, but it has taken until now for the FCC to officially get rid of the regulation. Congress had said there was a need to scramble because of "signal bleed," allowing people who do not pay for adult channels to see some of the programming anyway.