Get Out Of Jail Free!

All right, all right. I was just kidding--this time. But, under the new Communications Decency Act, your trip to jail could be just as easy as the mouse click you just executed. If the link had obscene material on it you would indeed have been breaking the law. And if the FBI or other law enforcement officials had been monitoring connections to the link--a very easy thing for them to do--then you could have been charged and thrown in jail.

So, I will let you off the hook this time, if you will do one thing: write to your senator and/or representative, and tell them in a polite but firm manner what you think of this new law. WARNING: Do not leave this page until you have done this!!! Your actions are being monitored and recorded ;-)

Writing by snail-mail or calling is more effective than email. Even email, however, is about a million times more effective than just doing nothing. I have even included a short sample letter which, if you're very unimaginative, you can just copy and paste into your mailer. SO DO IT!

Easy ways to contact politicians:


There is a mailbot service which sends to each emailable member of the Senate and House. Send your message to (or just click on the link to do it automatically):,, and it will be forwarded.

Limits on the use of this service are: 1) One email per 72 hours, 2) no more than 5000 characters per email, and 3) nothing obscene or abusive.

Congressional Addresses

By Snail-mail

To write or call your Congresspersons:

The Honorable <rascal's full name>
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable <rascal's full name>
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

By Phone

Capitol Switchboard (reach any Congressperson): 202-224-3121

Visit WWW Pages and Give Feedback

House WWW server:
Senate WWW server:

The White House

The White House comment line is 202-456-1111; FAX 202-456-2461.

To send email to the White house, the addresses are: and

The White House WWW server is at:

A Sample Letter

Feel free to add to this, edit it, use part of it or just write something completely different. Be sure to address it properly to the congresscritter you are writing to, and sign it with your name and snail-mail address as well as your email address. Congresscritters are prone to discard anonymous messages as being from kooks and/or wackos. Plus, they will pay a lot more attention to you if they know you are in their state or district. Also include any impressive sounding organizations you belong to, such as ACM, EFF, CDA, ACLU, FBI, CIA, Young Americans for Freedom, etc., etc., etc.

I am writing to express my strong opposition to the Communications Decency Act.

I am one of the tens of millions of internet users in the United States. We use the internet to communicate about every facet of our lives--personal, medical, economic, political, social and every other aspect imaginable.

The Communications Decency Act has just restricted this vitally important electronic communication down to that which is acceptable to the smallest child. I oppose this strongly and feel that Congress and the President should be doing much more to support the right of our citizens to communicate openly and freely.

There are indeed problems for children in cyberspace. But, as with other problems faced by the internet, these difficulties are being solved and overcome by the combined work and energy of thousands of volunteers and paid workers all over the world. Given a reasonable amount of time, these home-grown solutions will be both more effective and less limiting than wide-sweeping congressional mandates which are seemingly ignorant of both the promise and the limitations of the technology.

The keeper of this page is Brent Hugh (BHugh@CSTP.UMKC.EDU ). Feel free to email him with any questions about, problems with, or complaints regarding the page. You can visit Brent Hugh's Home Page his Music Instruction Software Page, or The Indecency Page.


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