[NetBehaviour] Study finds Web isn't teeming with sex.

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Thu Nov 16 11:02:10 CET 2006

Study finds Web isn't teeming with sex.


By Elise Ackerman.
Mercury News.

A confidential analysis of Internet search queries and a random sample 
of Web pages taken from Google and Micrsoft's giant Internet indexes 
showed that only about 1 percent of all Web pages contain sexually 
explicit material.

The analysis was presented in a federal court hearing last week in 
Philadelphia in a suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union 
against U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and obtained Monday by 
the Mercury News.

The ACLU said the analysis, by Philip B. Stark, a professor of 
statistics at the University of California-Berkeley, did not appear to 
substantially help the Justice Department in its effort to prove that 
criminal penalties are necessary to protect minors from exposure to 
sexually explicit information on the Internet.

The Justice Department had commissioned the study as part of an effort 
to resurrect the Children's Online Protection Act, which was signed by 
President Clinton in 1998, but was immediately challenged by the ACLU.

A federal district court in Philadelphia and a federal appeals court 
banned enforcement of the law. In June 2005, the Supreme Court upheld 
the ban for constitutional reasons but sent the case back to district 
court for more fact finding regarding Internet filters.

``One of the things we think came out of the government's study is that 
the chance of running into graphic content on the Web when filters are 
on is extremely low,'' said Catherine Crump, staff attorney at the 
American Civil Liberties Union.


More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list