Communications Decency Act


(CDA) An amendment to the U.S. 1996 Telecommunications Bill that went into effect on 1996-02-08. The law, originally proposed by Senator James Exon to protect children from obscenity on the Internet, ended up making it punishable by fines of up to $250,000 to post indecent language on the Internet anywhere that a minor could read it.

Thousands of outraged Internet users turned their web pages black in protest or displayed the Electronic Frontier Foundation's special icons.

On 1996-06-12, a three-judge panel in Philadelphia ruled the CDA unconstitutional and issued an injunction against the United States Justice Department forbidding them to enforce the "indecency" provisions of the law. Internet users celebrated by displaying an animated "Free Speech" fireworks icon to their web pages, courtesy of the Voters Telecommunications Watch. The Justice Department appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Last updated: 1996-11-03

Communications of the ACM


(CACM) A monthly publication by the Association for Computing Machinery sent to all members. CACM is an influential publication that keeps computer science professionals up to date on developments. Each issue includes articles, case studies, practitioner oriented pieces, regular columns, commentary, departments, the ACM Forum, technical correspondence and advertisements.

Last updated: 1995-01-18

communications port

<hardware, communications>

A connector for a communications interface, usually, a serial port.

Last updated: 1996-08-04

Communications Server

<operating system>

IBM's rebranding of ACF.

Last updated: 1999-01-20

communications software

<communications, software>

Application programs, operating system components, and probably firmware, forming part of a communication system. These different software components might be classified according to the functions within the Open Systems Interconnect model which they provide.

Typical applications include a web browser, Mail User Agent, chat and telnet.

Last updated: 2001-03-18

communication system


A system or facility for transfering data between persons and equipment. The system usually consists of a collection of individual communication networks, transmission systems, relay stations, tributary stations and terminal equipment capable of interconnection and interoperation so as to form an integrated whole. These individual components must serve a common purpose, be technically compatible, employ common procedures, respond to some form of control and generally operate in unison.

["Communications Standard Dictionary", 2nd Edition, Martin H. Weik].

Last updated: 1995-02-06

Nearby terms:

Communication and Network RiserCommunications Decency ActCommunications of the ACM

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