Senate panel backs bill giving FCC more power on indecency sanctions

[JURIST] The US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Thursday approved the Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act [S 1780 text, PDF], which, if enacted, will give the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broader authority to sanction television and radio broadcasters for a single word or image [press release] that the FCC considers indecent. The proposed legislation seeks to undo a federal appellate court's invalidation of the "fleeting expletives" standard [JURIST report].

In June, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the FCC's "fleeting expletives" standard represented a "significant departure" from its previous regulatory standards, and vacated [opinion, PDF] a determination [FCC order] by the FCC that Fox Television broadcasts violated the FCC's indecency and profanity prohibitions because the FCC failed to articulate a reasoned basis for its change in policy pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act [text]. The FCC did not regulate fleeting expletives prior to 2004. AP has more.



 

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