Michael Honig


In April 2003 the Prosecutorial Remedies and other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003 (PROTECT Act) was enacted with the goal to protect children from abduction and abuse and achieve a more aggressive pursuit of the individuals committing crimes against the children. Although the AMBER Alert system is the most known portion of the legislation other provisions including the Truth in Domain Names Act (TDNA) making the use of a misleading Internet domain name to deceive a person to view pornography a criminal offense were also included. This comment first discusses the case of John Zuccarini, one of the most notorious typosquatters and the first person to be convicted under TDNA. It then proceeds in a more detailed examination of the Act explaining how the Act is overbroad for sevaral reasons. First because of its vague and undefined use of the word "misleading" as well as its treatment of warning pages, and the detrimental effects of such treatment; because it is vague about what evidences an "intent to deceive" and it lacks a provision excluding registrars. The author also discusses the TDNA's resemblance to a similar piece of legislation, the Child Online Protection Act, which was recently found to be overbroad. Finally, this comment concludes by determining that, in addition to being unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, the TDNA is somewhat unnecessary. Nevertheless, it is appropriate changes to the language of the Act are suggested as well as other possible means for regulating obscenity on the Internet.