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A Guide to Finding Government Information

Web version of this guide includes links to web resources.

Search Tips:

Mix and match these terms in searching the library catalog, WestCat , or use them to search journal articles and law reviews via the library's Databases page. You can also use them to search government information sites listed on our Starting Points page - click the tab and pay particular attention to the Top Six.

  • pornography
  • obscenity
  • children
  • media
  • internet
  • censorship
  • child pornography
  • cyberporn
  • peer-to-peer architecture
  • P2P
  • exploitation
  • freedom of speech

Related Topics:
  • pedophilia
  • freedom of speech/expression
  • censorship

An important source for many research topics is Congress. Congressional committees and subcommittees hold hearings on a wide variety of controversial and timely subjects. Simply add the word "hearing?" to a search string in WestCat .

Search Engines

Google and StartPage
Use these search engines to search for government information by typing "site:gov" in the search box preceding your search terms:

  • site:gov pornography

Federal Government Information
Obscenity, Child Pornography, and Indecency: Recent Developments and Pending Issues

This short primer uses laws and constitutional interpretation through court cases to discuss the legality or illegality of obscenity, child pornography, and indecency. 2008

Protecting Children on the Internet

This hearings covers pornography, child pornography, and online predation of children via internet chatrooms with a focus on internet safety. 2007
Y 4.C 73/7:S.HRG.110-1103

Why the Government Should Care About Pornography: the State Interest in Protecting Children and Families

This hearing explores the societal impacts of easily available internet pornography and what can legally be done to assuage them. 2005
Y 4.J 89/2:S. HRG. 109-280

Obscenity Prosecution and the Constitution

This hearing discusses constitutional issues and the lack of political will to prosecute obscenity cases and how this allows pornography to go mainstream. 2005
Y 4.J 89/2:S.HRG.109-1023

Online Child Pornography

This hearing discusses the epidemic of internet child pornography and what is being done to combat it. 2006
Y 4.C 73/7:S.HRG.109-1154

Online Pornography: Closing the Door on Pervasive Smut

This hearing focuses on solutions to unwanted access to pornography and child pornography by children and adults over peer-to-peer networks. 2004
Y 4.C 73/8:108-90

Illinois Government Information
Sex Offenses

Part of the Criminal Code of 1961, this is the Illinois law regarding obscenity and child pornography. Definitions and sentencing classifications are provided, as are guidelines for forfeiture of particular assets upon conviction. Distribution of harmful material is also covered.
720 ILCS 5/11-6 et al.

Legal Information
Obscenity and Pornography Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court

This book showcases 14 of the landmark supreme court decisions on obscenity and pornography. All are plain-English versions of the official legal texts issued by the Supreme Court. The topics covered are varied and interesting.
LEGL REF KF 9444 .A7 0313 2000

Hate Speech, Pornography, and the Radical Attack on Free Speech Doctrine

The author discusses pornography and obscenity within the context of all regulated and/or banned speech.
LEGL REF KF 4772 .W45 1999

Adult Entertainment: Fighting the Pornification of America by Enforcing Obscenity Laws

According to the author, Senator Orrin Hatch, obscenity laws which could be used to combat the proliferation of the worst pornography go unenforced, the result is that obscenity has been downgraded from a crime to an 'annoyance.' 2012
Stanford Law & Policy Review vol. 23, p. 1 via Nexis Uni

You Only Live Twice: How the First Amendment Impacts Child Pornography in Second Life

"Obviously virtual" child pornography as practiced in Second Life via avatars does not harm children and should have the protection of the First Amendment, so says the author. 2009
Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review vol. 29, p.193 via Nexis Uni

The Blurring Line Between Victim and Offender: Self-Produced Child Pornography and the Need for Sentencing Reform

In response to overzealous prosecutors, the author argues the need for a distinction in regard to teenage sexting and child pornography. 2012
Ohio State Law Journal vol. 73 p. 141 via Nexis Uni

Re-Creating Patriarchy: Connecting Religion and Pornography

The author argues that religion and pornography have in common the domination of women. 2011
Wake Forest Journal of Law & Policy vol. v. 1, p. 293 via Nexis Uni

Subject Guides