For the purpose of regulating interstate and foreign commerce in communication by wire and radio so as to make available, so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, a rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges, for the purpose of the national defense, for the purpose of promoting safety of life and property through the use of wire and radio communications, and for the purpose of securing a more effective execution of this policy by centralizing authority heretofore granted by law to several agencies and by granting additional authority with respect to interstate and foreign commerce in wire and radio communication, there is created a commission to be known as the "Federal Communications Commission", which shall be constituted as hereinafter provided, and which shall execute and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
Cite as 47 U.S.C. § 151 Source: June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title I, §1, 48 Stat. 1064; May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §1, 50 Stat. 189; Pub. L. , 104-104 title I, § 104 , Feb. 8, , 110 Stat. 86. 1996 Notes from the Office of Law Revision Counsel current through 8/17/2020 REFERENCES IN TEXT
This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section
of this title and Tables. 609 AMENDMENTS 1996- Pub. L. inserted ", without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex," after "to all the people of the United States". 104-104 1937-Act May 20, 1937, inserted "for the purpose of promoting safety of life and property through the use of wire and radio communication". EXTENSION OF INTERNET TAX FREEDOM ACT Pub. L. , 114-113 div. E, title VI, § 633 , Dec. 18, , 129 Stat. 2471, provided that: "Sections 1101(a) and 1104(a)(2)(A) of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (title XI of division C of 2015 Public Law ; 105-277 47 U.S.C. note) shall be applied by substituting 'October 1, 2016' for 'October 1, 2015'." 151 MORATORIUM ON INTERNET TAXES Pub. L. , 112 Stat. 2681-719, as amended by 105-277 Pub. L. , 107-75 § 2 , Nov. 28, , 115 Stat. 703; 2001 Pub. L. , 108-435 §§ 2 , Dec. 3, - 2004 6A , Dec. 3, , 118 Stat. 2615-2618; 2004 Pub. L. , 110-108 §§ 2 , Oct. 31, - 2007 6 , Oct. 31, , 121 Stat. 1024-1026; 2007 Pub. L. , 113-235 div. E, title VI, § 624 , Dec. 16, , 128 Stat. 2377; 2014 Pub. L. , 114-125 title IX, § 922 , Feb. 24, , 130 Stat. 281, provided that: 2016
"SEC. 1100. SHORT TITLE.
"This title may be cited as the 'Internet Tax Freedom Act'.
"SEC. 1101. MORATORIUM.
"(a) MORATORIUM.-No State or political subdivision thereof may impose any of the following taxes:
"(1) Taxes on Internet access.
"(2) Multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.
"(b) PRESERVATION OF STATE AND LOCAL TAXING AUTHORITY.-Except as provided in this section, nothing in this title shall be construed to modify, impair, or supersede, or authorize the modification, impairment, or superseding of, any State or local law pertaining to taxation that is otherwise permissible by or under the Constitution of the United States or other Federal law and in effect on the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 21, 1998].
"(c) LIABILITIES AND PENDING CASES.-Nothing in this title affects liability for taxes accrued and enforced before the date of enactment of this Act, nor does this title affect ongoing litigation relating to such taxes.
"(d) EXCEPTION TO MORATORIUM.-
"(1) IN GENERAL.-Subsection (a) shall also not apply in the case of any person or entity who knowingly and with knowledge of the character of the material, in interstate or foreign commerce by means of the World Wide Web, makes any communication for commercial purposes that is available to any minor and that includes any material that is harmful to minors unless such person or entity has restricted access by minors to material that is harmful to minors-
"(A) by requiring use of a credit card, debit account, adult access code, or adult personal identification number;
"(B) by accepting a digital certificate that verifies age; or
"(C) by any other reasonable measures that are feasible under available technology.
"(2) SCOPE OF EXCEPTION.-For purposes of paragraph (1), a person shall not be considered to [be] making a communication for commercial purposes of material to the extent that the person is-
"(A) a telecommunications carrier engaged in the provision of a telecommunications service;
"(B) a person engaged in the business of providing an Internet access service;
"(C) a person engaged in the business of providing an Internet information location tool; or
"(D) similarly engaged in the transmission, storage, retrieval, hosting, formatting, or translation (or any combination thereof) of a communication made by another person, without selection or alteration of the communication.
"(3) DEFINITIONS.-In this subsection:
"(A) BY MEANS OF THE WORLD WIDE WEB.-The term 'by means of the World Wide Web' means by placement of material in a computer server-based file archive so that it is publicly accessible, over the Internet, using hypertext transfer protocol, file transfer protocol, or other similar protocols.
"(B) COMMERCIAL PURPOSES; ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS.-
"(i) COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.-A person shall be considered to make a communication for commercial purposes only if such person is engaged in the business of making such communications.
"(ii) ENGAGED IN THE BUSINESS.-The term 'engaged in the business' means that the person who makes a communication, or offers to make a communication, by means of the World Wide Web, that includes any material that is harmful to minors, devotes time, attention, or labor to such activities, as a regular course of such person's trade or business, with the objective of earning a profit as a result of such activities (although it is not necessary that the person make a profit or that the making or offering to make such communications be the person's sole or principal business or source of income). A person may be considered to be engaged in the business of making, by means of the World Wide Web, communications for commercial purposes that include material that is harmful to minors, only if the person knowingly causes the material that is harmful to minors to be posted on the World Wide Web or knowingly solicits such material to be posted on the World Wide Web.
"(C) INTERNET.-The term 'Internet' means collectively the myriad of computer and telecommunications facilities, including equipment and operating software, which comprise the interconnected world-wide network of networks that employ the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or any predecessor or successor protocols to such protocol, to communicate information of all kinds by wire or radio.
"(D) INTERNET ACCESS SERVICE.-The term 'Internet access service' means a service that enables users to access content, information, electronic mail, or other services offered over the Internet and may also include access to proprietary content, information, and other services as part of a package of services offered to consumers. The term 'Internet access service' does not include telecommunications services, except to the extent such services are purchased, used, or sold by a provider of Internet access to provide Internet access.