Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Dial-a-Porn continues to be a multimillion dollar industry in this country. Amendments in 1988 to the federal statute governing Dial-a-Porn resulted in a complete prohibition of all obscene and indecent recorded phone messages. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of this statute for the first time in July 1989 in Sable Communicatios v. FCC. This Note discusses the statute in its current and pre-amendment forms and analyzes Second and Ninth Circuit decisions attempting to balance the competing interests concerning Dial-a- Porn. The author argues that the current statute is unconstitutional and should be struck down in favor of a statute that allows Dial-a- Porn to continue to exist but requires action by message providers to restrict children's access to indecent or obscene phone messages. The author proposes effective alternatives that restrict access, without unconstitutionally infringing on the first amendment rights of message providers and receivers.