Case Study 4
Obscene or indecent phone calls

The federal government passed a law making it illegal to offer commercial, interstate services that involved “obscene” or “indecent” telephone communications. The law was aimed at “dial-a-porn” services. These services provide a taped, sexually explicit message that is activated when customers dial a phone number. Customers are charged for the call. One company sued, claiming that the law was unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

  • Is this speech protected?
  • If not, what harm might occur as a result of the speech?
  • What value or right is conflicting with free speech in this case?