United States obscenity law
United States obscenity law deals with laws in the United States that relate to the regulation or suppression of what is considered obscenity. In the United States, discussion of obscenity revolves around pornography and raises issues of freedom of speech and of censorship. Issues of obscenity arises at federal and state levels. The States have direct responsibility in relation to criminal law matters, including the punishment for the production and sale of obscene materials. These laws operate only within the jurisdiction of each state, and there are a wide variation of laws. The federal government has become involved in the issue indirectly by making it an offense to distribute obscene materials through the post. It is also involved as the regulator of telecommunications, broadcasting and foreign trade.Because censorship laws enacted to combat obscenity restrict freedom of expression, crafting a legal definition of obscenity presents a civil liberties issue.