Fortunately, the ill-conceived DOPA (Deleting Online Predators Act), which would have prevented schools and libraries that take federal money from allowing access to social networking sites, died in the Senate last year after passing the House. Unfortunately, scaremongering about social networking is alive and well at the state level. In Illinois, a state senator is pushing the Social Networking Web site Prohibition Act (via Slashdot), which looks almost identical to the DOPA. Of course laws such as these are completely silly. It's easy for kids to find a way around filters, or they'll just get online at home to look at at forbidden sites. What's worse is that because filters don't work well, the law, if passed, would block access to plenty of sites that are fine, or even useful, for kids. Of course, there's always an election coming up, so there's always a need to pass laws that "protect the children".
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