Ding Dong, COPA Is Dead

from the dead,-dead,-dead dept

The federal government has been trying to pass a law to "protect the children" online for ages. First there was the CDA, the Communications Decency Act, which was struck down as unconstitutional. Then, there was COPA -- the Child Online Protection Act. It tried to be more narrow... but was still a very questionable law, with rather vague wording. It bounced around the courts for years, including hitting the Supreme Court twice -- which sent it back to lower courts both times. Last summer, the appeals court knocked it down again, and today the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal... meaning that COPA is about as dead as can be. This is definitely a big win for free speech online.

But, of course, just as COPA followed the CDA, have no fear that politicians looking for headlines and photo ops about how they "protect the children" are working hard on new legislation -- such as DOPA -- the Deleting Online Predators Act -- and will continue to push the boundaries of what sort of speech is allowed online. All this really does is waste taxpayer money on unconstitutional attempts to restrict free speech. And, for what? Recent studies have shown time and time again that the threat to children online is relatively small compared to the hype -- and the best response is educating children, rather than restricting speech for all. Somehow, though, I doubt politicians will recognize that any time soon -- especially when lobbyists for companies that sell filtering tools keep beating down their doors with stories of the horrors of online content.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    :Lobo Santo, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Idiota

    Indecent
    Denizens
    I
    O
    Terrorists
    Act

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    :Lobo Santo, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Idiota

    Crap! Stupid enter key... maybe somebody else can do better.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    James, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 2:39pm

    Morans

    When our illustrious congress gets their head out of their ass and cures our real problems.. then I might be willing to listen to morality laws.

    Until then.....PARENTS....keep your ****ing kids off the net if you're so worried.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 2:59pm

    Parental controls, every browser has it and so do most operating systems. Use them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 3:15pm

    Re:

    In addition to measures like browser filtering and such, a very effective tactic is to simply put the computer in a high traffic area of your home, such as the living room. Password protect it and designate times your children can use the computer. It's not that hard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    joe, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 3:26pm

    Child predators are in schools and churches. I think kids are a lot safer online than in either of those places.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Free Speech, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 3:29pm

    Hoooooooray!!!!!

    It's about fucking time!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Aidantheawesome, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 4:52pm

    RE: Ding Dong, COPA Is Dead

    Quote: joe "Child predators are in schools and churches. I think kids are a lot safer online than in either of those places."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Alex, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 5:22pm

    Good

    I think this is a good thing. It shows that our government at least semi-cares about anti-censorship ideals. It's the parents responsibility to censor based on the families morals.

    Glad to hear it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    babarum, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 9:26pm

    Unfortunately in the

    current political climate, wasting taxpayer money is not an issue any more. In addition, compared to other wastes, these issues going through the courts and the money it wastes it miniscule.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    William, Jan 21st, 2009 @ 10:04pm

    Re:

    I think sterotyping where they may not be correct no matter where you state. I've read somewhere (so not necessarily true) that most kids that are molested or violated are done by those that they know, not by random strangers. So if thats true then schools, churches, online, whatever. It's all safer then with a step-dad/mom or with family friends.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Neverhood, Jan 22nd, 2009 @ 4:07am

    Protect the children!

    I love these laws that supposedly protects the children, but has a whole other purpose in reality, be it a politicians ego or otherwise.

    Why haven't the RIAA proposed a law yet to ban all competition in their marked, and set up a mandatory tax to cover executives cocaine usage? You know, "for the children".

    Hehe, "DOPA -- the Deleting Online Predators Act" sounds like a sentence made up by a soccer-mom who just finished reading a Computer-lingo-for-dummies book.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    lindsay, Jan 22nd, 2009 @ 8:40am

    Porn? Harmful? No, it's not.

    Porn is not nor has ever been "harmful" to anyone... those insignificant, belittled, lesser section of society dubbed as "minors" included.

    Why? Because they're gonna find out about porn eventually they might as well start young. And hey unless they're being FORCED to do something... there is no "harm" of any kind.

    "EGAD! I did NOT want to see that" *click* and window closes or they can press the backspace button to if they want.

    See, that wasn't so hard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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