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.

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Comments on “Ding Dong, COPA Is Dead”

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William says:

Re: 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.

Neverhood says:

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.

lindsay says:

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.

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