And Now The Government Says Filters Don't Work?

from the depends-on-the-situation-apparently dept

It's always fun to see how arguments change over time. A few years ago, when the federal government put in place a rule that schools and libraries needed to put internet filters on all computers if they wanted to keep receiving federal funds, there was a lawsuit claiming that filters don't work very well and they tend to block out lots of perfectly legitimate content. The government, on the other hand, argued that filters work well enough and there was nothing wrong with mandating them. Eventually, the Supreme Court agreed, and said the federal government could mandate filters. Now, in a separate case concerning the "Child Online Protection Act" (which has been bouncing around the courts for 8 years), that has been twice hit by Supreme Court injunctions over the likelihood that the law is unconstitutional, it seems that the ACLU will be arguing that filters are just dandy as a solution to protecting kids, while the federal government (thanks to data a bunch of search engines freely handed over) will be arguing that filters suck and are ineffective. So, which is it? Either filters are ineffective and useless at protecting kids or they're important tools that need to be in place to protect our kids? Apparently, it all depends on which court case we're dealing with at the moment.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Twinkiman, 23 Oct 2006 @ 8:07pm


    well, lets see... If we have one group of people trying to create filters to keep kids safe. Then we have another group trying to circumvent those filters to put filth in kids hands. But wait, we also have the group that wants everything to be open for whatever reason (mostly that filters don't work). Don't forget the kids themselves trying to get at this stuff.

    It seems to me like we have a constant battle for who comes out on top. Most people agree they want to protect kids. The problem enters in on how to go about doing that. The two main solutions are either filters or more parental involvement. The problem with both of those however is that they can't keep up with the rate of technology very well. Come on, how many middle aged parents are going to know what pr0n or even what a proxy server is. Kids are a difficult bunch to work with because they don't know any better, are persistant, and can adapt quickly.

    My vote is to have every parent sit down with their kids and go looking for smut. Parents can educate kids on what filth can do to their lives. Plus if the kids know their parents do it, it quite possibly won't continue as it's cool anymore.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.