2006/08/01

"Books? Sorry I'm too busy vetting blogs."

Congress' newest attempt to substitute industry curbs for parental responsibility is the recently passed DOPA act (Deleting Online Predators). This loony piece of legislation will force schools and libraries to filter websites that have a "social networking" component. Trouble is...the legislation is written so broadly that just about anything fits the definition. Blogs? You betcha. News sites with chatroom extensions. Yes siree! And if that weren't enough, the FCC is left to deal with enforcement as they see fit. Ah...I can see it now, blacklists of sites deserving of the FCC's ire--sort of in the spirit of television stations that use the any of the 'sinful seven words'.

Of course adults are exempt from the filtering and can request that teachers or librarians grant them access to any site, but in the presence of an overzealous FCC, we can expect our librarians to take on a new, all-consuming role--that of the 'net monitor/vetter'. Need help finding a book? I don't think so! Librarians will be too busy keeping up with the FCC's 'predator' lists.

Thanks Congress. Perhaps you should have named this act DOPEY.

7 Comments:

One day, I was in the childrens section of our venerable library, and noticed a bank of computers. My boys were busy playing some of the educational software resident on the machines...about three stations down there was a teen boy surfing the porn locations - and as I walked behind him, he wasn't even covering the machine up. This wasn't soft core porn, but hard core...So, I think there is some merrit to regulating the use of public computers to surf some things other than porn in the childrens section, and for the whole public library for that matter, but it doesn't need to be a law.
Do they define porn in this new law? Did the lawmakers have to check it all out. I wonder if they will include excessive violence, such as wars.
WS, no question, but the problem is that the Feds don't intend to provide sufficient guidance. Essentially this is going to be another unfunded mandate that puts schools and libraries in a precarious position if they don't comply by throwing thousands of hours at the problem themselves.

Mary, not porn so much for this law, just sites that have tools that could be used by 'predators'. Like porn, I'm sure they'll known one when they see one.
This should be interesting when they decide what's okay and what isn't.
I just love censorship. Next thing we will be having PC burning rallies. Nerds will become the new communists.
Frogs will be renamed rats for critisising the system.
Cartledge, "rat" is OK with me. Anything to spur a little evolution. We frogs are, after all, a bit down the evolutionary totem pole.

Add a comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link