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Friday, July 28, 2006

When the Clueless Legislate: USA Bill Requires Schools & Libraries to Block Social Networking Sites

While browsing my daily list of reads this morning, my eyes stopped on this:

US House Resolution 5319, the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA), was passed by a 410 to 15 vote tonight. If the Resolution becomes law, social networking sites and chat rooms must be blocked by schools and libraries or those institutions will lose their federal internet subsidies. According to the resolution's top line summary it will amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require recipients of universal service support for schools and libraries to protect minors from commercial social networking websites and chat rooms

An incredibly vague law, DOPA will require schools and libraries to block access to a potentially huge range of sites on the internet. The goal is to protect children from adult predators. Sites that must be blocked include those that allow people to post profiles, include personal information and allow “communication among users.” (source: TechCrunch)

Shocking isn't it? Sure, I think blocking sites such as MySpace and Friendster from educational establishments is a great idea, but unfortunately, blogs and Wikis, which can be used as great learning tools by students, are also targeteted by this resolution. Good job Congress, by voting in favor of this act, you've shown to the world that once again, you guys are a bunch of clueless idiots.

Read more.


  • Why why why? I crave straightfoward answers.

    By Blogger Urileye, at 12:59 PM  

  • It's honestly hard to be surprised by those morons these days. Especially when a lot of them are still at the stage where they think the Internet is "a series of tubes".

    By Blogger theMatt, at 1:08 PM  

  • I really don't see that it will make that big of a difference. Espesially when you think that there's only like 1 out of 100 houses/ apartments that don't have computer-access. What are they gonna do about it? Block Social Networking Sites all together??? Idiots! :S

    By Blogger Silje, at 1:27 PM  

  • silje: exactly, if kids can't have access to these sites from school, they'll do it from home, and that's where the real danger comes from.

    By Blogger Kiltak, at 1:41 PM  

  • silje, kiltak: good point, but where this legislation could really be harmful is in low income areas: rual parts of the country, or the inner city, where a person's only access to the net would be a school or public library. If the law passes, it would make a large, and informative, swath of information unavailable to a large number of people that either can't afford, or don't have the infrastructure to support, the internet.

    By Blogger koibull, at 3:09 PM  

  • Just another no-brainer idea from the nanny-state struggling to deal with its new identity: the oh-my-god-every-ones-trying-to-kill-us-because-we-are-the-pinnacle-of-freedom state. *spit*

    You are free, to do what we tell you.
    You are free, to do what we tell you ...

    By Blogger Andy, at 4:16 PM  

  • The people who write these Acts are usually the people that still use Snail-Mail because they're too afraid of their damned computers! And yet, here they are making policy on shtuff they don't understand...

    The Recent Story on Net Neutrality is a GREAT example of Congress and Senates that know nothing about the things they're making policy on!

    Well.. Gonna push the Login and Publish button so that i can PUSH this post through the Tubes!

    By Blogger AlRo, at 4:38 PM  

  • Doesn't this just create a bigger market for web proxy service providers? Anybody who's dealt with blocking in some form for long enough knows that there's going to be at least one proxy site that will let them access what they want.

    By Blogger pauljs75, at 5:51 AM  

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