Congress: Hall Pass Revoked
2006 July 28 by Josh
If Net Neutrality didn't do enough to get you squirming HR5319 AKA Deleting Online Predators Act AKA DOPA should serve as proof that Congress should no longer be allowed to vote on any laws governing the internet. In case you missed the news, DOPA basically will require all public schools and libraries to block access to social networking sites and chat rooms. Of course, MySpace will be banned, but the list of other sites potentially blocked from open public access could grow very long.
Sites to be blocked will be judged by five criteria: 1) offered by a commercial entity 2) has online profiles 3) has journal or blogging features 4) elicits personal information and 5) enables communication among users.
Technically, they should ban IconBuffet, because you know, people over 18 might be swapping icons with people under 18. Threadless certainly fits the requirements. For that matter, any blog with comments might fit the requirements. I don't know how they plan on enforcing this.
I can hear the collective air being sucked out of every high school in the nation right now. We're going to ban cell phones and text-messaging next, right?
All said and done, I'm simply shocked that not only was DOPA passed last night, but it passed with a 410 to 15 vote. Now the resolution will go on to the Senate.
I'm all about cracking down on online predators. This is not the solution. Parents need to be parents. Teachers need to be teachers. And Congress needs to stop regulating stuff it knows very little about. And please don't even get me started about video game taxes. There. I'm done. I feel marginally better now. Check DOPA Watch for the latest news.