wasting bandwidth since 1999

Back From The Dead

DOPA is back and uglier than ever.

DOPA was the Deleting Online Predators Act, the Congressional proposal that would have effectively banned almost all access to any interactive web site at schools and libraries in the US.

That legislation justifiably died at the end of the last Congress.

However, Andy Carvin lets us know that Senator Ted “the internet is a series of tubes” Stevens has bundled the old law into a new and larger pile of legislative crap called the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act.

Andy calls the new proposal DOPA, Jr. but to me it looks more like DOPA Super Sized.

DOPA Jr. goes beyond the scope of the 2006 bill by covering a broader range of changes in the law. It contains three sections, or titles: Protecting Children, Deleting Online Predators and Children’s Listbroker Privacy.

School policy would also be required to protect “against access by minors without parental authorization to a commercial social networking website or chat room, and informs parents that sexual predators can use these websites and chat rooms to prey on children.” In other words, this translates into two distinct actions: filtering online services that allow students to interact, while requiring potential notification of the Internet’s dangers. In case you’re wondering what types of sites this covers, the bill defines an online social network this way:

  • is offered by a commercial entity;
  • permits registered users to create an on-line profile that includes detailed personal information;
  • permits registered users to create an on-line journal and share such a journal with other users;
  • elicits highly-personalized information from users; and
  • enables communication among users.

Although it’s still early in the legislative process, it’s never too early to educate yourself (and your Congress critter). Read the whole post for all the grisly details.

dopa, congress, ted stevens


  1. Anna

    Yikes! Thanks for the alert!

  2. Miguel Guhlin

    Ban all social networking in K-12 schools. They’re just a distraction, aren’t they?

  3. Brian Grenier


    I am glad to see that more and more people are beginning to take notice of this, potententially, damaging issue. Although the intentions of the bill are laudable, I sincerly do not believe Senator Stevens and others fully understand the ramifications this bill will have if passed as is. I have created an applet that you and your reader can use to send a preformatted email to the members of the Senate committee considering the bill. Please take advantage of it at http://bumpontheblog.etowns.net

    If you’d like to place a copy of the applet on your site, click on the link below the applet that says “Get the Code”

    Brian Grenier

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