Last spring and summer, many edubloggers were ranting against the Deleting Online Predators Act which was bouncing around Congress.
This was the law which would have required schools and libraries to block web sites that used just about any interactive features. Although aimed at MySpace, it was written so broadly that it could have included any blog allowing comments and much more.
Andy Carvin notes that DOPA expired with the previous Congress and provides a good overview of the legislation’s short life. He also offers some reasons why this particular mess isn’t likely to reappear.
However, that doesn’t mean a few Congress critters won’t create something similar.
So it would seem that DOPA is a done deal. Of course, there’s no way to predict what’ll happen in the future, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s another surge of media coverage surrounding kids and online safety. The question is whether the new Democrat leaders of Congress would look at the resulting public polling data and decide to enact their own DOPA-like legislation. It’s certainly possible, but given the leadership roles that’ll be played by members like Markey, Dingell and Leahy, any new legislation would probably go through a much more thorough examination than DOPA ever did.
We can only hope that the members of the new Congress will be more inclined to think before they legislate.