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U.S. Judge Rules COPA Unconstitutional
Child Online Protection Act invalidated by court
encyclo




msg:3289850
 4:04 pm on Mar 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

From: CNET news.com [news.com.com]

A federal judge has ruled that the Child Online Protection Act, which would have criminalized much of the sexual content on the Internet, violates First and Fifth Amendment rights.

The 1998 U.S. law included both civil and criminal penalties for those who make sexually explicit materials freely available on the Web.

U.S. District Judge Lowell Reed Jr., who presided over the trial involving several online publications and the American Civil Liberties Union, ruled that COPA is "impermissibly vague and overbroad" to be constitutional, and that there are other less-restrictive means available for protecting children from content deemed inappropriate.

 

skunker




msg:3289942
 5:11 pm on Mar 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I didn't understand the article. Can someone explain it in layman terms for me? Thanks.

bwnbwn




msg:3289966
 5:31 pm on Mar 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

The judge ruled they way COPA is written is to vauge and could lead to just about anything from porn to supplements as indangering a minor.

I read some of the COPA laws and they are broad and should be confined to a more defined law.

I am all for protecting our children we need to do it in a manner that protects them without putting everthing on the list that could end you up in jail or fined.

Lets say I sell vitamins a minor buys say a diet pill and uses dad's credit card this could in fact be indangering a minor and I could go to jail.

The law is more about the pron stuff and inticing a minor into giving out information they shouldn't.

How this will be worded is another matter.

I do feel all porn etc should be required to have in the header something to alert for blocking and if not then they are in violation of this law...

Keniki




msg:3290489
 3:25 am on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

U.S. District Judge Lowell Reed Jr., Shame on you. This verdict invites an open season on porn online. Its disgracefull!

thecoalman




msg:3290581
 5:34 am on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

This was knee-jerk legislation to begin with that should never have been passed. The only way to prevent Johhny from viewing things he shouldn't be is his parents monitoring what he is doing. Which is the way it should be. I can agree with the one poster above, adult content should be flagged as such but ultimately the responsibility of what Johhny is looking at online should lie soley on his parents shoulders.

vincevincevince




msg:3290594
 5:41 am on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Difficult issue. You can see the judge's point but at the same time the end result isn't exactly great. On the other hand, the law wasn't being enforced anyway, and even if it was it only had bearing in the US.

I think that we will eventually need to move to an opt-in web. Issue after issue is suggesting that as a solution. It would have to be something like AOL only allowing pre-vetted sites on the network, with inclusion requiring agreement to a contract of conduct (no spam, no unmarked porn, permission for search engines to index and cache, no popups, etc...)

ddregallo




msg:3290608
 5:59 am on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

While I agree with the intent of this law, I also agree with this ruling. It was irresponsible of congress to draft such legislation for this very reason. Hopefully now congress will revisit the issue and get it right this time. But I rarely have much confidence in lawmakers these days.

</dan>

grandpa




msg:3290637
 6:51 am on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

It is easy enough to watch adult material on your television, provided you pay first. And it is just as easy to lock out those channels on your remote so the kids don't take a peek. That responsibility lies with the adults in the home, not with the cable provider. The same is true for the internet. Any parent willing to learn how to block pron sites can do so, period. I agree with the judge, the responsibility starts in the home. I don't want my government assuming my responsibilities as a parent.

DamonHD




msg:3290720
 9:36 am on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

This judgement was brought to you on the same day as the ruling that the Wisconsin man having sex with road-kill deer *was* in fact illegal (there was some doubt if a carcass counted as an animal for legal purposes).

Humans are really mixed up about sex, regarding it as 'dirty' and to be put in the same bracket as violence.

It remains the case that it COULD NOT work since a lot of the world is NOT in the US (US politicians please note for future reference), and it is the parents who are the only ones able to (and who should) control their kids' viewing. Expecting other people to do it, any more than blaming others for your kids getting obese, is simply to duck a real live key responsibility and duty.

Rgds

Damon

skunker




msg:3290870
 1:16 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

But even porn shops have barriers. YOu can't just walk into a store if you are younger than 18. It's against the law.

The same needs to be done with these online sites. Also, parents don't even know how to turn on a computer! what is going to make them prevent a minor from accessing these sites.

Damn judget. Works for the ACLU i bet.

webdoctor




msg:3290944
 2:49 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

responsibility lies with the adults

Perhaps when parents take their newborn baby home from the hospital this statement ought to be forcibly tattoed on their forearms? :-)

But even porn shops have barriers. YOu can't just walk into a store if you are younger than 18. It's against the law.

OK - I'll bite: can you give us your definition of "porn shop"?

Have you ever stopped to buy petrol in Germany? Most German petrol stations have porn DVDs for sale, usually piled up at the checkout next to the sweets.

Ever been to a Dutch beach?

inclusion requiring agreement to a contract of conduct (no spam, no unmarked porn, permission for search engines to index and cache, no popups, etc...)

Let's see, what's the fee going to be for "checking" the sites? Pay-for-inclusion? No, thanks.

Vishal




msg:3290960
 3:02 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

seems like this will make way for the development of .#*$! domain and a regulations where all pre-defined porn content will be allowed only on such domains. Having it all on .#*$! makes it easy for supervision both my parents and companies.

skunker




msg:3291016
 3:48 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

hey vishal that's a good idea...but tat'll never happen--too much common sense.

oneguy




msg:3291092
 4:51 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

But even porn shops have barriers. YOu can't just walk into a store if you are younger than 18. It's against the law.

The same needs to be done with these online sites. Also, parents don't even know how to turn on a computer! what is going to make them prevent a minor from accessing these sites.

Here's an easy one. Card people for internet connections, just like other things. If you're of legal age to buy something, then provide it to someone who isn't, you're in trouble most of the time.

If porn is really a problem, then someone should start looking for ways to prosecute these parents, teachers, or librarians who are providing porn for children via their computers and internet connections.

I'm not sure why people started letting kids on the internet in the first place. It was never suitable for children, ever. The internet was never this wholesome thing that turned shady. It was for adults. It was for adults long before companies and families with children came online.

webdoctor




msg:3291102
 4:59 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

pre-defined porn content will be allowed only on such domains

Who exactly is going to define what is and isn't porn? How about we let ICANN do it - they've done such a good job with other regulatory issues... :-)

start looking for ways to prosecute these parents, teachers, or librarians who are providing porn for children via their computers and internet connections

Last time I checked, it's the kids themselves finding the porn - they certainly don't need any help from any parents, teachers or librarians.

DamonHD




msg:3291160
 5:37 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is an uncovered woman's face "porn"? Is a female nude painting by an "Old Master" porn? It may very much depend on your location and social background.

That's just one reason why attempting to block at source is wrong-headed.

Rgds

Damon

ddregallo




msg:3291675
 6:16 am on Mar 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

We don't allow the purchase of porno mags from a bookstore to minors. Nor does the law allow admittance to a strip club without proof of age. Why would we allow access to porn websites without the same safeguards?

</dan>

DamonHD




msg:3291787
 12:25 pm on Mar 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

My above point: who decides *what* is porn?

Here is the /. thread: [politics.slashdot.org...]

Rgds

Damon

[edited by: DamonHD at 12:27 pm (utc) on Mar. 24, 2007]

gibbergibber




msg:3292184
 11:16 pm on Mar 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Children just shouldn't be allowed on the internet without an adult. There's no law that can possibly keep the internet clean, largely because it's an international network and most countries are outside US law, and there's no filtering system which can beat the judgement of a human parent or guardian.

Even if there was a satisfactory definition of porn (and there isn't), you will never be able to remove most of the smutty material that's out there. There's just too much of it outside the jurisdiction of any one country's authorities, it's incredibly easy for porn sites to set up operations in countries without extradition treaties.

The only way to keep our kids safe is to look after them ourselves, the way we'd look after them when we go shopping or on holiday or whatever.

The information super highway should be treated just like a real highway: adults can use it by themselves but children need someone to take care of them.

--I'm not sure why people started letting kids on the internet in the first place. It was never suitable for children, ever. The internet was never this wholesome thing that turned shady. It was for adults. It was for adults long before companies and families with children came online. --

I totally agree, you're absolutely right.

If there had to be a law about this issue, I'd say that it should be illegal for children to use the unfiltered internet without adult supervision. Once there's a parent or guardian there beside them, they can be the ones who decide what is suitable for their children, which is just as it should be.

-- But even porn shops have barriers. YOu can't just walk into a store if you are younger than 18. It's against the law. The same needs to be done with these online sites.--

Porn shops used by Americans are all within US territory. If they break US law, the US authorities have no trouble convicting them.

Porn sites used by Americans are mostly outside US territory, and even US-based sites would have no trouble moving abroad if they wanted to. It's virtually impossible for US authorities to convict a site doing something illegal if it's based in a country with no extradition treaty.

Keniki




msg:3292320
 4:13 am on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Children just shouldn't be allowed on the internet without an adult.

No adults should consider children first. Its long been suggested adult content should be on a dot{X}{X}{X} domain. What legitamate pornographic site could complain about that. The fact is there are sites aimed at children with the sole purpose luring them into contact with unsavoury people. I couldn't care less about freedom of the net right now, that was abandoned with the great firewall of china. I care about an internet safe for my children to search and other peoples children to search.

[edited by: Keniki at 4:20 am (utc) on Mar. 25, 2007]

thecoalman




msg:3292344
 6:37 am on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

No adults should consider children first.

You're absolutely right and that should start with the parents of the children. Unfortunately many want to shirk that responsibility and expect others to do it for them.

As pointed out above who is decide what is porn and isn't? My definition of it will definitely be different than a bible thumper in the bible belt. The Internet is, has been and should stay uncensored.

The same argument has been made about TV, too much violence, too much sex etc. Just like a TV the Internet comes with a off button, if you don't like the content use it.

webdoctor




msg:3292352
 6:56 am on Mar 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

I care about an internet safe for my children to search and other peoples children to search.

IMHO the internet isn't EVER going to be safe for your children to search, in the same way that a big city isn't EVER going to be safe for your children to wander around unaccompanied.

Would you say it's OK to leave your kid alone on the streets of New York for a couple of hours?

Would you say it's OK for leave your kid alone on the internet for a couple of hours?

Its long been suggested adult content should be on a dot{X}{X}{X} domain. What legitamate pornographic site could complain about that.

It's quite funny that Adult webmasters [freespeechcoalition.com] don't want a dot{X}{X}{X} domain, AND the religious right-wing [cc.org] don't want it either :-)

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