Child Online Protection Act Overturned

A federal appeals court struck down as unconstitutional a Clinton-era law that would have forced websites with adult material to verify visitors' ages, dealing another blow to the government in a 10-year court battle over net censorship.

The 3rd U.S. Circurt Court of Appeals upheld on Tuesday a 2007 lower-court decision that the Child Online Protection Act violated the First Amendment since it was not the most effective way to keep children from visiting adult websites.

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uh oh

3rd circuit better watch out. If they go on siding with the child molesters then they're going to face the wrath of mdoneil.

I agree with the third circuit

"The 3rd U.S. Circurt Court of Appeals upheld on Tuesday a 2007 lower-court decision that the Child Online Protection Act violated the First Amendment since it was not the most effective way to keep children from visiting adult websites."

The COPA is frankly nonsense as far as I am concerned. It is an issue best decided at the local level.

The most effective way to keep children from visiting adult web sites it to be a good parent.

Sorry disappoint you. I'm not going into appellate practice until I get the 9th Circuit en banc.

Best Filter in the World

I still say that the best filter in the world is called "Parents."

But you have to remember, just like all other internet filters, Parents doesn't always work. Sometimes, things will slip by the filter.

Some books contain the machinery required to create and sustain universes. Tycho (Jerry Holkins) @ Penny Arcade

Parents

Parents are nice but facts are facts, and some kids don't have decent ones. Should socitey try to protect them from online porn or throw their hands in the air and say tuff luck kid

Society

From what I've seen, both as a foster brother and as a public servant, the more society tries to help children the more effed up the children get.

Besides, if online porn was the biggest threat children face today then we are in fine standing. I was a kid when I first saw pornography and it didn't turn me into a heroin junkie or a rapist or a child molester. Actually I wanted to pick up a book and find out something about the wonders I had witnessed. After all, I knew better than to go tell my parents what I'd seen.

I know I'm not the majority on that. Porn usually doesn't inspire librarianism. Still thousands, if not millions of children see porn everyday. I don't believe that fact is leading to the downfall of any society.

The thing that a lot of societies forget is that kids aren't half as stupid as adults think they are. Sure they can be naive and clueless about things but most of the kids and teens I've met have a well working bullshit detector. The thing they lack, most of the time, is the guidance to make the right choice based on that bullshit detector.

Some books contain the machinery required to create and sustain universes. Tycho (Jerry Holkins) @ Penny Arcade

Middle ground

There is a middle ground. While it is unfortuate that some (most perhaps) parents abdicate their parental responsbilitieis to others, we as a society are not forced to act in loco parentis simply by the dimwitted parent's failure to act in their children's best interest.

If parents leave their children alone in the library to look at dirty pictures (and the children are too young to be alone) then call the cops. There are agencies that can assist parents develop their parenting skills. If they simply don't do that then the state can take them into care.

Local communities can decide what is an approprite age to be left alone. Small town USA may be fine for an eight year old to spend a few hours in the afternoon in the library, other cities might be ten or twelve, and there are certain cities in which I would be afraid to be alone.

Local communities also need to decide if those things called for by the COPA are appropriate for them. This decision is so individualized that it cannot be made at a national level, and perhaps not even at a state level.

Middle ground

There is a middle ground.

Legislating morality is not it.

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.

Even at a local level

Is there not a level at which the imposition of a 'morality' - and to be a bit obtuse in that definition for this discussion lets simply say forcing library filters on users - is there not a level at which that is appropriate.

Can a community decide that it wants filters? If the library board after hearing from concerned and motivated citizens (the ones who don't show up must not care enough) not decide to 'legislate morality'?

I think that if done at a local level it is appropriate, but at a national level there are simply to many different social mores for it to work.

My morality v: your morality

Is there not a level at which the imposition of a 'morality' - [...] - is there not a level at which that is appropriate.

No.

Mdoneil, morality is a personal matter. My morality isn't any good for anyone else, just as no one else's is any good for me. My morality might closely parallel someone else's, but morality is solipsistic in nature. It stems from the viewpoint you have of the universe from the inside of your skull. A position no one else can possibly attain.

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.

What are we here for?

So if parents won't help we either let the kids look at porn or call the cops, how nice.

Your solution

What are you going to do, be the kids surrogate parent?

Either the parents are responsible for the kids or they are not. Librarians are not social workers.

How about we filter porn

How about we filter porn sites.

How about we filter porn? . . .

1: Because that will never be enough for some people; they don't want to stop at pornography and will -- as they have -- attempt to censor political or scientific viewpoint or information by calling it "offensive" or pornographic;

2: because there is no definition for what constitutes pornography and no objective criteria by which something could be determined to be pornography;

3: pornography is still protected speech in the U.S.; it is proscribable obscenity which should and can have curtailed-access.

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.

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