Section 2, meanwhile, is DOPA: The Sequel. DOPA, you’ll remember, would ban access to social networks and chat rooms in US schools and libraries. Banning MySpace, Bebo, Xanga, YouTube or Friendster in school sounds like no bad thing, you might think. But the DOPA bill was so extensive that it could have meant Wikipedia and many news sites were also banned – any site, really, that allowed users to sign up. The terms of this new bill are the same – schools would have to filter sites that are offered by a commercial entity; allow the creation of profiles; allow blogging or journals; allow users to enter personal information or enable communication between users. In short: almost all interactive websites would be blocked. The new bill adds another requirement, too: “monitoring the online activities of minors”, which sounds like schools would have to track the sites kids visit.
Hey, Sen. Stevens, the Internet isn’t a big TRUCK you can run over kids with. It’s a series of TUBES. Massive, massive TUBES. Connections. Social connections. Collaboration. Community. Quit trying to legislate the next generation of Internet users off the Net and focus on more important issues.
Related Links: Andy Carvin: Lifting the Hood on DOPA Jr.