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Supreme Court Rules Against Anti-Porn Law

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the legal-web dept.

Censorship 975

Saeed al-Sahaf writes "From Fox News/AP, the Supreme Court has ruled that the COPA (Child Online Protection Act), passed in 1998 ostensibly to shield kids from Web porn, is probably an unconstitutional muzzle on free speech. This is not quite like 'striking the law down' because the court simply said a lower court was correct to block the law from taking effect, since it likely violates the First Amendment, and sent the law back to a lower court for trial. The American Civil Liberties Union and other critics of the antipornography law said that it would restrict far too much material that adults may legally see and buy, the court said."

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975 comments

Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (5, Insightful)

miketang16 (585602) | more than 10 years ago | (#9560942)

"The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a law meant to punish pornographers who peddle dirty pictures to Web-surfing kids is probably an unconstitutional muzzle on free speech." No... no... that's an objective fact-based introduction to the article.

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (2, Insightful)

cuzality (696718) | more than 10 years ago | (#9560957)

Which part is biased? The part about "meant to"? Ask the writers of the law what they "meant to" do and they'd probably agree.

Read the lines before reading between them.

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (5, Interesting)

Sgs-Cruz (526085) | more than 10 years ago | (#9560986)

Maybe the part about 'peddles to kids'?

The porn isn't being sold to the kids, it's just that they sometimes get to see it when they shouldn't. It's not like the cigarette companies which were (are?) directly advertising to minors.

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (4, Informative)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561021)

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a law meant to punish pornographers who peddle dirty pictures to Web-surfing kids is probably an unconstitutional muzzle on free speech.

That's from the AP. You know, the Associated Press. Also quoted on CNN. Sorry, no Fox bias here.

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561145)

Are you that nutcase from The US Message Board [usmessageboard.com] ?

Just media wide bias... (4, Insightful)

TamMan2000 (578899) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561173)

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a law meant to punish pornographers who peddle dirty pictures to Web-surfing kids is probably an unconstitutional muzzle on free speech.

That's from the AP. You know, the Associated Press. Also quoted on CNN. Sorry, no Fox bias here.


Nope it isn't a fox bias, it is just further proof that the "liberal media" is a myth...

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (1, Funny)

tanguyr (468371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9560961)

Fox news: we report. we decide. you shut up.

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (5, Informative)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561006)

that wasn't a fox news article. did you notice the 'associated press' byline?

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (2, Funny)

tanguyr (468371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561024)

that wasn't a fox news article. did you notice the 'associated press' byline?
nope. didn't read the f****** article. just making a joke at the expense of fox news. what's your point?

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9560972)

Where on the net is pr0n restricted?

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561044)

I'm not sure but if you find out can you let us know so we can block it?

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (5, Informative)

jmbauer (650575) | more than 10 years ago | (#9560973)

Actually, that's how AP wrote it, so many other newspapers are stating it the same way [google.com] . Fox News gets a pass this time ...

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (2, Funny)

yohaas (228469) | more than 10 years ago | (#9560995)

Considering that this is an AP article, not something written by Fox your criticism is about as accurate as Michael Moore films.

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (1)

dnahelix (598670) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561177)

And how accurate are YOUR films?

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (5, Insightful)

Davak (526912) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561005)

If you want unbiased, read through the report yourself... If you are basing your opinion on any news station, you are not going to get the real story.

Original Source of the Bill [copacommission.org]

Ironic... (1)

cuzality (696718) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561023)

...since all FoxNews did was print the AP's report.

Read the byline before you start the righteous indignation act.

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (1)

BillFarber (641417) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561007)

True, Fox is anything but unbiased.

However, this is not a very good example. Which words do you have a problem with? The only subjective word is dirty.

When you complain about tiny things like this, it makes it easier for people to ignore the complaints about the big things. Also, please name one media outlet that doesn't put a slant in their headlines. Surely not the LA Times or NY Times.

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (5, Interesting)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561011)

I was talking once to an associate of mine, and he was complaining about the left leanings of CNN and other news outlets, which is why he preferred Fox News Channel.

I responded, "but they're even more right-wing than you could possibly accuse cnn of being left-wing. They certainly provide a far more biased assessment of the news."

To this he responded, "Yeah, but Fox is more just commentary and editorials, not news reporting, unlike CNN or MSNBC."

"But is says news right in the name!" I countered. "It's Fox NEWS Channel, not Fox Commentary Channel."

Needless to say, he's not my friend anymore. /True story.

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561051)

NOBODY GIVES A FLYING FUCK.

filter sucks, filter sucks, filter sucks

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (1)

yohaas (228469) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561055)

"Needless to say, he's not my friend anymore."

Isn't that a little harsh?

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (0)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561067)

Needless to say, he's not my friend anymore. /True story.

"Needless to say"? Are you serious? Because he has a different political view from you? Time to get your priorities straight.

I guess, according to you, I should no longer be with my wife.

It's a fucking sad story is what it is.

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (-1, Troll)

cuzality (696718) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561071)

I was talking once to an associate of mine, and he was complaining about the right leanings of FoxNews and other news outlets, which is why he preferred NPR.

I responded, "but they're even more left-wing than you could possibly accuse FoxNews of being right-wing. They certainly provide a far more biased assessment of the news."

To this he responded, "Yeah, but NPR is more just commentary and editorials, not news reporting, unlike FoxNews or ClearChannel."

"But is says news right in the name!" I countered. "It's NPR News, not NPR Commentary."

Needless to say, he's not my friend anymore. /True story.

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561097)

I think the difference is that Fox makes an effort to put the opposing arguments up. The liberal bias mentioned for competitors is specifically aimed at the selection of topics and opinions to share. I.e. the other side is either not mentioned, mentioned in only a negative light, or does not get to voice an opinion.

Unfortunately all around our news cycle is so fast that we never get to have an informed discussion about anything, leaving people with impressions of topics instead of understanding. And unfortunately a great deal of angst since we dont take the time to understand each other and work through our differences. Kind of sad how we use this great medium of communication to block the flow of ideas through emotional assaults instead of meaningful dialog.

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (4, Insightful)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561106)

If CNN is left wing, then I'm Miles Davis.

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561148)

All three channels are a mix of news and opinion programs, and have been that way from the start. Crossfire has always been the debate show on CNN's lineup, and Larry King has always been a softball interviewer.

Re:Fox News' stellar unbiased reporting (1)

ornil (33732) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561223)

It's a good thing the Supreme Court can afford to be unpopular. The justices are elected for life after all.

Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9560945)

Porn juggernaut is unstoppable! Even the judges want to see it. Come on. They are human beings too.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9560969)

In Soviet Russia, porn looks at YOU!

Oblig. Simpsons Quote (3, Funny)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9560946)

Will somebody PLEASE think of the children?

Re:Oblig. Simpsons Quote (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9560984)

I'm still waiting for someone to demonstrate actual harm to children from pornography.

It's hard to ask a question like that as anything but an AC, because you end up being tarred with the NAMBLA brush. But that doesn't change the fact that the question needs to be asked before passing Constitution-endangering legislation to "save the children."

Who, besides evangelical freakshows, can make a serious argument that kids are corrupted for life when they see naked boobies on the Intarweb?

Re:Oblig. Simpsons Quote (1)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561037)

Mmmmm, boobies!

Re:Oblig. Simpsons Quote (2, Informative)

autocracy (192714) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561042)

Good book called "As Nature Made Him." Very, very different set of circumstances, but you do have to appreciate the manner in which this poor child's reality was totally twisted on so many levels.

Re:Oblig. Simpsons Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561089)

There are indeed a few books like that out there. I haven't read that one, but I can pretty much guess how it goes.

Unfortunately, though, "data" is not the plural of "anecdote." (Something I saw in someone's .sig that's rapidly becoming a favorite saying of mine. My friends are probably getting sick of hearing it.)

Just because Ted Bundy or whoever claims he was warped by pr0n as a child doesn't mean that's what actually caused his psychological issues. He also drank milk as a child, right?

Re:Oblig. Simpsons Quote (5, Interesting)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561122)

Well, think about the unrealistic expectations that pr0n sets for sex in the real world. I have heard much anecdotal evidence about couples in their 20s where the woman has to basically act like pornstar in the bedroom in order to interest the guy at all because he's become so desensitized to sex by all the pr0n he's been seeing since he was 16.

Now, imagine now how much worse it'll be for kids who are growing up on the Internet with a world of porn at their fingertips. I teach at a high school where all the kids are given laptops and wireless net connectivity, and I know that all of them, male and female alike, have gone to at least one pr0n site on purpose, not to mention all of the goatse's, lemonparty's, etc. that they are tricked into viewing by their maliscious friends.

We're going to have an entire generation of kids who are completely jaded concerning sex while simultaneously haveing all kinds of complexes because their boobs, penis, butt, etc. is too small.

Re:Oblig. Simpsons Quote (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561158)

ever thought for a second that maybe she likes it that way too.

ive had girlfriends come up with a lot wierder stuff than i ever did.
and she loved it.

Re:Oblig. Simpsons Quote (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561199)

Especially since I don't know many guys who weren't already sneaking porn by the time they were in their early teens. I can't find any statistics on it but I would have to guess that a majority of men had viewed porn before the age of 18 and turned out to actually be decent upstanding adults. I personally can't even remember the first porn magazine I looked at and I have only had sex in serious relationships and have never even come close to sexual assaulting anyone. I have nothing but the highest respect for women.

woot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9560947)

with liberty, justice, and goat.se for all

You can take my porn... (4, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 10 years ago | (#9560964)

from my tired, cramped hands!

Justice Thomas! (3, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561219)

> You can take my porn... from my tired, cramped hands!

Welcome to Slashdot, Justice Thomas! Good to have you here. Thanks for the tie-breaking fifth vote.

Got any good pics of Anita Hill you wanna share with us? If not, it's all good, we understand. We'll settle for a .torrent for "Long Dong Silver" instead.

free whitey!# (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9560971)

free whitey!#

this law stinks (5, Interesting)

machacker (772227) | more than 10 years ago | (#9560975)

the problem is that not only do non-porn sites get blocked, but porn sites get blocked. Pornography is also free speech. People don't seem to get that. Protecting children from porn (if you can even call it protecting) is soly the responsibility of the parents.

Re:this law stinks (4, Insightful)

cexshun (770970) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561018)

Although I agree with you, there are flaws in that statement. Selling/providing pornography to a minor is against the law.
Yes, it's the parents job to keep their kids from smoking, but that doesn't mean it's ok for a tabacconist to sell the product to a minor. Same concept here.
There has to be SOME measure of prevention to keep children from accessing pornography.

Re:this law stinks (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561054)

The key is that when you give a child access to the Internet, you're the one giving them access to all bad things on the Internet too. The responsiblity starts and ends at the parents.

Re:this law stinks (1)

machacker (772227) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561127)

finally somone gets my point!

Re:this law stinks (2, Insightful)

cexshun (770970) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561142)

So by this reasoning...

I take my son to the supermarket with me and let him look at the candy bars while I grab some bread in the next isle. My son grabs a pack of cigarettes and purchases them, then it is 100% my fault and the supermarket is not liable? Of course it's my fault he bought them, but the clerk has just broken the law by selling them to a minor.

YES. I should take responsibility for the actions of my son. However, the LAW says he cannot be sold or given pornography. And by a web site freely giving him access to these materials, they are breaking said law. I'm not asking for a Nazi-esque witch hunt on our blessed porno. But you must at least concede that since the web site owner cannot ask to see ID, then an alternate method needs to be created!

Re:this law stinks (2, Informative)

Dan East (318230) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561205)

Unfortunately its even worse than that.

To expand your supermarket / www analogy, imagine if your son bought a candy bar and found it really contained cigarettes. That is the state of porn content on the web.

Dan East

Re:this law stinks (1)

machacker (772227) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561084)

But that is where I disagree. First of all, tobaco or cigerattes are substanse, not information or a form of free speech. Just like nuclear bombs and weapons-grade plutonium aren't free speech. Pornography is. That is the fudementall difference. The Constitution only says that the goverment shall not abridge free speech. It doesn't make any difference who recieves the speech.

Re:this law stinks (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561115)

Selling/providing pornography to a minor is against the law.

Which is why I'm so glad that I don't *sell* porn!

Re:this law stinks (4, Insightful)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561157)

>There has to be SOME measure of prevention to keep children from accessing pornography.

No computer.

If computer, no net connection.

If computer and net connection, then computer is in parent's bedroom, locked.

If computer and net connection and computer in living area, password-protected access.

If computer and net connection and computer in living area and no password, check under the bed and look for the loaded pistol.

If parents are stupid and/or ignorant, the children will suffer.

If the parents don't care and want to expose their children to life's harsh reality, who the fuck does the state think it is to tell people how to raise their kids?

Oh, I forgot, this is America, the Land That Traded Freedom For Safety.

And the solution to that: Let's restrict free speech on the net. Maybe they won't notice that the books are being burnt too as they watch Survivor 69: the Island of Desire on their big screen TV.

Re:this law stinks (5, Funny)

cexshun (770970) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561195)

Interesting because things got awfully hairy when helping my little cousin do research for his 3rd grade paper on the "North American Beaver". Even with me sitting next to her, it's hard to keep her from reading the interesting site descriptions given on google.

Re:this law stinks (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561217)

use wikipedia.

Re:this law stinks (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561207)

This doesn't affect only porn being sold to minors. Actually, I don't think people are too worried about that, because unless the kid stole a credit card or is billing their parents phone number to access a paysite via a dialer then that's not really an issue.

This mostly affects free porn.. which drives the entire online porn industry.

I'm an adult webmaster and I make my money running free sites which promote paysites. That's how the majority of webmasters operate who don't have the money or time to invest in a paysite... and paysites depend on such affiliates to get them business.

We don't sell porn to minors. We don't sell anything to anyone. We offer free samples in hopes that the surfer will sign-up at a sponsor's paysite and we get a comission.

Please tell me how it's my responsibility to keep kids off of my sites.. or how I'm commiting a crime if a kid types in my domain name or finds me in google. Tell me what I'm supposed to do.

If I convert my sites to AVS and require a credit card as a form of age verification I'll go out of business. There's plenty of other free sites who don't require a credit card number.

Re:this law stinks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561059)

While i agree that protecting children from porn is soly the responsibility of the parents, I think the main problem is places like whitehouse.com that purposefully try to get their smut in front of children, and the stupid majority. Is it free speech if a 13 yearold is looking for legit stuff about horses, and has to weed thru the the 'teens with barnyard animals' sites to get information on horses to do their school report?

Re:this law stinks (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561063)

Not quite. Although it could be considered free speech to put up billboards with pornography on them, or wallpaper the outside of your house with it, there are other standards that must be applied. When it comes to the public environment it is not "anything goes". Since it is solely the parents' responsibility, as you claim, are parents to blindfold their children every time they leave their home, since in your world anything goes?

Dan East

Re:this law stinks (3, Interesting)

theJerk242 (778433) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561151)

As a matter of fact (sorry if I sound redundant), as you all know, porn is what is responsible for the growth and development of MANY important technologies (mainly for the internet). Without porn, we wouldn't have cable modems and T3 lines. Without porn, we wouldn't have a lot of sites such as www.amazon.com or (one of my favorites) slashdot.org. As a matter of fact one of the camara effects from the matrix movies would not have existed if it were not for porn. Porn is a good thing, provided that no one is hurt in the making of porn. This Anti-Porn law is just another example why it is a bad idea that parents want the government to do the parenting, instead of the PARENTS themselves. In closing, to rid porn is to drastically slow down the development of computer technology (which is REALLY bad).

Re:this law stinks (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561152)

>Protecting children from porn (if you can even call it protecting) is soly the
>responsibility of the parents.

Someone care to explain to me what is wrong with children seeing photos of naked humans, or photos/video of humans having sex? Surely if the children are over 14 or so they'll already know the score and will be looking at magazines (I certainly did), and if they're much younger they'll still be in `boys/girls are horrid` mode, so who gives a shit?

Re:this law stinks (2, Insightful)

machacker (772227) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561204)

it's the stupid puritanical chrisitans. that's the problem.

Re:this law stinks (0)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561226)

The idea that pornography is a protected class of speech is rather new and depends on a radical interpretation of the Constitution that is completely alien to the founder's intent.

Wha-?! (5, Funny)

egg troll (515396) | more than 10 years ago | (#9560981)

There's porn on the Internet? Does anyone else know about this?

Great! (1)

beacher (82033) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561002)

"The law, which never took effect, would have authorized fines up to $50,000 for the crime of placing material that is "harmful to minors" within the easy reach of children on the Internet."

Yay! Slashdot is out of the firing line!

Remember kids, it's safe to run with scissors!

Spelling Error (1)

kjeldor (146944) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561004)

The author misspelled the title. It should read "Supreme Court Rules Against Anti-Pr0n Law". Please fix this before the /. pr0n addicts get upset.

Bi-Partisan bill (5, Insightful)

El Pollo Loco (562236) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561010)

The high court divided 5-to-4 over a law passed in 1998, signed by then-President Clinton and now backed by the Bush administration.

Just remember kids, it's BOTH democrats and republicans out to take away your rights. It's not a left vs. right struggle, it's a class struggle. Just as it's been throughout history.

Bi-Partisan bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561076)

A bi-partisan bill usually just means that you're getting fucked in the ass at the same time as getting a blowjob. This bill had very little to do with actually saving children from the horrors of pornography, but more to do with the protection of the dead-tree porn industry. It was designed to be used as a bitchslap against the start-up's cutting into Hef's bottom line.

Nice to see (-1, Flamebait)

lemortede (770493) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561028)

Its nice to see that the ACLU has decided to protect my 5 year olds right to surf the net and enjoy the pron pop ups the these unethical perverts want to send. Next thing you know they will tell me that the filter software we use violates their right free speech too.

Re:Nice to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561086)

the internet is not a child's toy. i'd no more let my 5 year old use the web than i would let her drive my car or use my cooker.

Speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561030)

A few years back, pr0n on the internet was attacked by the court system. I was on dial up at the time. For about three days, I could browse the internet quickly. I wonder how much bandwidth is being eaten up by people browsing pr0n.
Now I have high speed internet and no longer care about the bandwidth of dial up being affected by MY pr0n browsing.

I love the greatest adventure anyone could wish for. -- Tosk the Hunted

Can't believe I'm stooping to this, but... (0, Offtopic)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561033)

...I, for one, welcome our new porn-loving overlords.

.porn (4, Interesting)

asl24 (750888) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561034)

Frankly, I don't understand why porn doesn't have it's own extension. That way people can block it out, or surf it to their heart's content. No harm, no foul.

Re:.porn (1)

Chatmag (646500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561174)

excellent idea :)

Well.. (0, Troll)

manavendra (688020) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561035)

..according to the article, the high court has passed the law back to a lower court for a trial that could give the government a chance to prove the law does not go too far.

The judges contend there may have been important technological advances in the five years since a federal judge blocked the law and that a new trial will allow discussion of what technology, if any, might allow adults to see and buy material that is legal for them while keeping that material out of the hands of children.

So then, any suggestions anyone? What tools are available to safeguard children against web porn?

Typical liberal court (0, Troll)

Exmet Paff Daxx (535601) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561039)

  • Despite the first amendment, there are restrictions on what you can say in America. Now, I understand that this bill is not worded as well as it could have been. A sensible restriction would be self-classification of pornographers into a .XXX TLD, with jail time and other punishments only for those who attempt to sneak into .COM and others. This would allow respectable ISPs such as AOL to block all pornographers simply by blocking .XXX, and put those silly and ineffective filter software vendors out of business for good.
  • However it is completely irresponsible of the court to have struck down the only law protecting America's nearly forty million Internet-savvy children from the horrors (and yes, there are HORRORS on the Internet... child pornography, sadomasochism, rape, anything Satan can imagine...) being peddled at sites with otherwise innocuous names.
  • Let me tell you a story. My aunt's niece Dorothy got a file in email from me called "reunion_photos.zip", a bundle of photos from our family reunion. She asked her aunt what to do with a .zip file, and was told she needed to "unzip the file". So of course Dorothy opened up Internet Explorer and typed "www.unzip.com"*. I won't even describe what happened that day- the shock, the screaming, the tears... but it was horrible. Children should be given some warning before seeing grown women stripped and tied to walls. And this law was all we had.


  • Typical liberal court. Thinking only of their legacy, never of the children.

    *Unzip.com is no longer a bondage site, though you can see what it was using a site called the "waybackmachine". Be warned.

Re:Typical liberal court (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561117)

Why don't you take your bible, roll it up real tight, and jam it swiftly up your ass, you Neocon Jesuit freak?

MOD PARENT Retard (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561129)

Dumbass. Classification systems always founder on one core problem which is completely unsolvable in a free society: who does the classifying? You claim "self-classification", but support jail time for those who fail to classify themselves as you see fit.

Re:Typical liberal court (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561131)

Let me tell you a story. My aunt's niece Dorothy got a file in email from me called "reunion_photos.zip", a bundle of photos from our family reunion. She asked her aunt what to do with a .zip file, and was told she needed to "unzip the file". So of course Dorothy opened up Internet Explorer and typed "www.unzip.com"*. I won't even describe what happened that day- the shock, the screaming, the tears... but it was horrible. Children should be given some warning before seeing grown women stripped and tied to walls. And this law was all we had.

So she was stupid^Wignorant and she didn't like the result? That's her problem, not something we need the government to solve.

Cars can drive at unsafe speeds, but we don't blame the car manufacturers when someone drives too fast and kills someone - we blame the idiot who was driving too fast, and quite rightly so. Typing a random domain name into your browser, because you don't know how the internet works, is just as stupid as hitting the accelerator instead of the brake because you don't know how your car works. In neither case is anyone to blame but the user.

Re:Typical liberal court (2, Funny)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561139)

...respectable ISPs such as AOL...

You, sir, have just lost all credibility.

Re:Typical liberal court (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561144)

Very thin troll. We need a little more effort here people.

Re:Typical liberal court (3, Insightful)

slashrogue (775436) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561154)

Despite the first amendment, there are restrictions on what you can say in America.

Slander and libel, that's about it.

Let me tell you a story.

So are you going to tell me the happy ending that your aunt learned she needs to not let kids do whatever the hell they want on the computer, and that they ought to be supervised in the absence of "cyber nanny" style software?

Re:Typical liberal court (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561176)

"(and yes, there are HORRORS on the Internet... child pornography, sadomasochism, rape, anything Satan can imagine...)"

As a practising sadomasochist, I can pretty much tell you that only is it totally consensual to the extent where we have some fairly hard and fast rules that have to be abided by, and chucking into that mix above is as ignorant as you can get.

"Thinking only of their legacy, never of the children."

Ban everyone below the age of eighteen from the internet. It's the cheapest option, and I won't have to stomach half the trolls. Other than that, explain to them early that the world is not what Disney paints it to be.

The actual court finding: (5, Informative)

Geiger581 (471105) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561041)

Here. [akamaitech.net] It's a long read, but even in skimming you can get far more detail than any Fox or CNN report. In fact, find more detail than the government or media really wants you to know at: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/ [supremecourtus.gov] . The relevant link ('Recent Decisions') is near the top just above the pretty picture of the courthouse itself.

Surprising.. (0, Flamebait)

artlu (265391) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561048)

With all of the new acts being put into place during our current Republican country, it is good to see something logical coming out of Washington these days (DC not Redmond). But, we still have the FCC. :(

GroupShares Inc. [groupshares.com] - A Free and Interactive Investment Community

Republican Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561168)

And yet some people on here support the Republicans and their constant censorship...go figure.

Re:Surprising.. (2, Informative)

MrBlackBand (715820) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561227)

...our current Republican country...

You do realise that this was signed into law in 1998? Who was president then?

Amoral vs. Non-moral (2, Funny)

MOMOCROME (207697) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561049)

The founding fathers of the United States clearly had such liberties in mind when they drafted and ratified our constitution. It's not that they felt pr0n and such to be good, they were simply responding to power's natural urge to despotically control the higher capacities of the citizenry. They were desperately concerned with providing an enduring institution that would constantly self-correct and adapt to new and exciting forms of...

what was I talking about again? I got distracted with this here picture of a purty wommin.

Other Issues (3, Insightful)

Admael (750119) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561058)

If I'm not mistaken, COPA also had an effect on other areas of web use. Porn is a big chunk of it (and, in all likelihood, the big reason it came about), but I thought it restricted registering for certain services (message boards, chat clients) for children under a certain age. And if I remember correctly, these restrictions were also pretty ridiculous. I'm all about keeping the children off porn sites, but I wish the article mentioned more about other implications of the legislation.

A relevant quote (2, Interesting)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561074)

"Monsieur l'abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write."

-- Voltaire [wikipedia.org] , 1770

Interested in porn? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561079)

Anyone who is interested in porn has not matured emotionally nor mentally, nor have they learned anything about respect for others. Porn is nothing more than organised prostitution and is a magnet for sub-humans. Human beings were not placed on this earth to be your "toys".

How are they going to stop it all? (2, Informative)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561081)

Teenage boys/men will always search high and low for porn and the web is loaded with it, be it sites, newsgroups, hell allow image download and half you email is porn. Its a supply and demand situation and there will always be a demand while males have testosterone and credit cards to pay for porn.

Re:How are they going to stop it all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561114)

That which is right is not always popular, and that which is popular is not always right.

Re:How are they going to stop it all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561136)

Who pays for porn!?

Porn on the web? (3, Funny)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561090)

Really, who goes out and *PAYS* for web pr0n? Jeebus, you can get tons off p2p and USENET. Tons.

It's like drinking from a fire hose (pun intended). Even with a DVD burner I need another hard drive.

Simple solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561091)

I don't understand. Why has nobody added an tag to the standard. Then any adult can choose whether or not to allow anything within those tags to be displayed on his own browser.

AOL (3, Insightful)

WhatsAProGingrass (726851) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561093)

I thought that was what AOL was for. I thought they had restrictions on porn or any adult content. "Parental Settings" if I remember correctly.

People need to stop blaming others.

Re:AOL (1)

Admael (750119) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561190)

That may be a "duh" issue for me or you, but for some people, turning on a computer is a taxing enough task. Especially for those who don't have AOL and must either download or purchase filtering tools, it can be a little rough. Then again, you could argue that it's really not that hard to ask the 7-year-old next door to help you find the Preferences bar.

Protecting? (1)

PeterPumpkin (777678) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561126)

I'm not so sure about this protection wording. I remember my teen years well...the only time I ran into porn is when I went looking for it. :D

For those of us who remember our childhood, porn is actually a healthy part of this balanced sexual and societal development. Why did women (and recently some men) start shaving their bodies? To compete with the porn stars. Keeping yourself presentable to the max is a sure way to maintain a good sexual relationship now and in the future. Learning that young can help. An older person would be less likely to start bothering with such things.

Re:Protecting? (1)

MrBlackBand (715820) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561170)

"Keeping yourself presentable to the max..."

Shouldn't that be "Keeping yourself presentable to the X-Treem!"

1998 (1)

MrBlackBand (715820) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561133)

The 1990s called, they want their Internet legislation to Protect the Children(tm) back.

Supreme Court a bunch of sissies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9561160)

I am in no ways a law expert or even a "legal buff", but since when does the highest court in the land use words like "probably"? Aren't they the ultimate authority on what is constitutional and what is not?

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that detainees in Guantanamo "probably" deserve a day in court, but fell short of demanding the Bush administration get its act together.

Now, we all know that the Supreme Court is packed full of Republican apointees... But... Are they doing this intentionally? It seems to me like every time we hear something out of the Supreme Court in the last few years, it's intentionally vague, and intentionally not trying to set new precedent. Seems almost like the Supreme Court wants to keep things as they are, constitutional or not.

Why peddle porn to kids? (0, Flamebait)

Rupert (28001) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561179)

I know we have some porn site admins that post to slashdot. Maybe they can answer this question. Do you do it just to corrupt the youth of America, or do you just enjoy watching our moral guardians froth at the mouth? Obviously you can't be doing it for the money, because kids don't have any, and because you give so much of your content away for free, anyway.

Or is it that you actually want to sell your content to consenting adults, and the whole kids thing is a smokescreen thrown up by wannabe censors who don't want you to be able to do that, either?

If anyone doesn't know (1)

alexdm (728255) | more than 10 years ago | (#9561198)

This is what porn is [autopr0n.com]
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