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No Space for MySpace?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the gotta-keep-connected dept.

272

conq writes "BusinessWeek looks at the flaws in the bill proposed by the House of Representatives that would block access to social networks and Internet chat rooms in most federally funded schools and libraries. One big problem with their bill is it is much too vague, it 'could rule out content from any number of Internet companies, including Yahoo! and Google.' What's more, DOPA would prohibit sites that enable users to create their own content and share it. That covers a wide swath of the online world, known colloquially as Web 2.0, where users actively create everything from blogs to videos to news-page collections." This is analysis of a bill we covered yesterday.

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272 comments

1st Ammendment? (4, Interesting)

renehollan (138013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320946)

"What's more, DOPA would prohibit sites that enable users to create their own content and share it".

There's something "Freedom of Speechish" about that that doesn't sound quite right. What's the argument going to be? "No, we aren't preventing speech about topic X -- we're preventing all speech". Riiiiight.

Re:1st Ammendment? (5, Interesting)

EvilMagnus (32878) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320967)

Sounds like it'd ban email, too.

After all, what is email but user-created content that is then shared with others?

Re:1st Ammendment? (3, Insightful)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321017)

Wouldn't your contact list be your own private social network as well?

May 12:Prostitute Schedule @ MBOT in San Francisco (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321212)

Like Las Vegas, San Francisco offers prostitution as a tourist attraction. If you want to buy some prostitution services (i.e., hand job, blow job, or full sexual intercourse), you need to merely walk through the doors of the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theater (MBOT), located at 895 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, California.

Check out the prostitute schedule for May 12, 2006 at the MBOT [fuckedcompany.com] .

The prostitute schedule is updated daily.

Unlike Las Vegas, San Francisco does not regulate prostitution. So, the MBOT heartily welcomes everyone -- including HIV-positive customers.

If you are repulsed by the idea of receiving sex services from a prostitute (at the MBOT) who services roughly 1000 guys per year, then consider the following 2 genuine stripclubs, which prohibit prostitution.

Crazy Horse
-----------
980 Market Street
San Francisco, California

Gold Club
---------
650 Howard Street
San Francisco, California

and this wacko is why this may come to be (2, Interesting)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321484)

How would you like to see Your Childs "mySpace" room defaced by this person?

me if i ran a site (and had the jingle to run as a private club) this guy (or any friends of his) would find their account VAPOR.

as it happens i know of one company (with stock) that has blocked myspace from all corporate owned locations and if you somehow get past the block you can be FIRED ON THE SPOT (ie "give me your name tag")

Re:1st Ammendment? (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320970)

Agreed, my web host has an online text editor. So given the loosest reading of the text, their hosting system would have to be trimmed down.

-Rick

Re:1st Ammendment? (5, Insightful)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321108)

Unfortunately it is becoming all to common for politicians to pass legislation on subjects they know nothing about with disastrous consequences. Remember the DMCA, and the Communications Decency Act of 1995?

Re:1st Ammendment? (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321190)

But since regular people being creative might hurt media company profits, sharing original works is theft!

Best Way to Protect Children: Shutdown myRedbook. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321355)

The best way to protect children is to enforce the existing laws. Banning mySpace from schools abridges free speech and contradicts the Constitution: that is the same Constitution that the high-school-civics class will teach to the students.

You may say, "Well, are we not currently enforcing the anti-prostitution laws and the anti-child-prostitution laws?"

The answer is "no". Look at myRedbook [myredbook.com] , which has been operating with impunity from law enforcement. myRedbook features prostitutes who come from a variety of countries and who have a wide range of ages.

Re:1st Ammendment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321499)

Wouldn't this block any academic journal?

That's nothing but user-created data.

Censorship Questions Arise (3, Insightful)

Salty Moran (974208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320947)

The argument is that it's "federally-funded" areas that are being targetted for enforcement, but wouldn't that amount to the government selectively banning content from the public? In which case wouldn't it be easy-pickings for a lawsuit over first amendment rights?

Re:Censorship Questions Arise (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321046)

Does the federal government have the authority to ban books from a public libraby. From what I understand of this bill, it would make the targeted sites (whatever they may be, it's beyond the scope of this comment) inaccessible at a public library. My comment/question is can the federal government ban certain books from the library, because it would seem like whatever rulings have or have not been made on this issue would apply to banning certain websites as well.

Re:Censorship Questions Arise (3, Insightful)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321101)

Not at schools. The government has decided that anybody is basically allowed to do anything they like to students.

You have no protection against search&seizure, no accused rights, and no first - and absolutely definitely no second ammendment rights.

The logic is that until your old enough those rights really belong to your parents - which is why most of the initial punishments in school involve sending the kid home. If someone does something to you at school it is assumed that your parents sanction it because they go there and have access to the school board.

Along the same lines, however, parents are generally allowed to say that they don't want a particular book to be in a school library (like "Heather Has Two Mommies") or do want it despite a librarian's insistence that it's inappropriate (as I've actually seen come up with "Harry Potter").

I don't see how they're justifying general public libraries, though.

Re:Censorship Questions Arise (2, Informative)

panda (10044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321279)

I don't see how they're justifying general public libraries, though.

It's aimed soley at institutions that receive money from the "Universal Service Discount" program, y'know that "fee" or "tax" that is added onto your phone bill every month. This money is paid out to qualifying schools and libraries that apply for the program.

COPA, the law that "requires" filtering of harmful content at libraries and schools, applies to the same group of institutions.

Essentially, if you're an administrator and you decided that your institution does not wish to or cannot comply with the blocking rules, the answer is simple: Don't apply for USD money.

Re:Censorship Questions Arise (3, Informative)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321439)

What's incredibly short-sighted about this bill is that the Internet is not, and never was, intended to be a tool for one-way information gathering. Plenty of such tools already exist. The value of the Internet is a direct result of the fact that it is a means of two-way communication.

MySpace gets used for a lot of frivolous blogs and teen flirting, but it's silly the way it's being scapegoated. Just as with AOL chat a few years ago, the bogeyman of a Creepy Old Guy wanting to run off with your teenager keeps getting trotted out, but the vast majority of statuatory rape cases are going on in homes, with family members or close friends of the family.

Where's the crack-down on a dad's 40-year old drinking buddy slipping upstairs to visit his daughter during a back-yard BBQ? That's the *real* teen abuse problem.

For the most part, there are no "strangers in the bushes" to worry about, and the way to guard against such rare cases is to teach your teen some sense.

Look, princess: The grown-up who wants to hook up with you at a motel is not "cool". If he was "cool" he could find women his own age to sleep with. He's a LOSER, and you should stay away from him. Now, have fun chatting with your pals on MySpace, but remember that I have a profile on your Friends list, and will check in from time to time. There will be consequences for misbehavior.

This bill would do absolutely nothing to protect children. Irresponsible kids and their adult predators will simply move to a different medium to hook up, such as text messaging on cell phone networks. I'd like to think that those behind this bill are simply ignorant of that fact. If you live in Michael Fitzpatrick's Congressional district, please write to him and explain that fact.

Re:Censorship Questions Arise (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321186)

"federally-funded" areas that are being targetted for enforcement, but wouldn't that amount to the government selectively banning content from the public?
I wonder how much of the infrastructure of the internet in the U.S. is federally funded? It's easy to see how this could grow to other government funded parts of the internet and how it could grow to include other selective criteria.

Re:Censorship Questions Arise (1)

jrmcferren (935335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321235)

I live at and go to a state funded technical school for the disabled (no matter how minor). The rules here are simple:
Nothing Illegal (filesharing, etc.)
Nothing Illict (Porn, slashdot, My Space etc)
What you do in your dorm room on your own connection is your business.
I didn't RTFA, but if they start regulating the connection in my dorm room, I'm going to be pissed.

Re:Censorship Questions Arise (1)

boingo82 (932244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321332)

illicit
(-ls't) pronunciation adj.

1. Not sanctioned by custom or law; unlawful.

How do Slashdot and Myspace fit that definition? Or does "Illict" mean something different than "Illicit"?

No user-created content? (3, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320948)

"DOPA would prohibit sites that enable users to create their own content and share it."

Wouldn't this cover any web-hosting service?

Re:No user-created content? (1)

Salty Moran (974208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320976)

This would cover just about anything if a broad enough interpretation is used. Technically, sites like Adelphia.com and Comcast.net "allow users to create their own content and share it" when "users" is defined as people who purchsed network access from them.

In fact, this would arguably ban just about everything non-commercial if one took it literally enough.

Re:No user-created content? (2, Funny)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321030)

"DOPA would prohibit sites that enable users to create their own content and share it."
Wouldn't this cover any web-hosting service?

Hell, isn't a school a site [answers.com] that enables users to create their own content and share it?

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Re:No user-created content? (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321110)

Nearly all websites create cookies on the student's network drive and share them with the site on each visit. Someone didn't think this through.

Re:No user-created content? (1)

mhore (582354) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321135)

"DOPA would prohibit sites that enable users to create their own content and share it."

Wouldn't this cover any web-hosting service?

Or e-mail? Ha ha.

Mike.

What we have here... (1)

mythandros (973986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320950)

...is a good old fashioned witch hunt. In their zeal to restrict "predator" access to children, they are painting with a wide brush that will have the effect of giving those in power far more power than they should. So what else is new?

Re:What we have here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321159)

What's new is that attacking MySpace is a complete strawman.

You've never been safer in your life, Statistics clearly show that Crime infact is decreasing. There are fewer kidnappings and attempted kidnappings every year. Yet all I hear about is how the big bad boogeyman criminal is coming to get me, in my home, on the street, and now recently on the internet.

Politicians making a mountain out of a mole hill for election fodder.

Never mind, you're right, it isn't anything new.

DOPA? (4, Funny)

windex (92715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320951)

Why not just call it DOPY, so we get a better picture of what the politicians are thinking.

China (5, Funny)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320954)

That's it! I'm moving to China.

Re:China (1)

FusionDragon2099 (799857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321079)

At least they'll admit they're enslaving you.

Like all politics... (4, Insightful)

Moqui (940533) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320956)

Oh crap, my constituents are upset again about something. Let's knee-jerk a bill together that is ill-defined and problematic. God knows it won't ever pass, but it looks like we did something!

Re:Like all politics... (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321057)

but the trouble is that it is becoming worringly likely that it will pass...

Neat! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15320959)

So Congress gets to bask in the glow of the "protect the children" big lie, AND deal a significant blow to that pesky "blogger" problem. This bill is like a politicians' wet dream.

Porn in the Library (5, Funny)

abscissa (136568) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320960)

So it is perfectly legal to view porn in the public library, and they will even give you a special screen to do it... but not myspace?

Re:Porn in the Library (3, Funny)

bloobloo (957543) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321020)

Is the screen special because it is easy to wipe clean?

Re:Porn in the Library (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321132)

"Is the screen special because it is easy to wipe clean?"

No, it has one of those anti-glare filters. If I had a nickel for every time I've lost an erection as a result of glare on the screen blocking my view of teh pr0n, I could rent me some high class hookers.

Re:Porn in the Library (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321362)

If I had a nickel for every time I've lost an erection as a result of glare on the screen blocking my view of teh pr0n, I could rent me some high class hookers.

Man, I'd be broke. You should go talk to your doctor if it's that fleeting.

Re:Porn in the Library (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321031)

So it is perfectly legal to view porn in the public library, and they will even give you a special screen to do it... but not myspace?

Since when does the peepshow loan out books?

And I thought I was clever... (1)

Akardam (186995) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321363)

... when many years ago I convinced the old biddy at the reference desk to get the book on nudist resorts out of the cage for me.

You young whippersnapers! Git offa mah lawn!

Dupe (-1, Redundant)

brjndr (313083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320965)

Dupe [slashdot.org] .

Re:Dupe (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321072)

not a dupe. that was informing about the law. this is a story about an analysis of the law and why it is flawed.

Re:Dupe (1)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321144)

No, RTFA! It's "DOPA"!

Acronym Felicity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15320968)

DOPA.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Thoughts (1)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320973)

Conallen, of Fitzpatrick's office, says that the bill is intended as "just a start" for shielding kids when they're away from home supervision.

His office then said they are looking to build a "Walled Garden on the internet" where only government aproved thoughts are allowed.

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Let the schools do it themselves. (1)

HTL2001 (836298) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320985)

The school I went to blocked certain sites via "custom block" on websense etc...

Someone I knew found out the admin password by watching him type it because he lost the password to his account. He used it to change the school's homepage to a websense looking page saying category block "school/education" because at his school, the blocks were VERY restrictive and blocked legit sites. IMO best prank ever (and he got 3 days of detention for it :p).

Re:Let the schools do it themselves. (1)

Foolicious (895952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321085)

The school I went to had a warning page set up that would pop up whenever someone would access a posting about pranks that were mislabled as "best ever". It worked great and I'm considering setting it up on my own network right now.

Re:Let the schools do it themselves. (1)

CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321175)

Best prank ever? Damn, public schools really have destroyed our children's minds. Maybe next year he can pull the fire alarm! Dude, that'd be so rad.

wrong end of the stick? (3, Insightful)

Burlap (615181) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320991)

how about insted of going after the law abiding we go after those who are breaking the law?

oh rihgt, cause those that follow the rules are much easier to controll, and if they cant vote, all the better

Web 1.0 (1)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320994)

That covers a wide swath of the online world, known colloquially as Web 2.0, where users actively create everything from blogs to videos to news-page collections."

I thought "Web 2.0" was supposed to mean the new "Ajax powered" web, where people use Javascript just like they always have, except now it (sometimes) uses XML too. Now "Web 2.0" means, basically, the Internet?

People have been "actively creating" online content, including blogs (formerly known as "home pages") since the beginning of the Web. I don't see why we need to apply new buzzwords to the same old Internet just because someone's marketing department just discovered this whole intarweb thingy.

Re:Web 1.0 (1)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321011)

Hm. Insert closing italic tag where appropriate. I would prefer it after the first sentence, but put it wherever it makes the most sense to you, in order to keep with the democratic nature of the Internet.

Re:Web 1.0 (3, Funny)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321068)

Another innovation from Web 2.0:

</i>

Re:Web 1.0 (1)

bobs666 (146801) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321275)

I was under the impression that Web 2.0 [oreillynet.com] was from O'Reilly.

Heaven forbid that the Internet be anything that Al Gore and Bill Gates did not invent.

Re:Web 1.0 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321340)

I don't see why we need to apply new buzzwords to the same old Internet just because someone's marketing department just discovered this whole intarweb thingy.


It must have been the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation

From the article (0, Troll)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320995)

The idea? Keeping kids and teens off potentially dangerous sites, at least on public school and library time -- not to mention keeping would-be offenders from using library terminals for nefarious deeds.

"Nefarious deeds," added Fitzpatrick "like thinking."

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Why is this that big a deal. (2, Interesting)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15320999)

OK, I can see why a public library might need a little more room to wiggle, I will definitely concede that point - but public schools and those oh so great government jobs? They don't need access to MySpace.

I also have a hard time believing that it isn't vague for specific reasons. Police might need to be able to access these sites for research reasons, as would some Gov't employees tasked with research. You don't want those people restricted in their web access.

You do however want to restrict that moron at the DMV from checking out the American Idol blogs.

This seems to be a common way for legislators to write law that can be selectively enforced.

Ahhh, its moot anyway. These people don't understand what it is they're writing laws for anyway - they just know they have to do something or lose votes.

Re:Why is this that big a deal. (1)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321080)

You do however want to restrict that moron at the DMV from checking out the American Idol blogs.

Why? If his manager feels the need to blog that, that's his manager's decision. But if he's going to slack off all day doing crap like that, chances are if you take that site away from him he'll just find some other way to slack off.

The federal government has no place legislating morality, and it has no place legislating the behavior of state and local institutions. They are doing an end-around on the Constitution by saying they get to have virtually unlimited control over any entity that gets any kind of federal funding. Since the federal government now has its hands in virtually every institution at every level of government, this essentially renders state and local governments impotent.

Re:Why is this that big a deal. (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321357)

They arent legislating morality. They're restricting access on their systems. That's completely different.

Re:Why is this that big a deal. (1)

CrunchyMunchy (23178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321319)

Saying that people don't need to access myspace from certain computers is no kind of justification for making a law against it. Why stop at spending who knows how much time and money enforcing this one particular instance of a law banning something unneeded? Why not ban EVERYTHING that's not necessary on the net? Webcomics, horoscopes, IM, games, etc? That is, why not turn your opinion of what is needed or not into LAW which will be enforced on other people. How are laws enforced? fines and jailtime... does that seem proportional?

The real problem here is that children are several orders of magnitude more likely to be molested by a member of their own family, but myspace has become a convenient target for politicians looking to get some votes from the people who have been scared out of their f'ing minds since September 11, 2001. Why can't we expect the slightest bit of integrity from these lawyers who run our country? And shame on you for condoning this kind of garbage instead of standing up like you've got freedom and the smarts to use it.

Re:Why is this that big a deal. (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321387)

Uh, the law only restricts the access from government systems. That is in NO WAY what you are talking about. I don't condone censorship. But I do condone property rights, and if the government owns the box - they can say what that specific box has access to.

Knee jerk much?

Re:Why is this that big a deal. (1)

Nicholas Evans (731773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321405)

but public schools and those oh so great government jobs? They don't need access to MySpace.

Because, going to a business- and IT-oriented highschool, nobody would ever do a research project on social networking sites or any other Web 2.0 stuff.

Re:Why is this that big a deal. (1)

Brandee07 (964634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321406)

You do however want to restrict that moron at the DMV from checking out the American Idol blogs.

That kind of thing is what that moron's manager should be doing, we don't need federal legislation to deal with people goofing off at work. That also isn't the stated purpose of this bill.

This whole thing is to protect children from online predators, which is bullshit. How do you protect your kids from scary people on the internet? The same way you protect them from scary people in real life. When I was 12 or so and discovered the internet, my mother sat me down and explained how to avoid the dangers of the internet the same way she told me not to get into cars with strangers and not to open the door when it was the Jehovah's Witness people who lived down the street. Being told to never meet in real life a person I met online in and getting a lesson on using Block and Ignore features was just another part of that to me.

Of course, I was blessed with parents who knew, and still know, more about computers than I do. There are many parents out there who need their kids help to turn on their computers, so I guess my situation isn't all that commonplace.

Re:Why is this that big a deal. (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321407)

The part that concerns me, as an incoming college freshman, is that it says "any gov't funded school", which could mean universities. That'd be a pain in the ass.

Well... (1)

nstlgc (945418) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321035)

Computers at schools and libraries shouldn't be used for chatting or whatever those 'social networks' expect you to do, right? Around here it's an established rule that you're using those computers for research or educational surfing. Can't help but think that's somewhat normal.

Re:Well... (1)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321063)

Computers at schools and libraries shouldn't be used for chatting or whatever those 'social networks' expect you to do, right?

So make sure never to chat up a cute librarian while you're supposed to be doing your homework.

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Re:Well... (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321093)

Around here it's an established rule that you're using those computers for research or educational surfing

It falls squarely in the realm of research if your paper is about cutting yourself after listening to Linkin Park or an in-depth analsys about how your bitch mom won't let you go to the mall.

Re:Well... (1)

FusionDragon2099 (799857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321103)

I believe that should be left up to individual teachers and librarians. What works for some does not for all, and I don't want the government to enforce a bad idea on everybody.

Most Schools Already (Fail To) Do This Already (4, Insightful)

sous_rature (969750) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321038)

The vast majority of high schools and elementary schools in the US (i.e. those with funding to hire someone who knows how to use the internet) already do extensive blocking of this sort of material. The problem is that with proxy sites and other work-arounds this legislation will be no more effective than the policies which are already in place. The flip side is that those teachers who have found innovative ways to use blogging, wiki-ing, and other interactive web media in their teaching won't just be able to go to local officials to clear ideas.

Re:Most Schools Already (Fail To) Do This Already (1)

boingo82 (932244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321296)

Granted it's been a few years since I was in HS, but back in 1997-2000, we had awesome filtering software that blocked any website that contained "bad" words.
Some of the words on the list were:
sex, drugs, marijuana, porn, etc.
Unfortunately, when we found ourselves trying to research for the report due on drugs for psychology class, we found that every website that even mentioned them was blocked.
Like my school's blocking software, this sounds like one of those nice ideas that is completely stupid in real life.

Anything to restrict MySpace (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321049)

Hell, at this point I'd take anything to have people browsing MySpace less. There's nothing worse than having your significant other proclaiming that it's just "chatting" when in reality it is "online flirting".

Just edit your hosts file (1, Informative)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321291)

0.0.0.0 myspace.com
0.0.0.0 www.myspace.com

if you're on windows, its c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
if you're on linux, you should already know how to do this

problem solved.

"No dear, I don't know why MySpace doesn't work anymore."

can you regulate the internet? (3, Insightful)

davek (18465) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321077)

Does anyone think that there exists sufficient language to regulate ANY activity on the internet? Governments use platforms like child porn and copyright infringement to attemnt to push legislation into the mostly lawless arena of the internet. If any sweeping legislation does get through, who's going to enforce it? Internet police? The logical conclusion is what government does with all other regulation: licence and tax. To optain an IP address, you would need a government supplied license, one which requires signing off on a legally binding agreement, paying a fee for the beurocracy, and a tax for the usage.

I don't see how else you can even think about drafting laws in a lawless arena. The first step for everything is that which China has already made: all ISPs are now 0wned by the government.

-dave

Re:can you regulate the internet? (0, Flamebait)

NineNine (235196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321174)

If any sweeping legislation does get through, who's going to enforce it?

Your friendly, neighborhood, TelCo, of course. After all, they're already "fighting terrorism" by giving the feds complete records of all of your calls. Besides, this might help them implement the tiered service they're dying to implement. Fuckers.

Re:can you regulate the internet? (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321322)

The internet doesnt need specialized laws, it just needs the already existing laws to be applied. Fraud is fraud whether it is on the internet (in spam) or in person. The Internet is not some magical place where laws dont work, they just need to stop being specialized for the internet. The internet is the mall, laws work there too. Stop making STUPID laws like this bullshit and it wont be a problem.

Maybe it is time to stop thinking about children? (2, Insightful)

eimikion (973712) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321373)

Child pornography is a kind of lame excuse to invoke censorship. Most interest in such stuff is generated by illegality of it: quite a lot of the people like using/having illegal stuff just for the thrill of doing something illegal.
But actually, child porn is very boring in comparison to the contemporary adult porn. If legalized, it will quickly disappear, or become fringe activity, but will be no more stupid excuse.

You have to think about children? No, you don't have. You have to think about your freedom of thought. Children are in no way more important than adult people, and taking our rights because it could be harmful to them seems both silly and evil.

Rupert and Hillary, sittin' in a tree... (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321104)

What to know why Rupert Murdoch is hosting fundraisers [newsmax.com] for Hillary Clinton?

Murdoch owns MySpace.

Hmmmmm....

Re:Rupert and Hillary, sittin' in a tree... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321192)

Pardon? sounds more like you have a sore, snotty nose like you'd get with a good dose of cold/flu/hay fever.

and no, I do not what to know :P

recovers.

Re:Rupert and Hillary, sittin' in a tree... (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321314)

What smoke you been crackin'?

Why don't they just skip this step... (1)

Facekhan (445017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321118)

and pass a law that sends all children to boarding school at an early age and denies them all contact with the outside world until they are 21.

TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321123)

This isn't going to stop until the Internet has been turned into TV.

Brainless kids online (4, Insightful)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321152)

You'd think with the amount of computer literacy children are growing up with these days, they'd have an inkling of paranoia about meeting people from MySpace and other sources. I imagine AOL deals with stuff like this on a daily basis.

  I guess Devo was right, society really is devolving and people are getting dumber overall rather than smarter. Just because a monkey can use a stick to fish ants out of an anthill we think the monkey is smart. But this is the same monkey you can trap by putting food in a glass jar. Therefore, children may appear smarter because they're typing LOL on their computers, but they're still morons at the end of the day.

Re:Brainless kids online (4, Insightful)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321403)

I don't think people are devolving. I think kids -- and, let's face it, society at large -- are poor at causality. As Bruce Schneier said in "Beyond Fear", we underestimate the danger of things we know, and overestimate the danger of things we don't know. So, the clueless parents and congresscreatures are scared of MySpace, and the kids who are used to it don't treat it carefully enough. If you're a homely 13-year-old and post pictures of your jammie parties for your friends, and then suddenly you hit puberty and aren't so homely anymore, are you likely to change your behavior? Why would you? Are you likely to have a clue about why people suddenly start treating you differently? This has been happening forEVER. My grandmother remembers working at a restaurant 2 miles from her house, when she was 12 (yeah, a while ago, and she lied about her age because her family was living in a hole in the ground, basically) so she'd just walk through the railyards to get to work. Then she went, rather rapidly, from 'girl' to 'woman' and suddenly she was getting chased by hobos and hassled by railroad cops, and it was probably ten years later that she finally figured out why she'd had to start riding the bus, why suddenly everyone had gotten weird.

Here's an analogy. Think of the people who sit at the x-ray machines looking for bombs in luggage. If they go 10,000 bags without seeing a bomb, they're quite likely to not notice a bomb in the 10,001th bag. Same thing with kids online, only with them it's probably more like 100 before their attention to hinky behavior has completely disappeared.

We Already Do That (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321154)

Our county office of education is the ISP for most of the school districts in the county. Filtering is already required by law. Our filters block MySpace and other similar sites, because the computers are there to be used for school work. Social networking is to be done on your own time, not when you are supposed to be researching a history paper during class time.

RIAA, MPIA & Big Media benefits too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321168)

"That covers a wide swath of the online world, known colloquially as Web 2.0, where users actively create everything from blogs to videos to news-page collections."

Did somebody just call the RIAA, MPIA and Big Media. If Congress criminalizes sharing your own (video, audio, news & blog) content, then you can obtain that sort of entertainment only from the RIAA, MPIA and Big Media . Is there some hidden agenda, perhaps $$$ or perhaps some (not so) unintended consequences?

Bill Bull (0, Flamebait)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321169)

"the bill proposed by the House of Representatives"

An accurate description would be "the bill proposed by House of Representatives top Republicans". The House does not "propose" legislation, it passes legislation - despite the popular Republican "unitary executive" treason that makes Congress optional. This bill is the product of Republicans pandering to their clueless "morality base" as their "Brand W" sinks past 30% approval, below Nixon territory. The pandering relies on reporters ignoring its partisan Republican production. And Slashdot is there.

US world takeover plan (2, Funny)

VEGETA_GT (255721) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321178)

US Evil plan to control the world

1: Have a guy invent windows to spy on everyone
2: Keep everyone's phone records
3: Prevent the young in school to create there own sites and ideas on the net
4: Control the entire internet
5: Give out the new uniforms

Re:US world takeover plan (0, Redundant)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321342)

you forgot:

6. ....
7. Profit!

It's a fabulous idea! (3, Funny)

underpope (952425) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321206)

I think this is a fantastic idea. Like most of the current Administration's plans regarding public schools, any such project regarding control of Internet access should NOT be funded by the federal government. Eventually, the schools will be spending so much money and dedicating so many resources to federally-required Internet restrictions and such that they won't be able to spend any money on any actual education. Et voilá! All those students grow up to become Republican neocon Bush supporters!

It's absolutely brilliant!

(And a quick note to those who will inevitably mark this as "Flamebait" or "Troll" -- I've already run this past my many Republican friends, and they all found it funny. Of course, they're all college educated and they all hate Bush, too. And reality, as we all know, has a well-known liberal bias.)

Bleh. (1)

ImaNihilist (889325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321227)

While it sets a bad precedent, I can't say the actual blocking of MySpace in schools and libraries is a bad thing.

Wikipedia (3, Insightful)

darkain (749283) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321247)

I'm suprised that nobody has mentioned Wikipedia yet. This site is nothing BUT user created content, AND the best possible resource for students at ANY education level.

Re:Wikipedia (1)

underpope (952425) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321360)

Wikipedia is probably already under the gun by someone or other (possibly the massive conglomerate behemoth that is AT&T/Disney/Congress). After all, there is a lot of information available on Wikipedia being given away for free, and absolutely no one is making a profit on it. Truly an anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-God idea inspired by communists and terrorists and Linux hackers.

System (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321250)

There's only so much pressure a system can handle before it cracks and all the mess pours out.

If they severely limit or cripple Internet access, people will either start setting up proxies from home to tunnel traffic through, or use other proxies, or do something else unthinkable or just not use that access at all and go for something alternate.

RIAA and MPAA are learning this the hard way, but apparently others do not learn from their mistakes.

Violation of Constitutional Rights? (1)

AriaStar (964558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321253)

Since our Constitution has been so twisted already, could this not be seen as a violation of our right to freedom of movement? If we can't move about freely as adults on the internet.... But yeah, give these rules to kids. If you've ever been so unfortuante as to have to go to the library to use the internet, you'd want to scream at every computer being in use by rugrats playing games, quite often not even at their machine, but instead peering over a friend's shoulder.

Definition (0, Troll)

dR.fuZZo (187666) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321264)

That covers a wide swath of the online world, known colloquially as Web 2.0...

Colloquially, or as I like to say, "by idiots."

Re:Definition (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321395)

I think that this says it all [despair.com] .

MySpace is a scapegoat! (3, Interesting)

i am kman (972584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321274)

Jeez - the furor over MySpace.com is disgusting. It's a GREAT site and both my kids (and me, sometimes) use it all the time - along with instant messaging and online games and many other online things kids are into these days. It's easy to monitor their homepage and linked friends and such and most of the favorite bands have a site. It also gives the kids a place to express themselves.

It's also quite safe if parents take some VERY basic precautions - turn off public viewing of the homepage (so only friends see it) and don't post very personal information (like schools or real names). And, of course, teach your kid not to be a moron.

I'm sick of congress trying to pass legislation to overcome terrible parenting. Parents need to teach their kids better so they won't talk to 30+ year olds or arrange to meet folks they only met online. It's common sense and the parents responsibility.

With VERY basic precautions and common sense, 99.9% of kids are perfectly safe and, when they're not, there are generally alot more serious problems at home than whether or not a kid has a myspace account.

Better idea. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321277)

Instead of wasting time and tax payer money on more red tape. Why not focus on increasing law enforcement funding for investigating child predators? Why not increase funding for programs to educate children about the Internet? Why not focus on whether treatment programs for child predators should be better funded/examined?

Is this really that hard of a rational leap in thinking for people to make? No wonder they have a reputation of being extremely inefficient.

tubgi87 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15321300)

lube is wiped off and personal 3lse to be an told reporters, blue, rubber ops or any of the

Ignorance Run Amok (3, Insightful)

panda (10044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321331)

Please, mod most of the Insightful posts above as "overrated." The posters simply don't know what they are talking about, though I can't blame them because TFA never mentions this part of it.

If you read the bill, the requirement IS NOT that all schools and libraries block access to the websites, but only those that receive funding under the Universal Service Discount program. If a school or library does not receive that money, and IIRC the majority do not, then they are not required to block access to any sites, nor filter any content that is deemed "harmful to minors."

This isn't a case of rampant government censorship, but of Congress placing conditions on the money that it doles out. If you run an affected institution and don't like the consequences, then don't accept the money.

Re:Ignorance Run Amok (1)

i am kman (972584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321451)

No, I think YOU missed the point here.

Of course it's not a first amendment right (as if funding anything is ever a 'right'). I think most of the opposition comes because congress is focusing on singling out myspace instead of relevant things. (Well, maybe a few posts have been constitutional, and they are clearly wrong).

But I think it's ridiculous to censor myspace when they don't censor chat or online gaming or anything else like that. (Well, I don't think they should filter those activities either, except inappropriate (adult-oriented) material).

Sure, they have a 'right' to force schools or libraries to filter anything (or even to prohibit internet access) - the debate is whether or not they SHOULD. And I think most of the legislative support for extensive blocking comes from chest-thumping congressmen who want to campaign about saving children without actually doing anything substantial to save them.

Since myspace and pedophiles are the topic of the (2, Insightful)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321369)

week. I have a crazy idea. why dont they ban pedophiles from MySpace and leave everyone else the hell alone.

It would be *gasp* legal even.

Cowardly senators (1)

Oriumpor (446718) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321423)

In reality, this is just more of the same nonsense from the dolts on the hill. The problem has never been the content available to students. It has always been an issue of enforcing faculty responsibility. Students are given the opportunity to use systems unattended in the school environment without focus or direction.

Granted, computers are a wonderful way to excite students towards learning methods. The internet provides a platform for research and collaboration unsurpassed by what any previous school library could provide. However, it also provides a platform for screwing around.

As a tech in this environment I've had to deal for years with the light-hearted way teachers use technology. Some understand what the power of the internet can do unfocused, many do not. For the most part the activity that is trying to be mitigated is the activity that shouldn't be allowed to go on in the first place: playing. A teacher standing yards away from a student playing games, or viewing questionable content, taking up valuable chair time, while students with research wait is a travesty and yet it goes on all the time. Some faculty are more aware of the issue and pay attention, but some are on the opposite end of the spectrum and disregard their responsibility saying it is the IT staff who should manage what's "right and wrong."

Schools spend millions of dollars maintaining infrastructure, servers, workstations, network environments and the like, meanwhile little is ever done to give thought to training of staff. So when it comes down to it, the unharnessed potential of the internet is not typically used in a directed manner. We are undermanned in Edu-IT and haven't the time to rate the entire internet, so we try and mitigate major bandwidth hogs, it's all we can really do. If the congress really wanted students to be safer at school faculty need to be accountable for what their wards are doing in the virtual world. They'll never do it, cause the Teacher's Union Mafiosos won't accept responsibility for their actions (or inactions), and congress wouldn't risk losing their support. (read: money)

Are they really this dumb? (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15321455)

One of two things are going on here.
Either the sponsors of this bill think it will work, or the sponsors of this bill know this is completely ridiculous, unenforcable and ultimately will probably be overturned. I'm not sure which frightens me more. The idea that our government is completely inept or the idea that our goverment is completely wasteful and corrupt.
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