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Challenging the Child Online Protection Act 213

Posted by kdawson
from the think-of-the-children dept.
narramissic writes, "Today in Philadelphia a federal trial got underway that will decide whether COPA is constitutional. The outcome will determine whether operators of Web sites can be held accountable for failing to block children's access to inappropriate materials. An article on ITworld outlines the arguments of the foes in the battle: the DOJ and the ACLU. If I were a betting woman, I'd put my money on the ACLU. Parents, schools, etc. have to take responsibility for the internet usage of children in their charge." Two courts have found COPA unconstitutional and the Supreme Court has upheld the ban on its enforcement, while asking a lower court to examine whether technological measures such as filtering could be as effective as the law in shielding children; thus this trial. The article does not mention that it was the DOJ's preparation for the trial that was behind its earlier request that search companies turn over their records — a request that only Google refused.
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Challenging the Child Online Protection Act

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  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday October 23, 2006 @05:52PM (#16552588)

    Let's say - if kid wants to register for this kind of page it needs to be done by adult. How? Simple. Bu using credit card.

    You're out of date. More and more minors are getting credit cards.

    Of course there's a problem - less kids registered - means less income.

    If you're talking about kids and porn sites, you're way off. Do you know anyone in the porn business? Kids don't have a lot of money but do have time. Kids don't like to create records of porn viewing and don't want anyone to be able to track them. They are the least likely to pay any money of all demographics. Do you know what is really bad for a porn business? Publicity. Clients like to be anonymous because of the social stigma. One case of parents catching kids using a site can cause a huge hubbub and lose them a lot of business as their clients move elsewhere to avoid any possible publicity.

    Most porn cites would be very happy to have a way to stop kids from visiting their sites. It would be good for business. Most porn cites voluntarily submit their names to parental controls lists and the major ones even help fund a consolidated database to make it easier for the industry to have good listings. They also tend to use good keywords to help search cites accurately mark them as adult. Less registered kids means more income and less liability, not less income.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 23, 2006 @06:58PM (#16553390)
    These laws are being used to go on the equivalent of modern day witch hunts.

    It's not just the kids [crimelibrary.com] who sometimes lie about this stuff. However....

    When has any defendant ever had any say so or oversite in the picking of a jury? Answer: NEVER.

    Sorry, but this is untrue. I've served on a jury before, and both sides' attorneys got ample opportunity to interview potential jurors and to dismiss the ones they didn't like (the number of dismissals varies by jurisdiction). They also get the chance to object to dismissals if they feel the dismissal pattern of the opposing side is discriminatory. What's more, in criminal cases, the defendant only needs one juror to agree with them at the verdict in order to force the prosecution to retry or drop the case.

  • Re:COPA is idiotic (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 24, 2006 @12:17AM (#16555806)
    Although I'd bet that this works on a few sites, I tried CC generators many times back when I was a minor. Every site I tried the number was rejected at submission. Seems to me that most sites use more sophisticated means of verifying a CC# than saying that the first X digits correspond with bank Y.

    **disclaimer** I would've never accepted something bought on a fake card, just wanted to see if they worked at all.

    Also this was back in the mid-90's I would bet that the methods used are much more sophisticated now.

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