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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 TubeSteak (669689) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:05PM (#16551904) Journal
    Comment 1: Think of the children
    Comment 2: It's the parents job to police their kids
    Comment 3: Parents can't police all the time

    Just call this a meta-post so that we can get the generic comments out of the way.
    • by soft_guy (534437) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:12PM (#16552016)
      I, for one, welcome our new .. oh wait.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by SeaFox (739806)
        I, for one, welcome our new .. oh wait.

        Our new child protecting, internet sanitizing overlords and their army of enslaved ISP admins?
    • From a purely technical standpoint, these 'children protection' things are total bullshit. I remember faking my age all the time before I was 13 to get around those acts.
      • Re:COPA is idiotic (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tinkerghost (944862) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:24PM (#16552208) Homepage
        I recommend a fast google search on variations of "credit card generator".

        It would take someone about 15 minutes tops to generate a CC# to use on one of these sites. Unless they are going to require every adult related sited to take credit cards, they are only going to hit the CC validation routines, not test if they are valid accounts. Oh, and is the US government going to give out a free credit card with every bankruptcy now also?

        By the way, if I'm a US citizen, running a company based in Switzerland, hosting a site through a UK company, with servers based in Canada - does this law apply? How about if the domain is registered through a US company, but me, the company, the host, and the servers are all based outside the US?

        • It would take someone about 15 minutes tops to generate a CC# to use on one of these sites.

          Why? Tonnes and tonnes of free pr0n on images.google.com

          Why waste your time?
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          By the way, if I'm a US citizen, running a company based in Switzerland, hosting a site through a UK company, with servers based in Canada - does this law apply? How about if the domain is registered through a US company, but me, the company, the host, and the servers are all based outside the US?


          I think you just don't want to pay the taxman.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DittoBox (978894)
        Exactly. COPA is stupid because politicians don't understand technology, or don't care to understand. The entire COPA thing was a ploy by politicians to claim they had done something "for the children." It's a classic attempt by politicians to, A) Spread FUD to the ignorant, B) Propose fake solution that in some cases gets them elected (gains power) or helps their CEO buddies (Profit!!!). Politicians survive by fabricating problems or by making existing problems seem worse. It's their bread and butter.
      • by Tackhead (54550) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:27PM (#16552240)
        > From a purely technical standpoint, these 'children protection' things are total bullshit. I remember faking my age all the time before I was 13 to get around those acts.

        DOS: No serial number required.
        95/98/SE: To cut down on casual piracy, enter this serial number.
        Win2K: Since that didn't work, it might phone home unless you ask nicely that it not phone home.
        XP: Since that didn't work, it won't activate until you let it phone home. Don't worry, we won't nuke existing installations.
        Vista: Since that didn't work, we'll nuke any box that stops phoning.

        Or if we're talking copyright - witness the evolution of the NET Act ("It's a crime if you sell it"), the DMCA ("It's a crime if you crack DRM"), and the attempt to pass something harsher (SSSCA/CBDTPA) a few years later. (Look for another attempt after the elections, and/or something to mandate DRM into the hardware specifications, as Vista takes hold in the marketplace and is once again cracked...)

        COPA was designed to ensure that under-12 kids could get Myspace pages, that under-18 kids can click "I'm over 18" to see b00bies, and that (not legally required, but I've seen it on many brewery/winery/distillery pages) under-21 people can click "I'm over 21" to read about booze.

        After a few years, and after enough "horror stories" have appeared in the press about how 11-year-olds are being victimized on Myspace, 15-year-olds are seeing teh b00bies, and underage drinkers are able to read about beer, legislators will have a wide selection ready-made excuses to come up with some sort of "Real ID" or single-signon system for the Intertubes.

        The courts only decide whether or not something's constitutional. Until they do so, it is constitutional. When the courts strike down COPA, it will be replaced by something even worse.

        • "that under-18 kids can click "I'm over 18" to see b00bies"

          Please click the following link to see a couple of really nice boobies.

          http://www.hickerphoto.com/data/media/40/ad_32741n .jpg [hickerphoto.com]
          • Damn!! (Score:3, Funny)

            In my line of work, I see a lot of boobies, and I gotta say, those are some really nice boobies!!! All naked and hanging out in the sun... WOW!!!

            (My line of work is ornithology of course)
          • by bky1701 (979071)
            I see boobies all the time. I watch the news. Whenever anything political comes on, bam, boobies. I don't really understand why people like to look at them so much... just makes me feel as if I am living in a sea of morons... but yeah.
        • BIG nit: (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Monday October 23, 2006 @10:51PM (#16555684) Journal
          The courts only decide whether or not something's constitutional. Until they do so, it is constitutional.


          Sorry, no cigar.

          IF the court declares something unconstitutional, it was ALWAYS unconstitutional. It "didn't exist". Get out of jail free, etc.

          Not that it matters a whole lot. The problem is fourfold:

            1) Until the court throws the law out, you have no idea whether it will.

            2) Neither does the rest of the legal system. So it still goes after you. "Get out of jail free." doesn't refund your bondsman's fee, your lawyer's fee, replace your lost chunk of lifetime, reassemble the broken family, get you your job back - with back pay, replace your repossessed house and car, restore your credit rating, replace the expensive collectable guns you had to dispose of, fill in the hole in your resume, etc. It does purge the criminal record - which doesn't help you if the info is already out in hundreds of non-court databases. And even if they knew damned well this one would get thrown out you have no way to sue them. "I vas Chust Dooink my Chob!"

            3) The courts normally don't even take up the issue until somebody gets convicted of violating the law in question AND there's NO other way to dispose of the case without addressing the issue. Even then it takes the Supreme Court to definitively strike a new law, and they can arbitrarily refuse to even hear it - which they usually will do unless two appellate courts disagree, and sometimes even then.

          and...

          When the courts strike down COPA, it will be replaced by something even worse.


          4) It takes a LOT of time and work to strike a law. It takes the legislators and chief exec very little time and work to pass another like it, with slight tweaks.

          And another. And another. And another dozen. And another thousand. And put riders on every "must-pass" bill, like the budget, or a use-of-force authorization, or ...
      • by Firehed (942385)
        I know, those damn PG-13 movies just have too much sex and violence for you to handle at 12. It's those rebels like you that ruin the movies for all of us!
    • Comment 4: (Score:3, Insightful)

      If parents raise their children in a halfway decent manner, having them exposed to some awful sites will cause revulsion but not harm.

      Gah, kids don't spontaneously explode if they don't wear a helmet while tricycling.
    • by queenb**ch (446380) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:46PM (#16552512) Homepage Journal
      With Cable TV, you have the ability to set your television set to block specific channels - thinks like Skinamax, Spice, etc. These channels aren't automatically blocked. The parent has to sit down with the remote control and program it. I don't see why the internet should be filtered for the rest of us, because parents are too lazy to look over Little Johnny's shoulder and tell him to say off the warez site with the nasty ads.

      If you want the internet filtered for your kid, install and manage your own filtering software. It's the parent's responsibility to take charge of what their children are doing, viewing, etc. It's not the content provider's problem at all, particular on a medium like the internet where you have no face to face interaction (e.g. checking ID). Frankly, if you require a valid credit card, I think you'd solve the whole issue.

      My objection lies with of some of the banner ads and emails, which can be really atrocious. From time to time, I get things in my Inbox that make me cringe and wish I would remove them from my brain. "Barnyard" and "hot lovin'" should NEVER appear in the same sentence. I can only imagine something like that coming to a small child....

      2 cents,

      QueenB
      • by shmlco (594907) on Monday October 23, 2006 @05:11PM (#16552872) Homepage
        "I can only imagine something like that coming to a small child...."

        Half would say "ewwww" and half would start laughing, then they'd all turn on the TV or go out and play. Kids are not as fragile as we make them out to be, and most are terribly uninterested in all of that icky adult stuff.

        Or to quote, "Stop. They're KISSING again. Go on to the fire swamp, that sounded good..."
        • by fithmo (854772)
          Until puberty.
          • by Chmcginn (201645)
            But by that point, they either have figured out how to get around the filters their parents have installed, or they've found their dad's (or mom's) stack of old mags...
      • by ben there... (946946) on Monday October 23, 2006 @05:35PM (#16553168) Journal
        Good point. I was about to make the same comparison when I found your post.

        If a parent purchases all of the naughty cable channels, then their kids have access to those as well. The cable company does nothing to prevent those kids from seeing those channels. If the parents want to prevent their kids from watching that, they use the filtering built into the client, the TV.

        The same goes for the internet. The parent purchases access to the whole internet. The ISP does nothing to prevent kids from seeing naughty sites. If the parents want to prevent their kids from visiting those sites, they use the filtering software available for the client, the computer.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by CastrTroy (595695)
          . You can purchase cable packages that don't have porn. You can even choose not to buy cable at all, and just watch broadcast. You can be pretty sure that there's nothing objectionaly on broadcast channels while your kids are awake. You can order all the channels, and then tell it to block everything above a certain rating. I'm pretty sure there are mandatory ratings on everything now. However, there's no way to just purchase access to the "good" part of the internet. The best you can do is get some f
          • by ben there... (946946) on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:41PM (#16554890) Journal
            But that's exactly it. With the internet they are choosing to buy the Super Premium Deluxe Cable package, with all the porn channels. And then the parents expect the channels to disappear that they don't want their kids to watch, rather than using the filtering on the client side that is available to them.

            If parents want the equivalent of cable for their kids, they should get AOL and block the normal internet. Or buy a whitelist package that is voluntarily supported by certain websites. Everything else is blocked. They get the equivalent diversity of cable channels. That's what they want, right? Anything that is remotely threatening to their little world to disappear? They can have that, quite easily. But instead they want it both ways: the full diversity of the internet combined with the lack of active parenting that the very limited diversity of cable requires.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by nebaz (453974)
        Not that I disagree with you, but on Cable TV, the number of channels you have to block will be minor, compared to the millions of inappropriate sites on the web. It is infeasible to have a black list for each of these sites. I'm not sure how well automated filtering software works at all, so I don't know that that would help.
      • My objection lies with of some of the banner ads and emails, which can be really atrocious. From time to time, I get things in my Inbox that make me cringe and wish I would remove them from my brain. "Barnyard" and "hot lovin'" should NEVER appear in the same sentence. I can only imagine something like that coming to a small child....

        Some ISPs, I know mine does, offer spam filters. I've got my filter set so that any email I get from someone I don't have their addy in my addressbook goes into either a sp

  • by zappepcs (820751) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:06PM (#16551916) Journal
    This, even if enforced, will not protect children from themselves, or the unscrupulous... it will, however, give polititians someone to roast on an open fire to make them look good in election years.... This should be the VFMA (vote for me act) as that is how it will be used, like many other bad laws in the US
  • Copa is idiotic. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NewsSurfer (1000129) * on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:09PM (#16551978)
    Any child who wants to get around these screenings can, unless a credit card is required, and some kids have cards anyway, or use their parents. This law just makes a headache for programmers and people who have to prove their innocence to not being a child.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      needing a CC hasn't stopped children. I work for an online transaction company and I have had customers call in about transactions. I look up the transaction, it's for a WOW godly armor of knowledge. Customer doesn't know what that is. I ask about kids in the house playing said game. Que child's name being called and a nice "thank you."
  • by Maclir (33773) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:14PM (#16552034) Journal
    I don't see any reference to that distinction in the Constitution.....
    • I'm not sure what you're referring to. Freedom of speech is balanced along with our other freedoms and case law has upheld political speech as the most stringently protected, while commercial speech is the least protected based upon how that speech conflicts with other rights. For example, claiming a political candidate is the best choice because they don't kill people is much more highly protected than a commercial claiming a product does not kill people. In the former case, even if the speech was factuall

    • I don't see any reference to that distinction in the Constitution.....

      Yet the courts support different standards for all sorts of speech. Print > Broadcast > Advertising, for example. Personal web pages and comments are generally afforded the same protection as print. Not all speech is created equal.

      Like it or not, the courts have as much role as the legislative branch in making laws, as far as practical matters are concerned.

    • by MBCook (132727)

      I've never seen "seperation of church and state", "right to privacy", "right to their own body", and many other things in there... but they keep appearing. It doesn't matter which side you're on. The "living document" keeps "evolving" new words that we must abide by even if they don't seem to be written there.

      You've got to keep a close watch on people. Everyone from atheist to the far religeous right to NAMBLA to the ACLU seem to think The Constiution says they are right. It may, it may not, but they all c

      • "right to privacy", "right to their own body"

        Please see the Ninth Amendment, as well as the Fourth.
        • by gkhan1 (886823)
          That's not entirely correct. When we think of right to privacy (for instance, Lawrence v. Texas [wikipedia.org]) and peoples right to their own body (Roe v. Wade [wikipedia.org]) it's almost always the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that is invoked. True, the fourth amendment protects against illegal searches and such, but it says nothing about allowing people to be gay. Among non-lawyers, the Fourteenth Amendment is easily forgotten, but it is one of the greatest of them all, right up there with amendment one. It made ins
          • Among non-lawyers, the Fourteenth Amendment is easily forgotten, but it is one of the greatest of them all, right up there with amendment one. It made institutionalized racism illegal, it ensures equality, and it gives due process rights to everyone. That last one is mindnumbingly important, it is what ensures that all americans are granted the liberties that they have a right to, even though they aren't specifically spelled out in the constitution. Stuff like abortions, contraceptives, choice in secual par

      • Wow.. You make refuting comments soo easy.

        ---I've never seen "seperation of church and state"

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; (Bill of Rights, Amendment 1)

        "right to privacy"

        The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly descri
        • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

          Well, that takes care of separation of church and Congress. So why is it unconstitutional for a school to force all students to say a Christian prayer - or to keep students from saying one if they want to? The principal isn't Congress.

          As the OP said, it's the interpretation, not the exact wording.

          • With the Federal Board of Education now in place, who votes in appropiations bills?

            Thats right, the Congress. It would be illegal to fund forced religious happenings within a public institution. It is also against the law to keep their child home, due to truancy laws.

            I can see why forced prayer in schools became illegal, along with valedectorian speeches of religion (you have no choice to avoid them). What I cant understand is when the schools prevent the students from privately saying them.
            • What I cant understand is when the schools prevent the students from privately saying them.

              That simply does not happen outside the American Family Association's press releases.
            • It is also against the law to keep their child home, due to truancy laws.

              It is not illegal to keep children at home. More and more parents are homeschooling [about.com] thier children, and they can legally do this.

              Falcon
          • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

            Well, that takes care of separation of church and Congress. So why is it unconstitutional for a school to force all students to say a Christian prayer - or to keep students from saying one if they want to? The principal isn't Congress.

            That's easy, forcing students to pray in school, if it is a public school means government is establishing a religion. I still recall having a teacher harshly

        • by gkhan1 (886823)

          You're wrong. The fourth amendment doesn't give you a full right to privacy, and it doesn't give you any rights to your own body. It gives you a right not to have your house searched without a warrant, but that's it. Sure that is a small part of privacy, but it sure as hell ain't the whole thing! It says nothing about, say, homosexuality (which is THE most important issue in privacy-law), nor does it mention right to your own body anywhere.

          No, both of those rights are ensured by the due process clause of t

        • by MBCook (132727)
          I agree. There are basis for all those in there. I meant the literal words, which I why I quoted them. There are differences between the establishment clause and the "government can never have anything to do with religion every" line many "church and state" people would have you believe is in the constitution.
    • A string of Supreme Court decisions would disagree with you, and their opinion carries a lot more weight. Commercial speech was considered totally without Constitutional protection until the 1970s; today it is protected but it is considered far less valuable than non-commercial speech in First Amendment jurisprudence.
  • by Blackknight (25168) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:14PM (#16552054) Homepage
    This law sounds incredibly vague. What is inappropriate? If I have a few cuss words on my home page does that mean I have to block everybody? What about bikini pics? How about articles that some people think are inappropriate because of their religious beliefs?

    How does this affect web hosting companies? We host thousands of domains and I'm sure some of them could be considered inappropriate for kids.

    It's not a site owner's job to filter out people that might be offended by the content, if you don't like a site don't go there.
    • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:23PM (#16552188)
      What about string bikini pics.

      What about bikini pics that you can make out anatomy through (oh wait, JC Penneys add three months ago had that and it ran in the newspaper too).

      What about a lady in a full corset & stockings (that cover more than the bikini). ...holding a banana ...holding a zuchinni ...holding a vibrator ...holding a realistic dildo ...holding a real guy. ...with just a hint of her aereola showing. ...with the top half showing. ...with nipples. ...oh wait, it's really a male transexual (male nipples being legal) ...but he's in a corset. ...but that was fine for Tim Curry

      Someone else said it best here in the past.

      PLEASE post a web page with a continuam of pictures from fully appropriate to fully inappropriate with each one flagged as to how appropriate or inappropriate it is. That way we can all go to it and see what is an is not appropriate to have on the web.

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        male nipples being legal
        Where I'm from, technically it's not illegal for women to go topless in public. You see, it's sexist to say that men can do it, and women can't, and they couldn't very well say men couldn't go topless (what about the beach), so the had to say women could go topless. In reality, very few do, and I don't recall if i've seen it after the 6 month time period following the point where it became legal, but the point is, is that it is legal.
      • by bpb213 (561569)
        Actually, just to correct you on one point, as a transexual myself.

        A male transexual is a person born female, transitioning or transitioned to male.
        A female transexual is a person born male, transitioning or transitioned to female.

        Female transexuals are refered to as she/her, and male transexuals are refered to as him/he.

        A male transexual would probably not wear a corset (corsets being largely gender innapropriate for males).
        And a female transexual's nipples are no more legal to show in public then a geneti
        • Well.. I'm male (6'5" actually) and I've worn a corset *and* fishnet hose....

          I would think from the context I was speaking of a male who had become a female.

          Obviously the law varies in different parts of the country.

          This is slash dot and I will use ABSOLUTELY casual examples in my casual conversations for any major or minor group.

          And really it's easier to casually insult everyone equally without any malice rather than being paralyzed and unable to talk because I may not know the sub-rules that one member of
    • I think a bigger problem is equal protection under the law clause, for example in NYC it's perfectly legal for a woman or a man to be in public, on the street with their breasts exposed but it's illegal for a television station in NYC to show the woman's breasts to their audience in NYC! The concept that equal content can be illegal or legal depending on how it's delivered is just crazy.
    • by dodongo (412749)
      What about bikini pics?


      What about Photoshopped pictures of a Supreme Court justice in a bikini [tobede.us]?

      I had to give a presentation on my favorite SCOTUS justice, and, well, Ruth Bader Ginsburg wins. What can I say?
    • by Pseudonym (62607)

      Well I'm a parent, and I can partially answer that.

      I have two kids, aged 4 and 6. Both of them know a bit about human anatomy. Both of them know what a human body looks like in its most natural state. It's not a big deal. Neither of them have yet asked how the baby gets inside a woman's tummy (though they've seen pictures of one coming out), but when it comes, they'll get a truthful (if undetailed, depending on how old they are) answer.

      As intelligent as my kids are, though, at their ages I can't think

      • As long as it's a voluntary rating system, I'm with you. But as soon as it becomes a mandatory rating system, then I think you've crossed the line, and I'm not willing to give the folks running the rating system that much control over society, for the sake of your or anybody else's kids. Sorry. (Particularly since a mandatory rating system would never work -- what would we do, use our nuclear arsenal to threaten to annihilate countries that don't make webmasters flag exposed nipples? At best, you'd have to
  • Obligatory (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cpu_fusion (705735) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:14PM (#16552060)
    Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children given access to the Internet by their parents?
    • Re:Obligatory (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Nephilium (684559) on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:42PM (#16554906) Homepage

      One of my favorite "Think of the children" quotes...

      Rule 1: When someone talks about 'the children' watch out for your wallet.
      Rule 2: When someone talks about 'the children' watch out for your freedoms.
      And now, it seems:
      Rule 3: When someone talks about 'the children' watch out for your democracy.

      - Andrew Stuttaford

      Nephilium

      What good is the race of man? Monkeys, he thought, monkeys with a spot of poetry in them, cluttering and wasting a second-string planet near a third-string star. But sometimes they finish in style. -- Potiphar (Potty) Breen in The Year of the Jackpot

  • nanny state (Score:5, Insightful)

    by User 956 (568564) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:15PM (#16552072) Homepage
    Parents, schools, etc. have to take responsibility for the internet usage of children in their charge.

    Why is it that the ACLU has to fight in court to get people to understand something that should be painfully obvious? Man up people, the government is not your mommy.
  • COPA is pointless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by springbox (853816) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:17PM (#16552090)
    I can see that there were some "good intentions" to protect children or whatever the case might have been, but if you've seen most web sites with a COPA agreement (phpBB in particular), as a registering user, you have two choices:


    "I am under 13"
    "I am 13 or older."

    Ok great! Now only the honest kids will be prevented from signing up to most forums. It's about as ridiculous as the "YES, I'm 18 or older" on adult pr0n sites.

    It would seem as if COPA is only protecting the site operators in the event that something bad DOES happen to young childern. These kids can still get themselves into trouble if they want. I guess some people think that the fancy agreement is somehow significant (as seen in EULAs.)

    • That's COPPA, not COPA. COPA is "Son of CDA" or the "OMG kiddi3z can look at b008i35!!!!" Law.
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      It would seem as if COPA is only protecting the site operators in the event that something bad DOES happen to young childern. These kids can still get themselves into trouble if they want. I guess some people think that the fancy agreement is somehow significant (as seen in EULAs.)

      If it is obvious that the site owner should have known that [User] was below X years of age, they could theoretically be held liable.

      Example: Myspace pages where kids claim "i was born in 1970" but also have "tee hee hee, I'm 12"

  • I say we just add a filters.txt to our sites similar to robots.txt .. we then list pages that might be offsensive/adult in nature, and then make someone else responsible for filtering.

    So that I can say I did due diligence using standard protocols - you failed to protect your kid or your kid circumvented the protocol.
    • They already have all kinds of filters, most porn sites have pages devoted to how to install content filters, and most reputable porn (OK Don't laugh) have the meta info to allow those filtes to work. The truth is pre-adults can't legally spend money on the internet, so why waste the bandwidth on them?
  • awesome (Score:2, Funny)

    by nomadic (141991)
    Glad it's the ACLU and not the EFF, now we might actually win!
  • by nEJC76 (904161) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:31PM (#16552292) Homepage
    I've been wondering, why don't the adult web-masters voluntarily put something like
    <META NAME="might_be_inaporopriate" CONTENT="true">

    Let the net-nanny type apps handle it, and be done with it...
    Its lot less painfull than moving to .xxx domains and the parents not using filtering software have only self to blame.

    I know l33t kids could get around it, but it's an offer of hand.
    • Funny you mention that. There is a rating system called RSACi that does just this - and it is as easy as a few checkboxes [icra.org]. Internet Explorer supports filtering based on it, since 6.0 at least.

      While not perfect, it would certainly filter better than just having "13 or older" and "less than 13" links to sign up for a forum!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:38PM (#16552386)
    I want to know what is being done to protect adults FROM children. False allegations, false accusations, baiting, online deception, vandalism, slander, and the like.

    I spent two years in prison for some bullshit some kid said on me, and I had to not only prove it was impossible, but had to hire a lawyer to find a technicality in the trial to say the trial was bogus. Otherwise, without having a family on the outside with a little bit of money, I would be rotting in prison today. Go ahead, tell me children don't lie about being molested. Go ahead, tell me children don't lie. Go ahead, tell me! I will look you dead in the eye and tell you how full of **** you are.

    I bristle with anger whenever anybody does anything in the name of "protecting the children". These laws are being used to go on the equivalent of modern day witch hunts. Don't believe it? Wait until they come after you, and you're in front of a jury stating as plainly as possible, how what they are saying makes absolutely no sane common sense. It doesn't matter. The jury has been cherry picked jury of neo-conservative republicans. You'd get a much fairer jury if you stood outside Walmart and grabbed the first 13 people that walked in or out the door. When has any defendant ever had any say so or oversite in the picking of a jury? Answer: NEVER. Think about that. That's why America is so corrupt, its why everyone pleads out, its why you have the right to a jury trial in name only.

    I think any person who wants to protect children, needs to start by granting children more basic human rights. For one thing, to be considered as citizens of the country, and not property of their parents. To be given a say so in the development and passing of the laws under which they have to live under. To have the voluntary right to opt out of schools, which have become indoctrination camps to teach people to jump when they are told.

    There is no freedom in this country. You have freedom of mobility, and that's about it (and you have that anywhere). How many of the hundreds of thousands of laws on the books have you ever had any chance to vote on, ever been asked to vote on. How many of these bogus laws ever come up from review? Never. That's why there are ludicrous laws still on the book about not spitting from your donkey on the sidewalk in front of a lady during daylight hours.

    These laws are passed in some place far away in a room by a select group of people and then applied nationwide to the majority, who are too busy with their own lives struggling to make ends meet to travel to find these backrooms and stand up (even though they wouldn't be let in the door).

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      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 dis
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rantingkitten (938138)
        Big deal, man. A trial by jury means that twelve people will decide your fate -- twelve people who were too stupid to get out of jury duty. That pretty much neutralizes a lot of faith I have in the justice system. For the record I am studying to be a criminal defense attorney, and I'm still saying this. Fact is that especially in situations involving children, the average yob is going to go into near-hysterics. Most of the world is not composed of rational, level-headed people.

        You're talking about a co
    • does that mean you need protection from women?

      here, i've got a wacky idea for you: why don't we prosecute child predators AND prosecute false accusations of child endangerment

      just like we should prosecute rapists AND prosecute false accusations of rape

      the problem is thinking that because of your experience, we should weaken the fight against child predators. or that because child predators exist, we should disregard yor tragic experience

      no

      we can do BOTH: fight the false accusers, and the predators, at the s
    • When has any defendant ever had any say so or oversite in the picking of a jury? Answer: NEVER. Think about that. That's why America is so corrupt, its why everyone pleads out, its why you have the right to a jury trial in name only.

      I don't know where you are but in most places in the US both the prosecution and the defense can have potential jurors removed from the jury during jury selection. The judge too can remove them, and many will if the person knows about Jury Nullification [greenmac.com].

      Falcon

  • by buddyglass (925859) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:46PM (#16552508)
    Does the federal govt. currently hold pornographic video distributors accountable for limiting the sale (or rental) of their product to minors? If so, and if that restriction is considered to be constitutional, then I'm not sure how one can argue that COPA is not also constitutional. It just applies the same principle to businesses that distribute their product over the net instead of through a brick and mortar (or mail order) system.
  • Just because you dislike porn doesn't mean you can tell other people whether or not they should be allowed to watch it. That's what freedom's about. You know, that thing America's founded upon but the government keeps trying to quash? Yeah, that.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by westlake (615356)
      Just because you dislike porn doesn't mean you can tell other people whether or not they should be allowed to watch it. That's what freedom's about. You know, that thing America's founded upon but the government keeps trying to quash? Yeah, that.

      Freedom is about many things.

      Including the freedom of a community to take collective action against conduct it regards as profoundly anti-social.

      Freedom of Speech in American constitutional law is rooted in a shared democratic faith in unconstrained political

      • It is not and never has been a license to draw children into the production of pornography
        Please point out where anyone, anywhere in this entire thread, has said that it is.
  • I am a parent... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:16PM (#16554672) Journal
    I was recently sholder-surfing, behind my 12 year old son looking for info on some shoot-em-up game or other.

    He clicked on a "sketchy" site that purported to have "hints and secrets".

    A nice looking bare-chested woman popped up.

    There was a couple second pause... then he nonchalantly clicked the "X".

    Ok, so I am not sure what he would have done had I not been looking over his shoulder, but what more could you ask for?

    As long as unexplained charges don't show up on my credit card, that is what you should expect your child to do while web surfing and "inappropriate" material appears.

  • by v1 (525388) on Monday October 23, 2006 @09:43PM (#16555296) Homepage Journal
    People nowadays seem to believe that the whole world must protect them (and their children it would seem) from everything... from the criminals, from the person next door, from everything bad in the whole world.

    I am so tired of hearing how the world failed to protect some idiot from their own stupidity or how the world failed to be the good partent to your child that you for some mysterious reason could not, and now somehow it's all our fault and you are totally innocent and victimized. There's an article here at least every 10 days with another sickening example of this retarded behavior.

    Makes me sick. People, grow up!

A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do. -- Dennis M. Ritchie

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