Tuesday, August 01, 2006

DOPA Surprise Attack

Many Americans are expressing their shock at how quickly the U.S. House moved to approve an idiotic technology bill and by a vote margin that is equally alarming: 410 - 15. To turn a good northern WI/MN phrase: ISH!!

I live in Wisconsin and work in Minnesota, so I follow what the politicians do on both sides of the bridge, and in D.C. All 16 Representatives (8 from each state) voted in favor of this ridiculous bill. I'm willing to bet that not one of them understands what the ramifications of this legislation will be (can be?). Here's a vote that is all about campaign commercials and positioning: "we've made the Internet SAFE for your children!!" Gag, barf, puke, wretch!

H.R. 5319: Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006.
"To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require recipients of universal service support for schools and libraries to protect minors from commercial social networking websites and chat rooms."

DOPA will not only protect minors (under 18, we have some of those in college, too) from chat rooms frequented by online predators, it will also protect them from chat rooms in D2L, BlackCT, and Moodle. Strict adherence to the law would disallow educational uses of blogs and wikis and other social networking sites that have great educational potential. And, it will require that people 18 and over will have to register at public libraries (and I assume, also at schools) in order to not have the content blocked from sites such as these. OMG! What insanity.

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) is one of the few who dared to speak out against the law: “So now we are on the floor with a piece of legislation poorly thought out, with an abundance of surprises, which carries with it that curious smell of partisanship and panic, but which is not going to address the problems. This is a piece of legislation which is going to be notorious for its ineffectiveness and, of course, for its political benefits to some of the members hereabout.” He finishes with: The process stinks. The legislation is weak. The legislation will be ineffective, it will accomplish nothing, and we will all share red faces about this bumbling endeavor."

Then, he cast an AYE vote to PASS the law. "Well, most Members, I suspect, will do the politically wise thing, and I will join them in it, and that is, I am going to hold my nose and vote for this legislation in the full awareness that it is not going to address the problem at all and that it is a political placebo for a very, very, serious problem."

Even sites like C-Net and Amazon could be affected because they allow users to communicate with one another.

A mother of two teenagers thinks DOPA is dopey.

Vicki Davis (Cool Cat Teacher) has an excellent breakdown of the law as well as a rant about the vote by the village idiots.

Can the Senate be convinced that this law is idiotic? I doubt it. They'll probably vote next week and approve it by about 70-30. No doubt that W will sign it swiftly and pronounce the cyberworld safe and thank the Republicans for educating the Democrats to see things in the proper perspective. I must be takin' crazy pills.

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