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Congress On DOPA Over MySpace

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-11

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China's standard practice of blocking access to certain websites appears to have inspired some members of the US Congress. Social networking sites like MySpace.com are the target of proposed legislation that would block access to them in schools and libraries.

The heightened concern over sexual predation on social networking sites is the driving force behind the legislation proposed by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, called the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA).

"When children leave the home and go to school or the public library and have access to social-networking sites, we have reason to be concerned," Fitzpatrick told CNet.

(When Congress considers laws abridging freedom of speech, the citizens have reason to be concerned.)

Aurally-appropriate DOPA would block websites that allow users to create webpages and profiles, offer discussion boards, chat rooms, instant messaging and email services. This of course affects not just MySpace.com, but also Google, AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Friendster, among many others.

Fitzpatrick's bill, the brainchild of a group of representatives calling itself the "Suburban Caucus," is said by CNet to be a "poll driven effort."

From the two-page CNet article:

"That's a broad category that covers far more than social-networking sites such as Friendster and Google's Orkut.com. It would also sweep in a wide range of interactive Web sites and services, including Blogger.com, AOL and Yahoo's instant-messaging features, and Microsoft's Xbox 360, which permits in-game chat.

Fitzpatrick's bill...is part of a new, poll-driven effort by Republicans to address topics that they view as important to suburban voters."

For a PDF of the proposed legislation click here.

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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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