July 24, 2008

COPA - "Children's Internet Protection Act" Censorware Politics Goes On

As has been widely reported, e.g. ACLU press release "a federal court once again upheld a ban on a law that would criminalize constitutionally protected speech on the Internet. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the unconstitutional Child Online Protection Act (COPA)". I've previously written several COPA blog posts, mostly about the censorware-related politics of the case.

To say something both meaningful and different from the herd, I'll point out that Susan Crawford has a post on COPA which extensively discusses the legal strategy STILL driving the promotion of censorware now. As in, right now, in 2008 and beyond. And she said it, not me.

"Justice Kennedy said then - that it is the Court's job to consider what alternatives are out there in the world to help parents, and to decide whether they're more effective/less restrictive than COPA ... Justice Breyer was very sympathetic to [an opposing] view the last time around. His point is that filtering doesn't count as an alternative to COPA."

Concluding in part:

This case is a big deal because it turns on the question whether private, edge-based solutions to speech issues should be taken seriously.

Note the language there: private (good good good) edge-based (buzzword) solutions (business jargon). Words like unaccountable or secret blacklist are not to be found.

These were the issues which led to a smear campaign waged against me due to my blacklist decryptions and extensive opposing censorware. (and people don't like to hear this, but objective evidence is that the mudslinging worked!). When I explain all the political reasons for what has happened over the years, I'm sometimes told (too often in a sneering, belittling tone) that the matter is ancient history. It's not. It'll continue to be significant into the foreseeable future.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in censorware , copa | on July 24, 2008 11:56 PM (Infothought permalink)
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I mean come on - who else would do such a thing?

"This report presents the findings of the closed environment testing of ISP-level filters conducted in 2008."

Apparently they are all happy the technology has improved over the last trial and it works a lot better.

Posted by: tqft at July 28, 2008 08:25 PM

Yes. There's a longstanding rhetorical problem, that talking up censorware in one context can backfire in another context.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at July 29, 2008 05:18 PM

I thought there were already ways to protect your children from going to and receiving from sites that they shouldn't have to worry about.
Are the protections we already have not enough?
Am I alone in feeling this or are there other people out there that feel tired of Congressmen, and Senators, and judges who seem to have run out of things to do, and feel that American adults need them to be their babysitters???

Posted by: Beverly Hills at August 6, 2008 01:02 PM