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back to article Court defends America's right to online smut

Ten years after it was rubber stamped by US lawmakers, the free-speech-throttling Child Online Protection Act (COPA) remains in legal limbo, but its chances of survival took another blow this week as a federal appeals court upheld an earlier ban on the statute. “COPA cannot withstand a strict scrutiny, vagueness, or over breadth …

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J
Coat

Toss back to the Supremes

Was "The Supremes" the name of a musical group or something? I'm too lazy to Google...

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never going to happen...

Considering the ease by which a person can get the information to falsify adulthood online there will never be any real verification.

Only sure fire way would be something that would make big brother squeal with glee due to all computers having a biometric scanner linked to a world wide database to verify who was at the computer accessing the information.

Anything else is wishful thinking

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Silver badge

Parental Responsibility?

It's interesting that Congress wants to put the onus on the suppliers of information instead of pushing the message that parents should be responsible for restricting what their children view on-line. I guess that's too much like common sense though.

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How many times can it go back to the Supreme Court?

Well, that's my question in its entirety, really.

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Bronze badge

Sexually explicit?

Is there a definition to explain what sexually explicit material is damaging to minors? Or is all content of a sexual nature damaging?

There is a lot of information on the net connected with health, physiology, psychology etc which is of necessity sexually explicit but is not smut of any kind. Is the DoJ so repressed that they think research of this kind is so potentially damaging to the minds of their children that people should be denied it's benefits?

Perhaps someone should remind them that without the sex they seem to hate they would not be here. The greater damage is caused by making children feel guilty about sex and treating it as a forbidden subject, that is most likely what happened to the current legislators.

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@J

wow. I don't even know where to begin....

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Bronze badge

@ Mortvent

Do minors not have first amendment rights too then?

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Flame

uh, and the parents job is?

Wouldn't it be a LOT easier to just make parents responsible for knowing what thier children are doing online, and put up appropriate means of blocking offensive sites?

Granted, a lot of people lack the skills to set up a firewall, never mind content filtering, and even that won't stop someone who wants to get past it... but if little johnny bypasses your filtering, you cut them off.

Or has the job of talking care of our children been passed on to the gov't now?

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Thumb Down

So I think I'm missing something...

When did discussion of sexuality become "harmful" to minors? Exactly what "harm" are we talking about here?

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Paris Hilton

blame the parents

Well get them to look over their kids shoulders from time to time if they are that worried.

Not exactly hi-tech but putting "the fear" of getting caught into their hearts should do more than any filtering ever could.

So easy even Paris could lead the campaign!

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Black Helicopters

@Terry

No, in the US, minors are not really protected by the First Amendment. The historical precedent is that, legally, minors have few, if any actual rights. Of course, that understanding of the law has been eroding since the "Free Speech Movement" back in the '60s & '70s, but there is still a long way to go.

<INAL disclaimer here>

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@Terry Barnes

American law is somewhat schizophrenic when it comes to minors. they have legal responsibilities but not rights in most cases. for isntance a minors signature is not legally binding in many cases, and technically they cannot own property. all of a childs property is owned by their legal guardians.

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What I'm wondering

...is even if this law was to take effect, it would be rendered moot by the Federal court ruling that site owners cannot be held responsible for content posted to the site by others. All a site owner would have to do is say "someone else posted it there" and not keep any logs, and COPA has no teeth with which to bite.

How sad is it that we'd rather slap a collar and leash on content providers than tell parents to do their damn jobs? Oh I'm sorry, you don't know how to filter content from reaching your home computer? Then either a) educate yourself, or b) don't allow your children access to the computer. Ignorance is not an excuse.

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Silver badge
Flame

How is it that this retardedness is still not dead?

The best would be to simply abolish sex in the USA and wait, this would solve a lot of problems.

10 years ago: Nutters discovers that Porn Exists On The Information Superhighway (Does anyone remember the Moral Panic Of The Rimm Study? http://www.columbia.edu/cu/21stC/issue-1.2/Cyber.htm). This means that minors are molested by pics coming down the godless modems at a fearsome 28kbps. Additionally, it is proof that someone somewhere is having fun which is of course inadmissible.

5 years ago: Nutters say No to .XXX TLD because that would be like opening a tenderloin district, thus admitting to World+Dog that there is demand for sex in the USA, which is of course inadmissible.

0 years ago: Nutters say No to Sex On the Internets....

etc. etc. etc.

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Flame

Double standards...

The government of this country is so fucked up with their double standards. Minors are not recognized by the bill of rights, they have no say what so ever and can not make any decisions about their lives until they turn 18, period. unless, that is, they commit a crime, then, they are charged as an adult, with no say in the matter and the "pristine" protection of being a minor are stripped away from them and they are prosecuted under the same rules that adults are... complete bullshit...

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Paris Hilton

so when...

Will the ACLU slap a big ole lawsuit on the idiot AG of New York for his harassment and illegal shakedown of the ISPs to remove newsgroups access?

Paris, 'cuz even she knows the AG is a wanker.

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Paris Hilton

Hmmm

Hmmm , with all this fear mongering hype over child pron does this mean that great works of art painted by Raphael and other old masters is likely to be banned as well from public view in view of the pristine virtue child life like cherub angels he painted on his numerous works of art now hanging in assorted art museums and adorning churches in the old world ? Do we burn those too in the surreal unreal quest for an idealized unobtainable purity that can never be reached in any lifetime ?

Interesting choices indeed but where does one draw the borderline between utter incredulous stupidity of idiots and morons with those suffering with the mental illness of paranoia , now that be the question ?

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Black Helicopters

This is not about sex

This is about control. While the ACLU etc are worrying about COPA the government is taking some other right away.

The government _don't_ want parents to be responsible and to control their own kids. If parents don't / won't control the kids then the government _will_ take control. And keep control as they grow into adults.

And once they have control do you think that they'll ever let go of it?

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Happy

On the plus side...

...Fox news should get shut down.

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Anonymous Coward

heh

Yanks best start hosting their sites in Russia and China. Until of course it becomes illegal for a yank to host his site outside of the states. But we Brits are hot on your heels.

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@ Michael

I think, as in the case of the tobacco companies and the gun manufactures that the American courts are quite capable of finding them culpable for the content that other people beyond their control put on the net.

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Gates Horns

Unintended Consequences

This is yet another example of well meaning laws that have wider effects than intended. The statute books are full of them and lawyers make acres of cash. The idea that parents can control resourceful kids is a complete joke. The "kids" usually know more about technology than their parents and laptops transport easily. Chain them up happen?

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Bronze badge

Guilty at birth

Just take all kids at birth, bar code them, chip them. Kill any ones that show signs of defects. Genetic screening. Kill every one when then turn 60. Haves aids, cancer, std. Don't worry the state has large ovens to take care of that

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