Blog Post

House Republicans Target Social Networking Sites With Bill

The latest regulatory effort to control the internet: a proposed bill would prohibit access to and numerous other sites with social networking aspects from computers at public schools and libraries. Declan McCullagh has the run down … Sponsored by U.S. Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R, PA) after polling to define hot-button suburban issues, the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) would block access to commercial sites that allow the creation of public personal pages and include communications functions like chat, IM, email, boards. In some, cases access with parental authorization and/or adult supervision would be allowed. It would cut far wider a swath than the social networking sites caught in the crossfire; consider the number of sites that meet that description, including neary every major portal or services owned by them. The bill also would:
— require the FTC to issue a consumer alert about the potential danger of social networking and to establish a resource site on the subject (with “a distinctive Uniform Resource Locator”).
— require the FCC to establish an advisory board that would issue an annual watchlist of sites “shown to allow sexual predators easy access to personal information of, and contact with, children.”