Tuesday, July 25, 2006

No DOPA This...

Podcast Version

Yesterday, I got a call asking if I would be willing to take part in a Congressional briefing session on Internet Safety. My initial reaction was to ask if it had anything to do with DOPA, because if it did my commentary would simple. The name says it all.

To my relief, it had nothing to do with DOPA and is actually (IMHO) something good coming out of DC.

The session was a round table conducted by Democratic Representative Melissa Bean from IL and Bart Stupak from MI.

At the table were representatives from iSafe, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and WiredSafety.

The discussion was wide ranging and included social networking, child porn, cyber bullying and less "glamorous" issues such as phishing and identity theft.

We took a look at some of the problems, what is being done about them, and what can be done.

The session was in part conducted to raise awareness in the media and public for Representative Bean's SAFER NET Act (H.R.4982).

If it is passed, the merits of the bill will be witnessed by its implementation, but from what I see, it is a big step in the right direction. It seeks to establish and Office of Internet Safety and Public Awareness.

Rather than seeking to regulate with the ineffective and restrictive broad brush strokes of DOPA, this bill seeks to identify exemplary programs and best practices, coordinates efforts of diverse organizations, promotes a national public service campaign, and provides grants to state and local governments.

In Representatives Bean and Stupak, I see two people who are genuinely concerned about Internet safety. How much DC politics will impact the implementation is something we'll have to wait and see, but DOPA it's not! I have my fingers crossed.

To see the bill in it's entirety, go to congress.gov and search by bill number or sponsor.

Until next time, be Cyber Safe and Information Literate.

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posted by Art @ 7:08 PM   2 comments


At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So why did Reps. Bean and Stupak both vote for DOPA--Stupak after extensive criticism, and after entering into the record a letter of opposition from the American Library Association?

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Art said...

As one who usually avoids DC whenever possible because I don't like the politics, even I understand that many of the 415 Represenatives voted for it because a no vote would become political ammunition for the opposition in an election year.

The Bean bill was actually introducted before DOPA. In my uninformed opinion, a no vote by Bean or Stupak would doom the Safer Net Act.

No matter how you cut it, you have to play politics if you want to get anything good done.


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