No DOPA This...
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.