Child Online Protection Act Struck Down

Court calls it unconstitutional

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A federal court has upheld a ban on a law that would criminalize protected speech on the Internet.

The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) on behalf of a coalition of writers, artists and health educators who use the Internet to communicate constitutionally protected speech.

The American Civil Liberties Union

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in its ruling that the COPA law "cannot withstand a strict scrutiny, vagueness, or overbreadth analysis and thus is unconstitutional."

Previously, a federal district court and a federal appeals court found the online censorship law violates the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution. The Supreme Court upheld that decision, banning enforcement of the law in 2004 and sending the case back to district court to determine if there had been any changes in technology that would affect the constitutionality of the statute.

"Our clients provide valuable and necessary health and news information. Preventing adults from accessing this information under the guise of protecting children is not permissible," said Aden Fine, Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU First Amendment Working group.

"There are more effective, less intrusive tools available to limit what minors can access on the Internet."

Child Online Protection Act Struck Down
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  • http://wtfarewegoingtodonow.com/ Brad Hart

    As I have said for a long time it isn’t up to the government to police what kids and can and cannot access online.  That is the job of the parents.  if the parents aren’t tech savvy enough to understand their kids online activities and monitor them then they have failed in their duties as a parent.  Parents who let their kids wander the street without any knowledge of where they are or what they are doing have their kids taken away from them for being irresponsible and unfit parents.  Letting them wander the internet with absolutely no clue as to what they are doing or even bothering to check up on them is the same kind of irresponsibility, and should have the same sort of penalties for parents.

  • http://www.orchidpark.biz Guest

    There are around a billion and a half people, children and adults, nannied by the government in what they are allowed to see and read online or in the bookshops.

    The values of freedom of speech are precious indeed.


    But how can parents *in practice* censor what their young children read and see on the Net?

    For some children net nanny software is enough.

    Others, more curious and tech savvy, know how to bypass the  wall. They may also get url’s and content from their friends. Or be the ones passing it out.

    For those, their parents have to prepare them for what they may see or read, before they find it themselves.

    In this case loss of innocence comes early.

    At what age can parents start to prepare their children for the  criminality, insanity and aberrations  that are found in  the real world?

    Either way, through self-exposure or parental preparation, loss of innocence seems to be the inevitable outcome of children exposed to unlimited information.

  • http://www.yourtrustedtradesmen.com/ ytt 12

    As a parent of two teenage boys i try to limit the time they spend on the computer, but kids are inquisitive and often bow to peer pressure of all sorts. I think we forget we where once teenagers and had the odd well just say glamour mag tucked under our beds. So im happy for my kids to see soft porn but would i would draw the line at any kind of extreme stuff.

    You can protect your children but you can also smother them

    they are going to be exposed to it eventually.



    • anonymous

      I can agree, boys will be boys and as they grow into teenagers with raging sex hormones then there is little you can do to stop them from looking at nudey magazines and nudey sites, in my opinion, teenagers are probably mature enough to look at this stuff, and are often at their sexual peak at age 16, which means you have a horny teenager and they are bound to look at porn, I may not be a parent yet, but once I do have kids and once they reach that age, I would have no qualms with them looking at porn, though the more extreme stuff like snuff and rape scenes I would have to draw the line at because  I stand against snuff since its horribly wrong.

  • http://www.free-domain-withhosting.com Guest

    I truley believe that the government should stay out of this.  It is and always should be the parents responsibility.  Sooner or later, whatever sortware you install to block your child from going to these sites, will be outdated or overcome.  One sure way is to use the plug method.  Pull the plug on the computer when you cannot be there to monitor. 

    The best method really is to educate your child about these sites, don’t constantly nag about them, as this makes the kids more curious.  After instilling this information learn to trust not criticize.

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