Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Paying Attention to DOPA?

The House may vote on DOPA today. Read this ALA notice for further information.

What is DOPA (Deleting Online Predators Act)? The above article explains it this way:

DOPA would extend the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) by requiring schools and libraries that receive E-rate support to block chat rooms and social networking web sites like MySpace.

What sort of message would this send to our teenage customers?


Doris G. Dixon said...

It turns out that the House did pass DOPA on Wedneday. Next week it moves on to the Senate.

Librarian/blogger Jessamyn West offers this wrap-up of some of the blogosphere coverage.

I am relying heavily on other bloggers to make me aware of issues such as this one (with DOPA, institutions who take advantage of e-rate subscriptions to the Internet would have to filter social networking sites like and net neutrality. As Kevin, has written before, using an aggregator like bloglines seems a more efficient way to *try* to stay informed than wading through e-mail listservs messages and action alerts. I guess one could use all of these methods in concert.

E-mail is an entrenched part of MPLIC work culture. I look forward to the day when scanning blogs becomes second nature to us.

Anonymous said...

H.R. 5319 - Deleting Online Predators Act - passed the house and may go to the Senate this week. I looked at it on Thomas this morning after reading about some of the concerns that the ALA had. If it passes, will adult customers also be blocked from using blogs, wikis, e-mail, etc? It sounded like a possibility...

Jesse Pool

Kevin Dixon said...

Much can happen before DOPA could become a reality, but it appears that if the current version were a reality, the sites that fit into DOPA's definition would probably have to be added to our filtering system.

I found this description that says that adults would have to ask for permission to access the banned sites.

So if an adult has to ask for permission, then it must mean that the site is initially blocked to all. And I have no idea how the concept of us providing access to adults who ask for permission would be implemented.

Anyway, like I said, it is too early to talk about specifics. And my knowledge of our filtering system is pretty much non-existent, so take all of this with a grain of salt.

But one thing is for certain, DOPA could potentially give us librarians MANY headaches.

So I suggest that people contact their Senators if they feel strongly one way or another about this bill.

One peculiar aspect of this bill is the NON-reaction of the people that actually own these social sites that would be affected by DOPA. As noted by the author of LibraryStuff in this post, the people with the connections and the money are not doing anything. Perhaps because they don't care?