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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Good Riddance to COPA

The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal yesterday on the Child Online Protection Act, basically ending the law.  COPA provided penalties to online companies who allowed a child access to pornographic material without some kind of age verification. 
I'm glad to see it go.  Of course kids shouldn't be looking at pornography, but we shouldn't trade our free and (almost) unregulated access to information to absolve parents of their supervisory duties.  By all means, put all the blockers in the world on publicly owned computers to limit whatever access you want, but please don't start limiting what type of information people can offer.
Personally, I think pornography is unhealthy even for adults, but I certainly don't think that means the government should make it illegal anymore than they should outlaw tobacco or trans fats.  Of course this law had nothing to do with totally outlawing pornography, but once the precedent is set that the government has the right to limit what's offered on the internet, it's only a matter of time before they start moving in on other areas.  "Hate speech" would probably be next on their list.

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