Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mandatory Filtering Bad Idea

The Senate is coming up with a really dumb, offensive and intrusive idea in the name of protecting all the children --- mandatory Internet filtering. I support the government raising awareness and defining standards for filtering software so consumers can make reasonably informed choices. I can understand the government attaching strings to their technology grants mandating that libraries and schools maintain filters on their computers as it is conditional money. I will not support this bipartisan limitation of discussion that seems to be proposed by Sen. Inouye (D-HI) and Sen. Stevens (R-AK).

"Given the increasingly important role of the Internet in education and commerce, it differs from other media like TV and cable because parents cannot prevent their children from using the Internet altogether," Sen. Stevens said. "The headlines continue to tell us of children who are victimized online. While the issues are difficult, I believe Congress has an important role to play to ensure that the protections available in other parts of our society find their way to the Internet."

Filtering technology is ineffective and overly broad in its scope for general usage. I'll support efforts to increase awareness, decrease informational asymetry and perhaps provide low cost options to parents who opt-into a filtering program but no more than that.

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