Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Social Networking & DOPA

We received the following message from Geri Hutchins, Federal Programs Coordinator at the New Mexico State Library. Although we don't receive any Federal funds for internet access and would not be directly affected, this is a matter of great importance for many school and public libraries.

"If you receive E-Rate funding or any federal funds that are used for Internet access, the Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006 (DOPA) would affect your library. A good summary from LawLibrary Blog DOPA would amend the provision of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 254(h), that was enacted by the CIPA - the provision that requires schools and libraries that accept E-rate discounts to filter obscenity, child pornography, and material that is 'harmful to minors' (the last only when minors use the school's or library's computers). DOPA would add other items that would have to be filtered when minors use computers, namely 'commercial social networking website[s] or chat room[s] through which minors - (aa) may easily access or be presented with obscene or indecent material; (bb) may easily be subject to unlawful sexual advances, unlawful requests for sexual favors, or repeated offensive comments of a sexual nature from adults; or (cc) may easily access other material that is harmful to minors.'

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