DOPA & librarians' reactions

Anyone who thinks librarians are a quiet bunch hasn’t been monitoring their responses to the Patriot Act, CIPA and, now, DOPA.

The US House Resolution 5319, the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA), was passed by a 410 to 15 vote recently, creating a flurried response both before and after it was passed.

Some blogs and articles to read to find great info on this

Techcrunch — US House: Schools must block MySpace, many other sites:

If the Resolution becomes law social networking sites and chat rooms must be blocked by schools and libraries or those institutions will lose their federal internet subsidies. According to the resolution’s top line summary it will “amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require recipients of universal service support for schools and libraries to protect minors from commercial social networking websites and chat rooms.”[snip]

410-15 was a shocking vote. I write about it here because it has the potential to impact a huge portion of our readership and the companies we profile on this site. Though the viability of enforcing such a law is open to question, web services offering collaboration in education are looking seriously endangered. Secondary collaborative consequences of commercial web sites used in schools aren’t looking good either. Or perhaps it’s just symbolic of the divide in the US between on one hand those of us who are excited about the incredible potential of web services to enable personal creativity and on-demand global communication and on the other hand those who believe that the internet is just a series of tubes.

I’m not the best person to analyze this though. Here’s who I recommend:

  • Declan McCullagh at ZDNet has posted a very thorough background article on DOPA.
  • Andy Carvin writes Learning Now, a blog about education and technology for PBS, and has set up a page called DOPAWatch to aggregate blog posts on the topic.
  • danah boyd is probably the web’s leading expert in analyzing the politics of MySpace and youth social networking.
  • Will Richardson’s Weblogg-Ed is a great source for all things Learning 2.0
  • Vicki A. Davis is a Christian school teacher in Georgia who uses blogs, wikis, podcasting and more in her classrooms. Vicki has written a number of powerful posts on DOPA and I would expect she’ll have something to say in the morning.

Tame the Web points to Don Wood’s Tell Your Senators Why DOPA Is Bad for Libraries:

Where do you stand?

Author: Paloma Cruz

Find out more about Paloma Cruz through the About page. Connect with her on Twitter ( and (Facebook).

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