Free speech

Free speech

: CNET gives you a decent backgrounder on the coming Supreme Court ruling on the Child Online Protection Act, expected this week.

The court is expected to decide early next week whether the Child Online Protection Act violates Americans’ right to free expression on the Internet. The 1998 law, which restricts sexually explicit material deemed “harmful to minors” that appears on commercial Web sites, includes civil fines and prison terms in its provisions. COPA has been on hold during the court proceedings.

“If it’s upheld, there will be a shock wave,” said Ann Beeson, an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union who argued the case before the high court. “We’ve been assuming on the Internet that there aren’t laws like this.”

Nobody would argue that children should not be exposed to pornography (I say we should start with the horrid spam being sent to everyone in the world, including children). But, as with the FCC’s and Congress’ indecent indecency jihads, as always, the problem will be: Where’s the line and who’s drawing it? For example, is the Washington Post over the line because it reported what the Vice President of the United States said this week?

  • Not at all. That’s what the liberals wanted them to report, but as usual, it backfired, giving heart to Cheney’s fans! :)

  • CharlesWT

    Hmmm…so did the Post do Kerry a disservice when he used the same word and they called it an expletive?…

  • Brian H

    Porn is the most lucrative part of the Internet, and money dissolves everything. So don’t hold your breath (or anything else).

  • Kat

    Saying the word and showing grown men diddling little kiddies are two different things. You know that Jeff, so your argument is lame as a three legged dog. Your freedom of speech does not give grownups the right to fantasize about sodomizing kiddies and then acting out the fantasy–that is smut–not freedom of anything. Just crap. Liberwocky child abuse in the name of art. No decent being gets turned on by watching kids be assaulted . There should be zero tolerance on child porn.

  • Angelos

    OK Kat, mellow, breathe…
    You show just how little you are encumbered by logic and reason when you go on your little rant blaming liberals for child porn. Let’s not forget our friendly neighborhood “conservative” priests. Sickness knows no bounds.
    Jeff said nothing about kiddie porn. What Jeff said was “children should not be exposed to porn”.
    Two VASTLY different things.
    Porn/erotica is legal and HUGELY popular, if you hadn’t heard. And throughout history, whenever a new medium/technology was introduced, porn has been at the forefront of taking advantage of it. You know why? People like porn, and porn makes money.
    As much as the hypocritical bible-thumpers wish it away, legal, consenting-adult pornography is not going anywhere.
    What needs to stop is unfettered spam to anyone and everyone. I get 15-20 explicit, pictures and all (I have my e-mail client set to avoid downloading pictures and I block cookies), e-mails a week to my work address. And dozens of text-only ones. They’re easy enough to delete. The ones that advertise “young girls”, I peruse the text of the e-mail, to see if it’s suspicious enough to forward to the FBI (about 3 or 4 a year).
    For millions of adults and buisiness, this is a multi-billion-dollar waste of time and productivity, which whould be punished by crippling fines. When these same messages go to children, punishment should be just crippling.
    It would have been so easy to create a .xxx domain. Set a deadline of 1 year. After that, any pornography found a non-xxx domain could be immediately shut down. The prosecution of off-shore registrants would of course be a problem, but at least this would give legit companies a chance to get out of the way, and allow law-enforcement to narrow their focus.
    But if I recall, all the companies that make surf-blocking software complained that this would put tnem out of business.
    So of course, money won out again, while politicians pay lip-service to “the children”.
    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – to heck with the children. I work, I pay the the bills, I want to play my way – in short, I make the rules, children follw them. There should be no restrictions on what adults can do, because children MIGHT get exposed.
    If Kat and I want to hang out, smoking, drinking, and watching group-sex DVDs, well, we can. We’ll just send the kids out to the grandparents for the weekend. Everyone wins!

  • Kat

    Angelos–I agree with you, except to when it comes to the part that some idiot named Robin Sharpe had the Supreme Court in Canada declare his kiddie porn works of art. You know and I know that weirdos use the net to get their jollies from kids. I know parents need to be more responsible but I suppose some moms can’t pay sitters or child care so kids go on Net.
    And Angelos, I will hang out and drink but I will not watch kinky sex with you. There is something perverted–reminds me of a bunch of garter snakes in a pit all intertwined boinking each other. I don’t need smut to enjoy sex. But I won’t deny your right to it–as long as kids are not used or targetted. I was specifically referring to kiddie porn not being a right of free speech. It is a criminal act. And yes, I get that garbage spammed to my email–but I haven’t reported it because I read the title and delete. I know Jeff said children shouldn’t watch it–I don’t want kiddies being used in porn. How’d you like your daughter in that classless crap? Every girl who is exploited by the million dollar industry is someone’s daughter–and some are underage. Those are the restrictions I want to see against adults. No adult has the right to use kids for his/her sick pleasure.