Feds can't make up their mind regarding Internet filtering
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
In case you haven't been following the issue, the federal government
can't make up its mind regarding Internet filtering. On the one hand,
government attorneys vigorously argued for Internet filtering
part of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2004:
A library's use of
filtering software to block material covered by CIPA is constitutional.
The district court itself found that filtering software is a reasonably
effective way to block pornographic material, and that such material falls
outside of a public library's traditional collection boundaries.
The district court's finding that filtering software erroneously blocks
some constitutionally protected speech does not undermine the reasonableness
of their use.
In contrast, federal attorneys have attacked software filters as burdensome and ineffective in their attempts to defend the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), which keeps getting blocked by federal courts:
The court of appeals also erred in holding that filtering software
is a sufficient alternative to COPA's mandatory screening requirement. Filtering
software is not nearly as effective as COPA's screening requirement in shielding
minors from commercial domestic pornography on the Web. Filtering software
is voluntary, while COPA's screening requirement is mandatory. Filtering
software also blocks some sites that are not harmful; it fails to block
some sites that are harmful; it can be expensive for parents to purchase;
and it quickly becomes outdated. Congress also did not view mandatory screening
and blocking software as an either or choice. It mandated screening and
encouraged the use of blocking software as well. That combined approach
is far more effective than the use of voluntary blocking software alone.
The stories we tell define history. So who gets the mic in America?
- History is written by lions. But it's also recorded by lambs.
- In order to understand American history, we need to look at the events of the past as more prismatic than the narrative given to us in high school textbooks.
- Including different voices can paint a more full and vibrant portrait of America. Which is why more walks of American life can and should be storytellers.
A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.
Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you.
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
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