just got this through Dave Farber’s Interesting People:
ALAWON: American Library Association Washington Office Newsline
Volume 15, Number 73
July 25, 2006
In This Issue: URGENT ACTION ALERT: Call Representatives TODAY and ask them to oppose DOPA
URGENT Action Needed:
The Washington Office has learned that the House may try to expedite passage of H.R. 5319, the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA), TOMORROW, July 26th.
PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TODAY and ask that they oppose HR 5319. Capitol Switchboard number is: 202-224-3121.
DOPA is sponsored by Rep. Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and supported by the House Republican Suburban Caucus. It would require that, as a condition of receiving E-Rate support, all schools and libraries block access to social networking websites and chat rooms.
The bill raises a number of issues:
1) Local school districts and libraries should determine what content should flow into schools and libraries. Federal mandate over content control is very problematic.
2) Districts and libraries already have the power to block access to social networking sites and chat rooms and a number of them have already done so.
3) DOPA imposes yet another burden on schools and libraries participating in the E-rate and may deter many from continuing to participate.
4) This bill paints an unflattering and distorted view of the Internet as a whole, serving to scare away parents, students, teachers and librarians from making use of all its resources.
Last week, YALSA Executive Director Beth Yoke testified on DOPA before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet on DOPA. You can read her testimony here: http://www.ala.org/ala/washoff/WOissues/
And also from Andy Carvin:
The American Library Association's Washington office is reporting that the House of Representatives will likely vote on the so-called DOPA Act tomorrow. DOPA, the Deleting Online Predators Act, would force schools and libraries receiving federal Internet subsidies to block all interactive websites, including blogs, bulletin boards, email lists and online social network. It's an absurd reaction to the anti-MySpace hype that's been dominating the media in recent months, and threatens to make the Internet completely useless as an educational tool. Schools already have the ability to block inappropriate websites, and they should be the ones determining which sites are educationally relevant.
Please call your congressional representative today and tell them that you are against HR 5319, as it's officially known. The House switchboard is 202-224-3121 - just give them the name of your representative. If you don't know your representative, you can contact them online - just supply your address and it will be directed to your representative. -andy