The obligatory DOPA post

I haven’t posted about DOPA (Deleting Online Predators Act, another victory for the Congressional Acronym Formation Office) for the same reason I don’t post about most political/congressional issues: Too many other people do it, and they do it a whole lot better than I ever could. And sometimes I’m not even sure as to what tack to take.

While other reasons apply, the last one doesn’t this time. DOPA is a thoroughly bad idea. The 410-to-15 House vote is astonishing. I was hoping I could say “my congressperson Zoe Lofgren was of course one of the sensible 15,” along with Mike Honda of San Jose. Unfortunately, duh, Zoe Lofgren isn’t my congressperson. Anna Eshoo, who damn well should know better, is.

Sure, this legislation was rushed through; that’s the way it is with Bills To Support The GOP’s Fall Agenda–in this case, scaring people to death of all those Online Predators Out To Get Your Kids. As we know, “Protect the children!” as an excuse for overreaching legislation that restricts reasonable liberties is right up there with “There’s a war on!”

For those legislators who paid any attention (and I won’t go there), I’m sure they heard loud and clear that opposition to DOPA would result in loud cries of “Your Congresscritter Encourages Pedophiles and Protects Perverts!” from the hard-line operatives in their district. It’s tough to fight that kind of stuff from the “family” organizations and elsewhere.

The truth–that DOPA potentially makes libraries the least useful place to use the internet, because so much of the internet (probably including this site) would be blocked–involves thought, demonstration, facts. “We must protect the children!” just requires shouting.

Senators have one big advantage: Two-thirds of them are not up for re-election in November. Whether that’s enough of an advantage to overcome the Protect-the-Children-at-All-Costs brigade is another question. I’m guessing, unfortunately, that California’s senators will split on this one–at least I’m hoping that Barbara Boxer knows better.

It’s thoroughly bad legislation. And you can find more about it at all the usual places and some others, so many that I won’t provide links.

Now, back to my usual apolitical stance. Sigh.

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