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Federal law to protect children from sexual material on Internet fails

Posted in Crime Prevention January 21st, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

The Supreme Court decided today not to consider reviving the Child Online Protection Act. In addition, the Supreme Court ruled that another law intended to protect children from explicit material online, the Communications Decency Act, was unconstitutional.

The Child Online Protection Act seemed doomed from the start. Lower federal courts also struck down the law as unconstitutional. When the law was passed in 1998 it never took effect.

This law would have barred websites from making harmful content available to minors over the Internet. One of the federal appeals court in Philadelphia ruled that the law would violate the First Amendment right. It concluded that filtering technologies and other parental control tools are less restrictive ways to protect children from inappropriate content on line.

What this means to us is that we the adults, need to more carefully supervise our children when they are on the Internet. We also must educate our children about pedophiles online to make sure our kids won’t become victims.

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