Without much media fanfare, news was released this past week that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a lower court decision which killed the Child Online Protection Act of 1998. Meanwhile, as of 1/30/09, cell phones across the country became easy prey for vendors of all types, including porn producers, and the cell phone owner will be charged for every call or text message. More about cell phone porn in a minute.
The Child Online Protection Act of 1998 (COPA) was created to prevent pornography from being so easily called up on the Internet by unsuspecting minors. It would have required schools and libraries to install some security measure against online porn, and for Internet Porn distributors to ensure no access to minors. Ever since, it has been under fire by groups like the American Library Association (ALA) and the ACLU to protect free speech. In 2002, the Pennsylvania Court of Appeals decided in favor of the ALA. COPA was never enacted.
Although a New York Times editorial calls this a “Win for Free Speech” due to supposedly sweeping censorship in the wording within the Child Online Protection Act, proponents of the bill had hoped that the Supreme Court would revisit it and dole out a decision to make it legal. But the decision was that the responsibility for filtering falls within the hands of the parents.
Cell Phone Porn – Information and Action Item for Parents:
According to the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry, approximately 79% of all teens have a mobile cell phone device. And apparently, the iPhone is exceptionally ideal for viewing pornography.
Couple this with the fact that all cell phone numbers in the United States were released on Thursday, 1/30/09, to telemarketing companies. It may be possible to prevent these calls by calling the National Do Not Call List at 888-382-1222 (call must be made from the cell phone on which you wish to stop messages), or register online at https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx. If you put a hold on your number last year, that was good for only 1 year.
The National Coalition for the Protection of Children has put out a guide for parents entitled “Sex and Cell Phones: Protect Your Children”. It encourages parents to become educated to the new technology and provides suggestions for safety measures.
TO PARENTS concerned about Internet Porn and Mobile Porn: I first submitted this article to a certain Citizen Journalism blogsite as an Exclusive News Item, but it was refused on the basis of being a topic “of limited interest”, and for some reason that it should be published as a local item although these were nationwide events. Are you interested in this topic? Please leave a comment! And it would be nice if you would ask your friends with kids to come read it and get the info from the National Coalition for the Protection of Children’s website.
National Coalition for the Protection of Children: http://www.nationalcoalition.org/.
“A Win for Free Speech”, New York Times editorial: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/27/opinion/27tue2.html?_r=2&ref=opinion.
“Teenagers: A Generation Unplugged” – Survey by CTIA-The Wireless Association® and Harris Interactive, International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry: http://www.ctia.org/advocacy/research/index.cfm/AID/11483.