Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006

The Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006 (DOPA) is a bill (H.R. 5319) brought before the United States House of Representatives on May 9, 2006 by Republican Pennsylvania Representative (R-PA) Mike Fitzpatrick. The bill, if enacted, would amend the Communications Act of 1934, requiring schools and libraries that receive E-rate funding to protect minors from online predators in the absence of parental supervision when using "Commercial Social Networking Websites" and "Chat Rooms". The bill would prohibit schools and libraries from providing access to these types of websites to minors or create restrictions to use of these type of sites. The bill also would require the institutions to be capable of disabling the restrictions for "use by an adult or by minors with adult supervision to enable access for educational purposes."

The bill is considered controversial because according to its critics the bill could limit access to a wide range of websites, including many with harmless and educational material. Arguments for the bill focus on the fear of adults contacting children on MySpace and similar websites. Many Internet websites, however (ranging from Yahoo to Slashdot to Amazon.com), allow user accounts, public profiles, and user forums, in accord with the bill's definition of "social networking". The bill places the onus upon the Federal Communications Commission to provide clarification.

Read more about Deleting Online Predators Act Of 2006:  History of The Deleting Online Predators Act, Controversy

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... upon directly blocking and prosecuting predators as well as providing tools to educate children on how to avoid dangers—noting that most Internet access, especially to social networking sites ... Education and prevention programs regarding predators and social networking could help reduce the rate of sexual assaults overall—whether over the ... Internet Safety Survey suggested that fewer children are actually being sexually solicited online in 2005 than in 1999, hypothesizing that those who encountered solicitations knew better now to rebuff or ...

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