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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

DOPA update

This via Will Richardson

Seems that Vermont Senator Pat Leahy has agreed to slow DOPA down so to speak and that the bill is now going to the Senate Commerce Committee. Here is a list of members of that group that you might want to contact.

Why is this in the Commerce Committee? I know it relates to the FCC, but it seems that it is affecting education significantly!

Two Dumptrucks
I'm starting to feel like there are two dumptrucks headed in opposite directions down a one way street. One is right and the other is wrong, but unless one turns around both will suffer.

I have a feeling with the momentum for this bill, even though DOPA is wrong, we're going to have to put efforts into getting amendments in that make more sense.

  • We need local databases and filtering! The bill allows for unblocking when the classroom is supervised. If it is too difficult to unblock, teachers will forget it. (No FCC centralized behemoth!)
  • How about educators getting behind a massive, nonprofit, profanity blocking, teacher moderated site for social networking on educational issues? It sounds a lot like think.com although I think that blocking out the world is a mistake for such a database. I wonder if Oracle could be convinced to have an open version of think. However, if because Oracle is a commercial enterprise, I have to wonder if anything they do won't be blocked!
  • I also think 180 days is a ridiculously short length of time to sort through perhaps billions of websites!
  • No education funding for programs to teach internet safety.
  • Educators need to be involved in the FCC board that is reviewing sites.
Other glaring ommissions are there, but I covered them in my DOPA analysis.

I have to wonder if this isn't the wrong way to make teachers do the right thing.

A big ole' truck is a comin' -- do we turn or do we play chicken?

(For the good of the kids, I think it is going to have to be the former.)

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