All bloggers are sexual predators!

For some time, I've been worried about a convergence in hysteria between Luddites who believe the Internet is "seductive," and people who use children and sex as an excuse to crack down on whatever they don't like.

My fear is that the real target is (or will be) the blogosphere, and unfortunately (via Raw Story) I see my dark suspicions confirmed by a bill which would require public libraries to block access to blogs:

"When children leave the home and go to school or the public library and have access to social-networking sites, we have reason to be concerned," Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican, told CNET in an interview.

Fitzpatrick and fellow Republicans, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert, on Wednesday endorsed new legislation (click here for PDF) that would cordon off access to commercial Web sites that let users create public "Web pages or profiles" and also offer a discussion board, chat room, or e-mail service.

That's a broad category that covers far more than social-networking sites such as Friendster and Google's It would also sweep in a wide range of interactive Web sites and services, including, AOL and Yahoo's instant-messaging features, and Microsoft's Xbox 360, which permits in-game chat.

Fitzpatrick's bill, called the Deleting Online Predators Act, or DOPA, is part of a new, poll-driven effort by Republicans to address topics that they view as important to suburban voters. Republican pollster John McLaughlin polled 22 suburban districts and presented his research at a retreat earlier this year. Rep. Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican, is co-sponsoring the measure.

That means children -- and, apparently, all public library users -- would no longer be allowed to read many of the best blogs in the blogosphere.

I thought they only blocked blogs in places like China.

And I once thought Republicans were supposed to be the party of small government.

I'm sorry to say that the last sentence looks like satire. (Or some sick idea of a joke.)


I guess I could always change my registration back to Democrat.

Nah, then I couldn't be a RINO anymore.

(I'll just keep calling myself a "Goldwater liberal.")

UPDATE: Liz at "I Speak of Dreams" has a very informative post with a lot more information about this awful proposal. (Apparently, the thinking is that this will help Republicans win in November. I think it will help guarantee a loss either way.)

UPDATE: My thanks to Wonkette for the link!

posted by Eric on 05.12.06 at 11:24 AM


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It's time for the latest carnival of the Raging RINOs. Unfortunately for me, later this week I will be marking my 39th birthday (for the first time). If turning 40 is the alarm going off, then 39 is hitting the "snooze" button. I volunteered to host th... [Read More]
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Ok, so now you know that 99% of Congress is incapable of any kind of thought. But do not let that affec YOU! Consider: if this is law, what part in 'public library' is still 'public'? And is the enforcement of this the task of librarians or police officers?

Rik   ·  May 12, 2006 12:02 PM

I know Wikipedia "let[s] users create public "Web pages or profiles"" So does Come to think of it, how many websites can you think of that don't let you make your own profile in a message board somewhere or other?

Adam   ·  May 12, 2006 10:10 PM

It's part of a larger Republican effort to win voters in contested/swing districts in suburban areas.

Details (and links to the underlying documents) here

Liz   ·  May 13, 2006 12:14 PM

I have to admit, I felt a certain anxiety when some kids showed up to comment on a Harry Potter quiz result post I'd made. I thought, how will their parents react if they go through a few more clicks and get to my sexuality category?

Having all blogs blocked from public libraries is going way too far, though.

Lynn Gazis-Sax   ·  May 14, 2006 1:30 AM

Frankly, I don't want kids commenting on my blog, any more than I would want them calling me on the phone. But how the hell am I to know someone's age? Do I have a duty to the world to control other people's children? Isn't that a parental responsibility?

Eric Scheie   ·  May 14, 2006 10:17 AM

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