Internet filtering law approved by Senate Committee
Submitted by Adam Thomas on Fri, 2007-08-03 14:17.
United States Senate Commerce Committee today passed a bill that would require the to review, within one year of enactment, technology that can help parents manage the vast volume of video and other content on television or the Internet, just a week after Senators made a bipartisan call to implement universal filtering on the Internet.
Free speech groups including the Center for Democracy and Technology expressed concerned that Child Safe Viewing Act of 2007 (S. 602) may represent a step toward expanding the FCC's censorship authority to include Internet content.
"It’s an uphill battle for parents trying to protect their kids from viewing inappropriate programming. I believe there is a whole new generation of technology that can provide an additional layer of help for these parents,” the bill's sponsor Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AK) said. “My bill simply lights a fire under the FCC to take a fresh look at new options in the marketplace.”
Within 120 days of the Act becoming law, the FCC will be required to "initiate a proceeding to consider measures to encourage or require the use of advanced blocking technologies that are compatible with various communications devices or platforms."
The law stipulates that FCC's advanced blocking technologies would extend to "a wide variety of distribution platforms, including wired, wireless, and Internet platforms.
Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Vice Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who is currently mired in a corruption scandal, is a major proponent of Internet filtering.
"Given the increasingly important role of the Internet in education and commerce, it differs from other media like TV and cable because parents cannot prevent their children from using the Internet altogether," Sen. Stevens said. "The headlines continue to tell us of children who are victimized online. While the issues are difficult, I believe Congress has an important role to play to ensure that the protections available in other parts of our society find their way to the Internet."