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Hi all, I have been reading the new COPA decision.

Here is something interesting - district court findings of fact:

The District Court then found that:
[o]ne of the features of filtering programs that
adds to their effectiveness is that they have
built-in mechanisms to prevent children from
bypassing or circumventing the filters, including
password protection and other devices to prevent
children from uninstalling the product or
changing the settings.  Some products even have
a tamper detection feature, by which they can
detect when someone is trying to uninstall or
disable the product, and then cut off Internet
access altogether until it has been properly
reconfigured.  Filtering companies actively take
steps to make sure that children are not able to
come up with ways to circumvent their filters.
Filtering companies monitor the Web to identify
any methods for circumventing filters, and when
such methods are found, the filtering companies
respond by putting in extra protections in an
attempt to make sure that those methods do not
succeed with their products.
Id. at 795 (citations omitted).

The court also found that [i]t is
difficult for children to circumvent filters because of the
technical ability and expertise necessary to do so . . . .  Id.

So there you heard - from the third circuit itself - your students do not
have the technical ability or expertise to bypass your filters. Yeah right.

Fortunately not the only basis upon which the court determined COPA to be

BTW, the reason the ACLU has not been at all aggressive against some of the
concerns related to filtering - like one filtering company that has close
relations with a conservative religious organization, is that they have been
the ones who have argued that filtering is a less restrictive alternative to
this stupid criminal law.


Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge of Online Social
Aggression, Threats, and Distress (Research Press)

Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn to Use the
Internet Safely and Responsibly (Jossey-Bass)

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