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May 12, 2006

US: Putting students back in the passive consumer box

Marshall Kirkpatrick writes "According to a Republican sponsored proposal in congress, children in school should only be allowed to access static web pages uploaded via FTP and without comments enabled. "Social-networking sites" broadly defined as anything with user profiles and communication between users, the ability to create a web page, etc. would be filtered by public schools or they would lose their subsidized internet access. "

He's overstating the case, as while potentially something like this could be the end result, the actual wording of the proposal is more weaselly.

(More info: here, and here.)

For example, the proposed bill is phrased in terms of reducing the risk of sexual predation; however, the definition of the types of Internet services that expose children to such risks is insanely broad:

a commercially operated Internet website that allows users to create web pages or profiles that provide information about themselves and are available to other users and offers a mechanism for communication with other users, such as a forum, chat room, email, or instant messenger.

... which covers everything from MySpace and LiveJournal, to WebCT and OSPI. In fact anything that you might use to write and discuss with.

Luckily its just those wacky Republicans in the USA that think this way ... right?

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