FEPP Archives - Issues - Internet
Paper To The National Research Council: Identifying What Is Harmful
or Inappropriate for Minors
(March 5, 2001) - Have adverse effects from pornography
been scientifically identified? Or is the issue essentially one of morality
and socialization of youth? This White Paper, submitted to the National
Research Council's Committee on "Tools and Strategies for Protecting
Kids from Pornography and Their Applicability to Other Inappropriate Internet
Content," points out that there are non-censorial approaches to concerns
about kids' access to pornography - such as media literacy and comprehensive
sexuality education. On May 2, 2002, the NRC released a 402-page report
that largely agreed with FEPP's White Paper. Click
here for a summary.
Court Brief In "COPA" Case
(September 2001) - Four sexuality scholars' organizations,
along with the National Coalition Against Censorship, filed a brief with
the Supreme Court explaining that there is no body of scientific evidence
establishing that minors are harmed by reading or viewing sexual material.
Hence, the "Child Online Protection Act," which criminalizes
"harmful to minors" expression online, is not justified by any
compelling governmental interest. In May 2002, the Supreme Court ruled
that using the vague notion of "community standards" as part
of the definition of what is "harmful to minors" is not in itself
unconstitutional, and sent the case back to the lower courts for further
consideration. (See Supreme
Banning in the 21st Century: What's at Stake in the CIPA Case
(March 20, 2002; updated May 31, 2002, June 23, 2003) - The "Children's
Internet Protection Act" - or CIPA - mandates that all public schools
and libraries using federal funds for Internet use or connections must
install a filtering system. Given the well-documented fact that all Internet
filters mistakenly block thousands of sites that don't even have sexual
content, CIPA poses a major threat to intellectual freedom, and indeed,
to the very function of libraries.
Commentary: Our Children's Hearts, Minds, and Libidos:
What's at Stake in the COPA Case
(April 18, 2002) - Salon.com and the Kama Sutra screen saver were just a few of the sites threatened with censorship as
the Supreme Court prepared to rule in Ashcroft
Research Council Adopts FEPPs Approach to Internet and Youth
(May 2, 2002) - The NRC released a 402-page report that largely agreed
with a white paper that FEPP submitted to the Council on three crucial
issues: Internet filters, media literacy, and "harm to minors"
from sexually explicit content.
Bites the Dust
(May 31, 2002) - A federal court ruled that requiring
Internet filters in public libraries violates the First Amendment. See Ignoring the Irrationality
of Internet Filters for commentary on the Supreme Court's reversal
of this decision.
Submitted to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration
(NTIA): Internet Protection Measures and Safety Policies
(August 26, 2002) - FEPP's White Paper to the NTIA, outlining
the serious educational problems that are inherent in Internet filtering
technology, and suggesting more effective ways of addressing concerns
about minors' access to the wide variety of content on the World Wide
Web. The agency's report, released in August 2003, recognized the limits
of filtering technology as a response to concerns about minors' Web surfing,
but it also read like a sales pitch for filter manufacturers. See Government
Report a Sales Pitch for Internet Filters.
of the Court Brief in Supreme Court Internet Filtering Case by Organizations
Concerned About the Digital Divide
(February 10, 2003) - FEPP filed a brief on behalf of Partnership
For Progress on the Digital Divide, Harlem Live, and other organizations
arguing that the "Children's Internet Protection Act," which
forces libraries to install Internet filters on all computers, worsens
the digital divide and thus relegates many Americans to second-class information
the Irrationality of Filters, the Supreme Court Upholds CIPA
(June 24, 2003) - The Supreme Court's decision allowing
Congress to mandate Internet filters in public libraries as a condition
of federal aid ignores or understates the massive censorious effects of
filters. In many ways, they are more insidious than flat bans on "indecent"
Government Report is a Sales Pitch for Internet Filters
(August 20, 2003) - The National Telecommunications and
Information Administration's flawed August 2003 report naively accepts
the claims of filter manufacturers.
Court Stops File-Sharing Subpoenas
(December 19, 2003) - The D.C. Circuit's decision bars the recording industry
from forcing ISPs to reveal the names of subscribers for whom they simply
transmit e-mail or provide Internet conections; but it may provide only
temporary relief to those who share music online.
Ain't Over Till It's Over
(April 8, 2004) - A new lawsuit spotlights thousands
of copyright "orphans" that should be in the public domain.
Wrong With Censoring Youth?
(April 19, 2004) - Law professor Kevin Saunders' new book
proposes radical restrictions on minors' First Amendment rights.
Right Result; the Wrong Reason
(July 1, 2004) - In ruling that Internet filters are a
"less restrictive alternative" to COPA, a criminal law restricting sexual
material online, the Supreme Court endorsed a technology with the potential
for far greater censorship.
Court Upholds File Sharing
(August 20, 2004) - Rejecting industry
arguments, judges say that the technology has important legitimate uses.
Filters Are Now a Fact of Life
(September 2, 2004) - But a new guide for libraries explains
that some are far worse than others.
Free Expression Issues
(September 10, 2004) - How the copyright system, media
regulation, and government funding affect free speech.