My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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DOPA passed

When i expressed my concern over DOPA, everyone told me i was being paranoid, that it would never pass, that it was too absurd. DOPA passed. By a 410-15 vote. Dear god.

For those who want to know more about MySpace and DOPA, please check out the discussion between me and Henry Jenkins.

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10 comments to DOPA passed

  • Holy crap. yeah this totally sucks.

    Hey — venice, CA or italy?
    if you come to L.A. come by buzznet 🙂

  • This is really sad.

    Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) had a great floor speech attacking the bill if someone can find it.

    I hope to post something about taking action on this (so that it doesn’t pass the Senate.)

  • (Found Congressman Inslee’s remaks from 7/26/06 via http://thomas.loc.gov)

    Mr. INSLEE. Mr. Speaker, I hate to spoil this garden party, but this is not, in truth, suburban legislation, it is substandard legislation. And the reason for that is that it is, in effect, a good press release, but it is not effective legislation addressing a huge problem threatening our children.

    The reason I say that is, after sitting through many hearings in the Commerce Committee about this enormous problem, I reached one conclusion. After listening to those thousands of children who are being abused on these horrendous occasions across this country, I concluded that this legislation would not save one single child one single time.

    What we learned is that the problem is not in our schools. These kids are not hanging in the library with these sexual predators. They are hanging around in their dens, in their basements, in their living rooms, and in their upstairs bedrooms. That is where we have to get to the problem.

    If you look at the problem here on this chart, only 10 percent of the abused kids are online and hardly any of them from schools. A tiny, tiny, infinitesimal portion. This will not solve the problem.

    Now, there are things we can do, but, unfortunately, this legislation doesn’t do a single one of them. I used to prosecute cases, so I know a little bit about law enforcement. I raised three kids, so I know a little bit about the terror of worrying about your children. But what this legislation does not do is the three things we need to do.

    Number one, we have to give resources to law enforcement to prosecute these horrendous monsters. We had detective after detective come to our hearings and say, give us some money; we can prosecute these people. This doesn’t give them a penny.

    Number two, we need to protect the data. What the detectives told us is that this data, once it disappears, they can’t find the culprits. Now we could require the data to be maintained for a year or two, like we are trying to do. This bill doesn’t do that.

    Third, what this bill could do is provide some real meaningful tools for our schools to educate our children on how to avoid these monsters on the Internet. This doesn’t do that.

    The three effective things that we could do to really save our kids is not done in this legislation.

    Now, why is this such a pathetic wave at trying to do something? Why has Congress failed so miserably here? There is a reason for that. The reason is we want press releases, without having to do the hard work to do legislation. That is why we didn’t go through the Commerce Committee to have a markup on this bill so they could rush this thing to the floor and have their suburban agenda.

    Well, speaking as a parent who represents 650,000 people, and probably 200,000 parents in suburbia, I think suburban parents, urban parents, rural parents, big-city parents and little-city parents deserve real legislation to stomp out the monstrosity that is going on on the Internet and not these little press releases. We can’t go home and just say that we are heroes without having really done something.

    When I go home, I am going to tell my constituents that, yes, maybe there are some headlines, but there wasn’t real relief. And I look forward to the day when this Congress gets down to the nitty-gritty and really does something about this terrible problem.

  • B

    I’m sad for you.
    Nothing to say: here to a stupid law passed, and most (state sponsored) digital research is illegal now. . .

  • Egads, more indications what these folks don’t live in the same world as the rest of us. And yet they are charged with helping guide the nation through real world challenges.

    How do they expect this to work in practice, is it simply the threat of litigation that will supposedly make the world safer for young people?

  • This is awful. If there’s any good place for students to access these sites, it’s at school where their instructors can educate them on healthy internet use.

  • “sign, sign, everywhere a sign, clogging up the scenery…”, just another ‘law,’ waiting//instigating for the day when they all fall! (if it ever will?)

  • This is a trojan horse bill to restrict free speech and the right to free association. Citizens use social networks to organize and communicate, and this bill restricts just that. It’s a sad day.

  • Do you mind if I post a link to this in the academics_anon community on LiveJournal? After a lot of reaction to an alarmist entry about DOPA, I think they could stand to hear from someone who deals with the related phenomena on a regular basis.

  • Holy crap! It is election year and they need to show that they did something to get rid of MySpace problems. The problem is this is a horrible piece of legislation that has as much more impact on any of us working in this community space. It is as boneheaded as the Patriot Act and the Digital Right Millenium Act.

    It is poorly informed and money greedy politians that are afraid of standing up to the fear mongers who paint with thick moralistic swipes covering over humanity.

    The Senate is not going to stop this and I don’t see anybody fighting against this bullshit. We believe this won’t happen as it is so badly understood, but unfortunately those in Congress are not the most informed people and they don’t have the staff that have the time or resources that can dig into this to do it justice. It is the same mentality that would vote yes on the atomic bomb again to go home to their district and state to say they did something about ending the war.