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Judge Strikes Down COPA, 1998 Online Porn Law 348

Posted by kdawson
from the one-for-free-speech dept.
Begopa sends in word that a federal judge has struck down the Child Online Protection Act. The judge said that parents can protect their children through software filters and other less restrictive means that do not limit others' rights to free speech. This was the case for which the US Department of Justice subpoenaed several search companies for search records; only Google fought the order. The case has already been to the Supreme Court. Senior U.S. District Judge Lowell Reed Jr. wrote in his decision: "Perhaps we do the minors of this country harm if First Amendment protections, which they will with age inherit fully, are chipped away in the name of their protection."
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Judge Strikes Down COPA, 1998 Online Porn Law

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  • by Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:06AM (#18443499) Homepage
    he is saying they won't be children forever, and that the 1st amendment protections everyone enjoys shouldn't be reduced because of them.
  • by prichardson (603676) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:07AM (#18443515) Journal
    He's saying it's more important for the children, when they grow up, to have full first-amendment rights. Basically he's shooting down the ye olde thinkofthechildren argument.
  • Re:Props (Score:2, Informative)

    by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:08AM (#18443531) Homepage Journal
    Read the article. Google stood up against the DoJ on trade secret grounds, not privacy grounds.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:21AM (#18443741) Homepage Journal

    Heck, let's just remove all prisoner's rights, because they don't have the same rights as free citizens in our society. I like the way you think.

    Although I am wandering somewhat offtopic here, this is an excellent point for me to drag up my soapbox and make the case for ending the disenfranchisement of felons.

    America's prison population passed the two million mark back in 1992. By 2001, one in 37 adult Americans had been in prison [cnn.com] for some period of time (including those who were still there.) For over a decade, sixty percent of the prison population is made up of minorities [cnn.com]. While less than one percent of the population is in prison, nearly five percent of the black population of the US is incarcerated.

    It's long past time to recognize the disenfranchisement of felons for what it is; a denial of democracy. If you take the vote away from an entire class of people, their needs and problems need not be addressed; they are effectively denied a voice in government. This becomes far easier when they are people who have been dehumanized by society.

  • by Anon-Admin (443764) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:22AM (#18443753) Homepage Journal
    As I read the article, the following jumped out at me.

    "The Web sites that challenged the law said fear of prosecution might lead them to shut down or move their operations offshore, beyond the reach of the U.S. law."

    Move their operations offshore?? We see how that worked for the casinos, They will get you when changing plains. :

    How about move it offshore, Move out of the country, and NEVER set foot on US soil again! A hard thing to do in these times. Next you know the US will divert plains and instruct them to land on US soil, just to arrest some one.

    Oh well, welcome to the Land of the Free and home of the Brave....

    Please note that the above statement predates the current laws restricting your freedom of speech, Freedom of the press and freedom to assemble(1). The restrictions on gun ownership(2), The no-knock warrants (4), Holding people with out a trial outside of the country (5,6), Setting bail above the amount a person can make in there lifetime (7), and the loss of amendments 9 and 10 after the civil war. But you are free to excersize you 3rd amendment right! "Amendment #3 No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."

    Oh, and as for the Brave part. You can not be brave and defend your self with deadly force unless you have first tried to run away and hide. If there is no where to run, then you can be brave and defend your self.

    I am all for a constitutional Tea party to show that the Americans have not lost the spirit of what was started, Just this time we should sink cigarette trucks! The Tax on them is through the roof! The government makes more from a pack of cigarettes than the cigarette companies do!

    Ok, I am going to put away my soap box and get back to work.
  • by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:22AM (#18443759) Homepage Journal
    Congress can pass any law it wants. The executive branch enforces the laws. When someone gets screwed over, the related court case has the potential to strike the law down, if it's deemed unconstitutional. (Which is, largely, a matter of whether the defendant has a good enough lawyer.)

    At least one attempt at getting a law (the DMCA) struck down prior to a citizen being charged was dismissed because, in the judge's eyes, said citizen wasn't then under threat of being charged. As I recall, that had to do with some academic researcher whose research was made illegal, or at least part of a gray area, by the DMCA.
  • Old quote (Score:5, Informative)

    by theonetruekeebler (60888) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:23AM (#18443779) Homepage Journal
    That quote about First Amendment rights being "chipped away", is from Reed's opinion in ACLU v. Reno, 31 F. Supp. 2d 473 [epic.org], issued in 1999.
  • by Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @10:30AM (#18443873) Homepage
    that thinking would still have us with segregated schools, if a law is unconstitutional it is the duty of the judiciary to rule against it.
  • by Qzukk (229616) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:52AM (#18445249) Journal
    I located the actual court decision [uscourts.gov].

    In the case, the ACLU sued in a civil action for an injunction against enforcement of the law on the basis that it was unconstitutional. The government waived a jury trial, and after finding of fact, the judge granted the injunction. The media grabbed the ball and ran with it.

    I still want to know what you think the "role" of judges are, though, even if the judge didn't "strike down" the law.
  • by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Thursday March 22, 2007 @02:34PM (#18448339) Homepage Journal
    Bush has the power to ignore the laws, but not the right. Because he's in charge of the branch that enforces laws, he can de facto pick and choose what laws to enforce. However, doing so is a breach of constitutional law, and Congress has the power to impeach him for it.

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