Home > News > Wall Street Journal Holds Debate on COPA • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


Wall Street Journal Holds Debate on COPA

Wall Street Journal Holds Debate on COPA
Get XBIZ News
Nov 12, 2006 5:00 AM PST    Text size: 
NEW YORK — With lawyers for the ACLU and the Department of Justice squaring off in a U.S. District Court in Philadelphia for the trial to determine the constitutionality of the 1998 Child Online Protection Act (COPA), the Wall Street Journal recently asked whether more laws were needed to protect children on the Internet?

To answer the question, the newspaper invited a child protection advocate and a 1st Amendment lawyer to debate the merits of the law that — if enforced — would require adults to use access codes or credit cards to verify their age on websites displaying material considered to be “harmful to children.”

Noted 1st Amendment attorney John Morris, who led the successful legal challenge to defeat the Communications Decency Act, a COPA predecessor, made the case that COPA, which also imposes a $50,000 fine and six-month prison sentence for webmasters who fail to comply, should be declared unconstitutional. Opposing Morris in the email exchange, Richard Whidden of the National Law Center for Children and Families, argued in favor of the law.

Whidden began the dialogue by saying that despite the use of filtering technology to protect children online, the incidence of kids being exposed to adult content on the Internet continues to rise.

“Clearly, the experiment of filtering advocated by some is not the panacea in protecting the innocence of children from unwanted exposure to sexual material or unwanted solicitations,” Whidden said. “We must go beyond filters and laying the burden solely on parents. Government, parents and the Internet industry should take another hard look at protecting children online and provide law enforcement the tools to investigate and bring to justice child predators and child pornographers.”

While Morris agreed that protecting children online was of critical importance, he took a more pragmatic approach to COPA.

“A majority of the sexual content on the Internet is outside of the U.S. and thus beyond the effective reach of U.S. law,” he said. “The most effective way to protect kids online is for parents to use filtering tools, which guard against sexual content wherever it is located.”

To read a full copy of the email dialogue, click here.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


Retailers Talk BDSM Shopping Trends

These days, BDSM is so mainstream that it is being depicted in everything from beer commercials to telenovelas. Floggers, paddles, ball gags and handcuffs were once considered the bad boys of adult retail;... More »

Specialty Manufacturers Talk Popularity of Handcrafted BDSM Gear

The proverbial cat is out of the bag for fetishes — and the dog, and the dragon, and a whole other slew of kink accessories that put blindfolds and handcuffs to shame. “Fifty Shades”... More »

Mainstreaming of BDSM Broadens Category, Consumer Reach

It’s been just more than 30 years since Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke lit the silver screen on fire in “9 ½ Weeks” with the film’s underlying themes of BDSM. And more than... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.


XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida

XShow 18+ 2017

Jun 01 - Jun 03
Moscow, Russia

Cam Summit

Jun 02 - Jun 04
Lloret de Mar, Spain
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!