Monday, October 6, 2008

Senate Calls for FCC to Consider Content-Blocking Technologies: The Child Safe Viewing Act

October 2, 2008 4:46 PM PDT
Senate calls for FCC to consider
content-blocking technologies

Posted by Stephanie Condon

The Senate on Wednesday unanimously voted in favor of providing parents with more control over the content their children receive through various technologies.

The Child Safe Viewing Act, introduced last year by Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., requires the Federal Communications Commission to issue a notice of inquiry to examine what advanced content-blocking technologies are available for various communication devices and platforms. It also calls for the FCC to consider how to develop and deploy such technologies without affecting content providers' pricing or packaging.

The bill defines "advanced blocking technologies" as technology that enables parents to protect their children from "indecent or objectionable video or audio programming, as determined by the parent, that is transmitted through the use of wire, wireless, or radio communication."

The legislation still must go through the House of Representatives before being sent to the president.

While the bill does not empower the FCC to do anything other than to produce a report on its findings for Congress, it is one of a handful of steps Congress has taken in recent weeks to address threats new technologies can expose children to.


  1. The framers of the Constitution undoubtedly did not intend for the First Amendment to protect rampant obscenity such as is invading our culture. While there is a legitimate concern in regard to limiting any freedom of speech, the pornography industry's stunning abuse of that freedom has driven us to considering ways to protect our freedom while at the same time limiting abuses of it. We must create laws to limit obscenity, including obscenity in our public libraries. If the ALA can't understand the need for this, then we need our legislators to provide this protection.
    -- Dr. John P. Splinter, St. Louis, MO

  2. Thank you for the thought provoking comment. Let me know of any more thoughts you may have and if you yourself take any action along the lines you suggest. If you would like, I'll publish your writing on my blog as a separate blog post and you can use that to your benefit.

    Let me say that often communities have the tools needed regarding public libraries already in place but they do not use them. Indeed they may not even be aware of them. Such is the effectiveness of propaganda campaigns like Banned Books Week.


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