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« DOPA opposition letter | Main | Advice to vendors »
Thursday
May112006

Doin' something about DOPA

Last I checked,  these are among our Web 2.0 ed tech pundits who have weighed in about proposed federal legislation to block student access to social networking sites.

And others I’m sure I’ve missed.

Here is my challenge to each of you serious, influential, and well-meaning people. Please serve as a positive example by:

  1. Letting everyone know what professional organization(s) you belong to which will provide organized lobbying against such legislation. I belong to MEMO at the state level and am the legislative chair. I belong to ISTE at the federal level and serve on the board.
  2. Sharing the sample letter you will be writing to your House representatives explaining why such legislation is wrong. I am guessing most of us faithful readers already are in your camp. I am working on mine tonight and will post it tomorrow.
  3. Passing along any other actions readers might take to actually influence this process.
I look forward to reading your blogs.

 

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References (8)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: Nevermind MySpace
  • Response
    Once again, Congress is rushing to give the appearance of protecting us from the big scary internet. This time, it's the Deleting Online Predators Act -- the aptly named DOPA. Some day, Congress is going to realize that blocking sites isn't the way to
  • Response
    Response: Update on DOPA
    A couple days ago, I wrote about this DOPA bill being pushed through Congress. I Speak of Dreams has a great entry that compiles what a lot of the information concerning this particular bill. This definitely seems to be one of the topics that is really
  • Response
    Response: MySapce & DOPA
     Bill # is HR 5319 IH  Text of proposed bill Also located here. 5/9/2006 Referred...
  • Response
    In response to Doug Johnson's call for letters, here is my letter to my local representative. Thanks to Doug (for the first real comment on this blog, no less) and to others, including Will's wiki letter for the inspiration in getting this young teacher
  • Response
    Response: Update on DOPA
    A couple days ago, I wrote about this DOPA bill being pushed through Congress. I Speak of Dreams has a great entry that compiles what a lot of the information concerning this particular bill. This definitely seems to be one of the topics that is really
  • Response
    In response to Doug Johnson's call for letters, here is my letter to my local representative. Thanks to Doug (for the first real comment on this blog, no less) and to others, including Will's wiki letter for the inspiration in getting this young teacher
  • Response
    Response: this is very good
    this is related article

Reader Comments (3)

Doug, this is step one of the Republicans' "Suburban Agenda". More points on the agenda (some great, some troubling) on my blog

http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2006/05/quick_call_your.html
May 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Ditz
Doug et al. -- I had the exact same thoughts about meaningful action when I first read about DOPA last night. I'll be drafting my letter this afternoon, and everyone is invited to my place (link below) later to have a look.

Couple other things to keep in mind:
(1) Offering positive alternatives to DOPA is also important. Don't just tell your representative how bad the bill is -- make suggestions as to what will really work, like increased access to good resources for learning about social software (Educause has great free stuff to that end).
(2) I've heard that calling your representative is a lot more effective than writing. I hate talking on the phone, but those less phone-phobic might think about that.

You know what the real irony of the Suburban Agenda is? I'm a suburbanite, parent of a young child, and lifelong Republican voter who thinks this is the stupidest idea I've seen in a long time, and the Repubs may well lose my vote if they keep stuff like this up!
May 12, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRobert
I work for a group called Mobilizing America’s Youth (Mobilize.org) and this bill (HR 5319) is one of our top priorities. This bill was written by people who do not use social networks on a regular basis. They don’t understand what an important tool they are becoming for the youth of America to connect to one another. We are working to organize yung people from across the country to write to congress and the media informing them of our opinions on social networks. We DON’T support online predators, and recognize the good intent at the heart of the bill bu feel this is the wrong way to go about it.

This bill is also unfair to many economically disadvantaged youth. For these students, their only access to computers and the internet is at schools or libraries. Their families simply cannot afford home access. Denying them the ability to use social networks in the only places they can is denying them tools the more advantaged members of their generation are using to great benefit.

As a college Senior, I have been using MySpace and Facebook to meet new people with similar interests around my school, connect with old friends and keep track of other students in my classes for studying. These sites are a wonderful way for me to connect to other people, and restricting our ability to use them is unfair.

As of right now, the bill has 30 cosigners, a number that grows daily. It is not fading away, and in fact is picking up steam. If this is an issue that matters to you, please tell your representatives about it. It is in the Telecommunications and the Internet subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

If you are interested in more information on what Mobilize.org is doing with HR 5319, please visit us at www.mobilize.org/SOS

I am so glad to see others engaging in a dialog about this!
June 26, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMandy

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