ALA Opposes “Deleting Online Predators Act”


Bernadette Murphy

Communications Specialist

ALA Washington

202-628-8410 ext. 236

For Immediate Release

May 15, 2006

ALA Opposes "Deleting Online Predators Act"

Bill would extend reach of Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) by blocking access to collaborative networking sites

(WASHINGTON) The following is a statement from ALA President Michael Gorman:

"This week Reps. Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Kirk (R-IL) introduced legislation that, if passed, would expand provisions of CIPA, the law that requires libraries to block certain Internet content or lose federal funding.

If passed, H.R. 5319 - the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA)- would block library computer users from accessing collaborative networking sites like MySpace, and would also bar access to a wide array of other important applications and technologies such as instant messaging, e-mail, wikis and blogs.

As libraries are already required to block content that is 'harmful to minors' under the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), DOPA is redundant and unnecessary legislation. Further, the proposed law would block access to some of the Internet’s most powerful emerging technologies and learning applications, essentially stifling library users’ ability to participate fully in the educational opportunities the Internet offers.

The library community is concerned with the need to protect children from online predators. We know that best way to protect children is to teach them to guard their privacy and make wise choices. To this end, libraries across the country offer instruction on safe Internet use.

We ask librarians and library users to call their Members of Congress and encourage them to oppose H.R. 5319."