MySpace may face legislative crackdown

by admin July 12, 2006 at 9:49 am

Politicians on Tuesday accused and other social-networking sites of failing to protect minors from sexual predators and other malign influences and said a legislative crackdown may be necessary.

During a hearing before a House of Representatives subcommittee, politicians argued over the merits of compelling schools and libraries to cordon off access to social-networking sites, requiring some form of an Internet ID that would prove a person’s age, or doing nothing at the moment.

“ has been a center of drug activity, of gang activity, and of Internet predators,” said Rep. Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican. “Isn’t it entirely appropriate that the state get involved?”

One bill introduced in May would cordon off access from schools and libraries to commercial Web sites that let users create public “Web pages or profiles” and also offer a discussion board, chat room or e-mail service.

“If we could save one child, then it’s worth it–that one child, that innocent child who may fall prey during the school hours because the legislation wasn’t enacted,” said David Zellis, an assistant district attorney in Bucks County, Penn., who testified at the hearing.

MySpace and other social-networking sites like and Facebook have come under increasing pressure from members of Congress hoping to appeal to voters before the November elections. The school and library filtering bill–called the Deleting Online Predators Act, or DOPA–is a centerpiece of a poll-driven Republican effort called the “Suburban Agenda.”

Full article: CNET