The New NannyState

Apparently, some members of Congress were so impressed by John Edward’s “fictional campaign pledge(John Edwards Vows To End All Bad Things By 2011)”:http://www.theonion.com/content/news/john_edwards_vows_to_end_all_bad, that they are going ahead and planning to enact the measures now. The House of Representatives is going to focus on file-sharing.
bq.Members of Congress Monday lashed out at the chief executive of a popular filesharing service after it was revealed that classified information was easily accessible via his and other P2P systems. Mark Gorton, chief executive of The Lime Group and Limewire P2P service, however, appeared bewildered that people were using Limewire to access confidential information. “I had no idea that there was the amount of classified information out there or that there were people who were actively looking for that,” Gorton told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. – “Chloe Albanesius(House Targets Limewire on Leaked Classified Info)”:http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2162599,00.asp Rather than curb the behavior of government employees, it makes much more sense to regulate or even ban the software. Of course, The Senate isn’t going to settle for one class of application when there is a more obvious target.
bq.US senators today made a bipartisan call for the universal implementation of filtering and monitoring technologies on the Internet in order to protect children at the end of a Senate hearing for which civil liberties groups were not invited. Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Vice Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) both argued that Internet was a dangerous place where parents alone will not be able to protect their children. – “Adam Thomas(US Senators call for universal Internet filtering)”:http://pressesc.com/news/78225072007/us-senators-call-universal-internet-filtering Perhaps it is time to look back on how the Supreme Court felt a decade ago.
bq.The record demonstrates that the growth of the Internet has been and continues to be phenomenal. As a matter of constitutional tradition, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we presume that governmental regulation of the content of speech is more likely to interfere with the free exchange of ideas than to encourage it. The interest in encouraging freedom of expression in a democratic society outweighs any theoretical but unproven benefit of censorship. – “John Paul Stevens(RENO, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, et al. v. AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION et al.)”:http://www2.epic.org/cda/cda_decision.html This is no more constitutional than it was a decade ago. And interestingly, the two Justices who had the most reservations about the decision then (O’Connor and Rehnquist) are not even on the Court. But let’s hope we don’t go through all of this again.