Christine Kane/Activist Post
The topic that was dangling at the forefront of most American’s minds at the end of 2011, and even seeping into the beginning of 2012, was the fate of the Internet.
The Stop Online Piracy Act, discussed further below, whipped citizens into a frenzy and led to the largest Internet-based protest to date.
In light of a slightly-reworked, renamed SOPA’s emergence, it is worth reviewing ten failed attempts by the American government to control the Internet.
1. Communications Decency Act (1996) – The portions of the Communications Decency Act that were the most controversial were the ones that attempted to regulate internet pornography; a judiciary panel stated that the bill would infringe upon First Amendment rights and the bill was squashed.
2. Child Online Protection Act (1998) – Though the Child Online Protection Act was passed in 1998, a federal injunction claiming that the language was too broad caused the law to never take effect.
3. Internet School Filtering Act (1998) – While many of the Internet School Filtering Act’s points were eventually enacted through other legislation that did pass, the original bill was struck down.
4. Deleting Online Predators Act (2006) – The Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006 would have prohibited the use of social networking sites on school or library computers; critics argued, however, that the bill would also limit access to educationally useful information, and as such the bill languished.