February 17, 2018

DOPA Passes House by Wide Margin; ALA Dismayed

By LJ Staff

The opposition of the American Library Association to H.R. 5319, the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) apparently made little impression on those in the House of Representatives, as they voted 410-15 yesterday to endorse the bill. "This unnecessary and overly broad legislation will hinder students’ ability to engage in distance learning and block library computer users from accessing a wide array of essential Internet applications including instant messaging, email, wikis and blogs," said ALA president Leslie Burger. "Under DOPA, people who use library and school computers as their primary conduits to the Internet will be unfairly blocked from accessing some of the web’s most powerful emerging technologies and learning applications. 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." DOPA would extend CIPA by tying receipt of E-rate funds to blocking social networking and other sites. The legislation now will go to the Senate, which ALA said may or may not have time to vote before their session ends for the year.