A House of Representatives subcommittee is discussing legislative action which would restrict access to MySpace.com and other social-networking sights because of concern that such sites are failing to protect minors from predators and other malicious influences.
While the option of no action is still in the discussion, legislation has been proposed restricting access to social-networking sites from school and library computers or requiring third-party age verification for access.
One proposed bill, the Deleting Online Predators Act or DOPA, would not only prevent school and library access to social-networking sites such as Facebook or Livejournal, but also many other interactive websites which allow "users to create web pages or profiles."
However, the American Library Association and some Democrats don't think DOPA is the right way to handle this problem. "If the goal is protecting children and combating child exploitation, why should these requirements apply only to schools receiving e-rate funding-- the poorer schools?" says Massachusetts Democrat Representative Ed Markey.
MySpace itself has taken action to reduce concerns over inappropriate use of its site, including assigning about one-third of its employees to security and customer care and hiring former Justice Department prosecutor Hemanshu Higam as its chief security office.