US Senate moves to ban bomb info on Web

Move threatens freedom of information, critics say

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The US Senate is the middle of political minefield that could blow the First Amendment wide apart if it succeeds in banning the publication of bomb making information on the Net. Two senators from either side of the political divide joined forces yesterday to add an amendment to the Violent and Repeat Juvenile Offender Accountability and Rehabilitation Act. The amendment was voted in with a majority of 85 to 13. If made law the bill would force Net companies to provide users with software to filter out bomb-making material and bring the sale of explosives and guns in line with existing laws. According a report by CNET, the bill would outlaw the publication of material if there was an "intent" to use the information to commit a federal crime. While the new law would apply to any form of publication, most people agree that it is the threat posed by the Net that politicians fear most. Much has been made of the killings at Columbine High School, Littleton, Colorado following witness reports that the perpetrators used the Web to research and plan the slaughter. Public opinion appears to favour some form of regulation, a move that has been backed by politicians including those at the very summit of government. Vice President Al Gore recently called upon industry leaders to support his "One Click Away" programme that would provide a safer environment for children online. But advocates of free speech have condemned the moves for tighter regulation and in particular have warned that yesterday's amendment may well be illegal. "There are serious constitutional questions about regulating information about making bombs," said Lance Rose, author of NetLaw. "If this law is passed and it survives any constitutional challenges, there will be a fundamental proposition that you can regulate bomb information at least sometimes," he told CNET. Victims of bombings yesterday called upon leading Internet companies to purge the Net of all references to bomb making on the Net. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story


Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.