This posting is maintained for historical purposes only.

SafeSurf Press Release

Supreme Court Finds SafeSurf’s Solution is Better than COPA

Washington D.C. – SafeSurf, the premier online rating organization, applauded the Supreme Court for its recent ruling in the Internet pornography case, Ashcroft v. ACLU, because the High Court concluded that Internet filtering solutions, such as those originally proposed by SafeSurf over nine years ago, are a better way to proceed than the government restrictions imposed under the Child Online Protection Act (COPA).

Since 1995, SafeSurf has lead the way in advocating the use of self-rating and filtering software as the way to prevent Internet pornography from reaching children.  This Internet family organization eloquently articulated the rights of the Online World in The Declaration of an Independent Internet, published on July 4, 1995.  SafeSurf has worked with a myriad of companies and organizations such as Microsoft, Netscape, IBM, Net Nanny, Cyberpatrol, the World Wide Web Consortium, and the PICS Consortium to develop and implement a system that protects children though a system of cooperative Web publishing, where Web sites self-rate their content and individual families use filtering software.

Justice Kennedy, in his majority opinion for the Supreme Court, made the follow statements concerning Internet filtering alternatives versus the Child Online Protection Act:

"Filters may well be more effective than COPA."

"Above all, promoting the use of filters does not condemn as criminal any category of speech, and so the potential chilling effect is eliminated, or at least much diminished."

"That filtering software may well be more effective than COPA is confirmed by the findings of the Commission on Child Online Protection, a blue-ribbon commission created by Congress in COPA itself."  (Note: SafeSurf testified before this Commission on July 20, 2000.)

"Indeed, we know that..a congressionally appointed commission issued a report that found that filters are more effective than verification screens."

"On this record, the Government has not shown that the less restrictive alternatives proposed by respondents should be disregarded.  Those alternatives, indeed, may be more effective than the provisions of COPA."

Ruling that the filtering & labeling alternatives are both, more effective and less restrictive, than the regulations imposed under COPA, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower courts in Philadelphia for further review.

"This decision has revealed that the High Court has seen the wisdom in protecting the Internet from govermental censorship and in enabling parental discretion through an intelligent filtering and labeling system," asserted SafeSurf Chairman Ray Soular.


Back to History