Tuesday, January 02, 2007
COPA: Whitelisting -- relevant to "least restrictive means" analysis?
There was a lot of talk in the COPA trial about “least restrictive means” with most attention focused on the adequacy of Web content filters and on adult-id or credit card age verifications.
Within the past year, some blogging and social networking companies have been offering and promoting a technique called “whitelisting” where the publisher provides an explicit list of entities (by email or some other scheme) allowed access (even read-only) to the material. Security and privacy are among the reasons used for whitelisting. I’ve discussed in more detail here:
Would “whitelisting” be a way of audience restriction that fits the idea of “least restrictive means” analysis? Well, one obvious problem with this is philosophical. A writer publishes something on the web in order to be found (as by search engines) by the widest possible global audience, in order to have a personal effect on the debate about various problems. That would almost defeat the purpose of having a website.
Picture: from the exhibit at St Mary's City, Maryland, one of the earliest colones