Brennan Jr. Says Online Gambling Industry Should be Celebrating COPA Finding

Written by:
Payton
Published on:
Jul/27/2008

Joe Brennan, Jr. - Founder of iMEGA.org - a trade organization dedicated to the right of privacy and freedoms over the Internet believes one of the best things that could have happened to online gambling in recent years is a 3rd Circuit court decision to strike down as unconstitutional a 1998 law intended to protect children from sexual material and other objectionable content on the Internet.

"Again, the 3rd Circuit has shown why it may be the most important Court in the country when considering Internet rights and "digital civil liberties," Brennan, Jr. espoused.

While the protection of children over the Internet is a concern of both the sex purveyor and online gambling industries, COPA was found to be too broad in its scope.

In its ruling Tuesday, the federal appeals court concluded that the Child Online Protection Act also violates the First Amendment because filtering technologies and other parental control tools offer a less restrictive way to protect children from inappropriate content online. The court also ruled that the law is unconstitutionally overly broad and vague.

John Morris, general counsel for the Center for Democracy & Technology, a civil liberties group that filed briefs arguing against the law, said the measure would effectively force all websites to provide family-friendly content only - because there is no practical way of locking out children from sites that are inappropriate for them but lawful for adults.

And while websites such as Gambling911.com certainly pride themselves on being "family friendly" there are those "on the fringe" of the family decency spectrum who might find a transgender Cuban reporter by the name of Sparky Collins (photographed with Brennan, Jr. above) to be offensive towards children.

And just how does the COPA decision affect online gambling?

"Trying to draw a picture for people in the industry about how our suit actually has great potential for success is tough sometimes, but if people look at COPA and then at UIGEA, they can't help but see the parallels," Brennan said. "They can also take comfort from the fact that there is at least one kind of Internet content out there even more hated by social conservatives - porn! - and those guys are winning by fighting back in court."

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Payton O'Brien, Gambling911.com Senior Editor

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