Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship United States Your Rights Online

Utah Governor Signs Net-Porn Bill 941

Posted by timothy
from the now-there's-a-winner dept.
All Names Have Been writes "House bill 260 has been signed into law by Utah's governor. It creates a list of websites that are not 'safe for children' and forces ISPs to block these sites for those who request it. In addition, content providers who host or create content in Utah for profit must now rate their websites or face 3rd degree felony charges. A similar law in Pennsylvania was struck down last year." (See this earlier story, too.)
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Utah Governor Signs Net-Porn Bill

Comments Filter:
  • Hmmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by MikeXpop (614167) <mike@redcrowbar.cHORSEom minus herbivore> on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:16PM (#12019994) Journal
    At first, I thought this was horrible.

    But now, I can't wait for that list to leak.

    *Rubs hands together*
    • Re:Hmmmm (Score:5, Funny)

      by WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) * <sexwithanimals@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:18PM (#12020013) Homepage
      I just spent like 5 minutes reading through the entire bill looking for any mentions of specific sites... for.. science.
      • by infonography (566403) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @01:44AM (#12020949) Homepage
        Hot action with skirts above the ankles. You'll be saying your prayers extra hard tonight. (wink wink).

        Second hand reviews of the movie Orgazmo, hear in detail why you should keep your wife/wives and children from seeing it.

        Jittery in Seattle, also called 'They drink by night', lurid tales of coffee junkies in Seattle, staying up till way after 11pm, Not for the weak of stomach.

        Christ-sploitation websites and how to thump your bible for Her Maximum pleasure.

    • by xbsd (814561) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:30PM (#12020133) Journal
      Finally! It was about time someone addresses the need for a porn directory with no credit card involved in this country!
  • by Bonker (243350) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:16PM (#12019995)
    Despite the fact that both states have elected Bushes as governor, we've never done anything quite as pointless and unenforceable as trying to outlaw internet porn.

    Thank you, Utah, for boldy diving head first into the shallow end of the pool to prove how stupid it is for the rest of us.
    • by GreyWolf3000 (468618) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:18PM (#12020017) Journal
      Actually, the law just requires that ISPs provide a certain extra, optional functionality.

      I am personally against this form of censorship (but for some reason I was attacked ceaselessly in the last story on this bill), but it's a logical leap to say that they're outlawing anything.

      • by monkeydo (173558) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:27PM (#12020116) Homepage
        Not only that, but the ISP doesn't even have to do the filtering on their end, nor come up with their own list. The list will be provided by the state AG, and the ISP's obligation can be satisfied by providing free client side software. ISP's with more than 7,500 customers cannot charge for the software, but they can raise prices for all customers to offset their costs.
        • by 2k4u (805544) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @02:25AM (#12021100)

          Great! Now I get to pay more for Internet access so ISPs can help lazy parents raise their kids!

          Software to filter Internet access has been available for a long time for people who want it. Why should I pay for your software?

        • by mikael (484) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @06:28AM (#12021914)
          Not only that, but the ISP doesn't even have to do the filtering on their end, nor come up with their own list. The list will be provided by the state AG, and the ISP's obligation can be satisfied by providing free client side software. ISP's with more than 7,500 customers cannot charge for the software, but they can raise prices for all customers to offset their costs.

          For this law to be effective, the ISP's will also have to block any mirror sites (goggle cache, archive.org). There is also the problem with people running home servers, and saving cached images on a publicly accessible server.
      • The point of contention in this case isn't the actual censorship of pornsites but rather the sites that get blacklisted just because they give information about sex. I bet that Wikipedia would be blacklisted since it talks about sex and probably has some sexual images on there. The courts have ruled in the past that teens have a right to access medical information about sex including such "deviant" (remember that this is Utah, Morman capital of the world) topics as homosexuality. Some lists would also ban t
    • WRONG! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by thedogcow (694111) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:25PM (#12020094)
      Texas has a ban on dildos. Can't buy then, although, here in Houston you certainly can find a lot of porn shops sans dildos. I think this is the same thing really. Banning what people do in the privacy of their own homes. It's wrong.
      • Re:WRONG! (Score:5, Informative)

        by DarkHelmet (120004) * <.mark. .at. .seventhcycle.net.> on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:42PM (#12020240) Homepage

        Actually, it's not just dildos, but novelty items.

        Cities with Bans on Pornography Being Shipped to them


        Jacksonville, Florida
        Tallahassee, Florida
        Indianapolis, Indiana
        Cincinnati, Ohio
        Memphis, Tennessee
        Austin, Texas
        Dallas, Texas
        Houston, Texas
        San Antonio, Texas
        Waco, Texas

        States with Some kind of law
        Alabama
        Arkansas
        Georgia (Novelty Restriction Only)
        Kansas (Novelty Restriction Only)
        Mississippi
        Utah
        Texas (Statewide Novelty Restriction)

        Zip Codes:
        Texas:
        76035 thru 76199

        Louisiana (Lincoln Parish):
        71001
        71227
        71234
        71235
        71241
        71245
        71270
        71272
        71273
        71275

        If there are corrections to this list, or whatnot, please respond below.

      • Re:WRONG! (Score:3, Funny)

        by Camel Pilot (78781)
        This is such an obvious troll for a Bush joke that I refuse to take the bait :)
      • Re:WRONG! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dbIII (701233)

        Texas has a ban on dildos.

        But didn't they have one as Governor?

        As we've found out in a part of my country, a sudden crackdown on morals just gives you things like 80% of year 10 girls pregnant (a town in Western Victoria, Australia).

        The wierd USA mixed morals thing just gives you strip clubs with stickers over nipples - just as much or more sleaze but stickers? Is it illegal to breast feed in public in the USA - a restriction like that would be the sign of a society that is to far gone with christianity

    • by spagetti_code (773137) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:59PM (#12020358)
      <dons flame retardent suit>
      <dons bullet proof vest>
      <dons helmet>
      Actually - I dont think this is a bad law.
      ducks

      I agree with the intent of the sadly not-very-well-known RSACi [netscape.com] system whereby sites have ratings and people configure their browser to show sites with ratings they want to see. This permits individuals to make choices for themselves as to the type of content they (and their family) see. It looks like this law simply forces people to rate their sites.

      Further, the law permits you to ask your ISP to block content you deem inappropriate.

      No-one is getting censored here, no content is being blocked if you dont want it.

      Note that as far as I can tell, firefox doesn't support RSACi.

      • by isomeme (177414) <cdberry@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @12:36AM (#12020601) Homepage Journal
        I agree that only seeing the sites you want to see is a good thing, but why in the world involve the ISPs? This is like requiring taxi companies to refuse to take you to a list of restaurants you don't like. If you don't want to go there, don't go there! If you don't want your kids to go there, don't let them! If you want help not letting them, install one of the many parental control packages!

        Doesn't anybody take personal responsibility for anything anymore?
        • False Analogies (Score:5, Insightful)

          by nick_davison (217681) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @02:20AM (#12021078)
          I agree that only seeing the sites you want to see is a good thing, but why in the world involve the ISPs? This is like requiring taxi companies to refuse to take you to a list of restaurants you don't like. If you don't want to go there, don't go there!

          But the point is there's no way, short of monitoring every moment of a child's internet usage (which isn't truly practical) to ensure they don't end up going there.

          It's not about whether an adult wants to go there or not - it's about whether an adult has the means to ensure their children don't go there.

          The law's treatment of ISPs is nothing like a taxi firm, it's like a news seller:

          Hardcore porn, right now, can be sitting anywhere on a newseller's shelves - right amongst the comics. Worse, it's virtually impossible to identify which links will and won't take a kid to porn or what endless cycles of pop-ups will. That's the equivalent of hardcore porn makers wrapping their content in Yu-Gi-Oh covers to ensure it gets more impressions.

          What the law is saying is: Utah magazine publishers aren't allowed to wrap an innocent looking cover around their porn mags anymore and, as Utah can't legislate against out of state magazines, they're requiring news sellers to put magazines from a given list on the top shelf.

          It's not even as if it prohibits free speach. You still have the right to speak. It's just that parents are being given the right to decide they and their families don't want to listen (and still have the right to decide to listen if they want to).

          I agree it's not an ideal system. I agree it's not perfect. I agree some non-porn sites will mistakenly end up on the list. I agree there are better alternatives out there (though, as many parents evidently don't know of them, "better" is obviously a relative term).

          But, just because something's not ideal, it doesn't mean it should automatically be ignored if, as non-ideal, it's still better than not doing it.

          What are the costs? The real, genuine costs? Minimal if anything - a piece of cheap software that blocks a supplied list really doesn't cost much at all. Give a decent programmer a few hours, they can knock it up for you. Other than that and the Utah state government's money - the other costs are arguably negligible.

          What are the benefits? Maybe not as great as promised but they do exist. Block a few thousand typo domains like hotmale.com, the obvious ones kids try like playboy.com and the most prolific ad/spyware based ones and you can make a reasonable sized dent - even if you can't catch everything.

          Do the benefits outweigh the costs? Yes. Does it trample any civil liberties or anything else with a hard to immediately prove but ultimately huge cost? No.

          So stop whining. You see flaws in it? Write to the Utah congresscritters and senators. Suggest better solutions. They evidently see it as a problem worth addressing, they obviously see the benefits as outweighing the costs - so suggest your better solution and see if they'll act on it. Just don't bitch for the sake of bitching that people chose a non-perfect solution that they still regard as better than the costs of implementing it.
          • Re:False Analogies (Score:4, Insightful)

            by dbIII (701233) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @04:11AM (#12021459)
            But the point is there's no way, short of monitoring every moment of a child's internet usage
            If you are a parent you should take responsibility. What's wrong with having the PC in the same room as the TV set until you've taught the kid your values?

            The ISP should not be your babysitter.

            Telephone companies are not responsible for obscene phone calls or telemarketers - and I don't think ISP's should be responisble for porn, spam etc.

          • by shani (1674)
            But the point is there's no way, short of monitoring every moment of a child's internet usage (which isn't truly practical) to ensure they don't end up going there.

            It's not about whether an adult wants to go there or not - it's about whether an adult has the means to ensure their children don't go there.


            This can be done with whitelisting (children are only allowed to see specific web sites, and receive e-mail from specific addresses). Simple and effective.

            No need for draconian laws or turning society in
    • Utah can't really exist - all the Utah references must just be a joke people in the USA like to play on gullible foreigners.

      The land of polygamy and marrying 13 year olds (wasn't that last year?) cracking down on porn? It's like the land of sleaze going crazy over just one nipple.

    • Commie Utah (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Doc Ruby (173196)
      What is with these religious socialists in Utah? All the lobbyists who forced this law on all their neighbors statewide could have started an ISP which blocks porn sites on request, with a default list for subscribers. That's right: free enterprise. If it were really popular, Utahans would switch over in droves; eventually, every ISP in Utah would do it that way. And it would create demand elsewhere for such boring ISPs. But no, they call on Caesar to do the Lord's work. What a gang of hypocrites - they obv
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:17PM (#12020008)
    sex.com, bigtits.com, groklaw.net, allgirls.com...
    • Britannica? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dcclark (846336) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:43PM (#12020249) Homepage
      eb.com...

      I received a flyer in the mail last week from Rogers (a big cable/internet service hereabouts in Ontario). The headline on the front was "You'll do anything to keep your kids from seeing inappropriate material... so will we." I nearly tossed it (I'm a student in student housing), but I looked again... the REST of the front was an image of an encyclopedia page, one of those standard full-color bits that show a peel-away view of the human body. This one was a muscle diagram, showing the major muscle groups. The sketch was female, and sure enough, the groin and chest areas had been physically cut out of the flyer, apparently to make Rogers' point that parents would reasonably do things like this. The image didn't even have any skin, it was a freakin' muscle diagram just like most of us see in 7th grade science!

      So the obvious message was, "We will keep your kids from seeing legitimate, educational material. We will go overboard just like you."

      Will the lists in Utah be "reasonable," with ideas like that being supposedly "mainstream"? I'm not holding my breath.
  • by revscat (35618) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:18PM (#12020018) Journal

    Look at my sig to know my politics.

    I had a friend who just got back from Utah after doing two years worth of contract work. He explained to me how the political situation is there. The Mormons control the polical apparatik, and they in turn are a very top-down organization, with mandates coming from the President, and those mandates very frequently becoming law. No one can oppose them, because so much of the state is Mormon. And there is little disagreement amongst Mormons, because of their inherent loyalty to the church.

    So to those who have more familiarity with the region I have two questions. 1) Did this legislation come about as a result of the elders in the church? And 2) Is this basically an accurate summation of Mormon politics? If so, that seems scary to me. I wouldn't want a society where there is so much homogenity, even if everyone were basically like me. Nor do I think rigid hierachical organizations are the best way to run a nation (or state, really).

    • by AArnott (751989) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:37PM (#12020200) Homepage

      So to those who have more familiarity with the region I have two questions.

      I'm a "Mormon [mormon.org]", or more accurately, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

      1) Did this legislation come about as a result of the elders in the church?

      Absolutely not. The Church stays strictly out of politics, except where a serious moral issue is involved, and then only the moral at issue is taught, but the vote and the law is up to the members individually.

      And 2) Is this basically an accurate summation of Mormon politics?

      No. Even among the members of the Church, it is a matter that often brings up discussion (sometimes heated) as to whether or not laws to restrict rights to behave immorally should be made. But this is not Church mandate or policy. It's up to the members.

      If so, that seems scary to me. I wouldn't want a society where there is so much homogenity, even if everyone were basically like me.

      On the contrary, the Church is only homogenous in that we share certain core beliefs [mormon.org]. I'm often amazed at how much variety fits within the Church. I disagree with political and ethical views with many good, active members of the Church that I know. The Church encourages us to seek out answers for ourselves.

      In conclusion, be sure to research "the Mormons" using legitimate sources. That means: if you want to know what we "Mormons" believe in, ask a good, practicing Mormon.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I'm a "Mormon", or more accurately, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

        I'm an ex-Mormon who lived in Utah for three years while attending BYU, and you're full of shit.

        1) Did this legislation come about as a result of the elders in the church?

        Absolutely not. The Church stays strictly out of politics, except where a serious moral issue is involved, and then only the moral at issue is taught, but the vote and the law is up to the members individually.

        Don't kid yourself.

        • by dolmant_php (461584) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @01:12AM (#12020810)
          I'm also LDS, or Mormon.

          For example, when the gay marriage proposition was up for vote in California, the Mormon church organized a massive door-to-door campaign to try to deny the gays their right to marry.

          Your parent poster said "except where a serious moral issue is involved", which this is.

          Being a Democrat in the Mormon church all but seals your prospects of holding influential positions in the organization.

          James E. Faust is the 2nd Councelor in the First Presidency, which translates roughly into "3rd in command". He is Democratic [state.ut.us].

          Apparently you've never sat in an Elder's Quorum meeting when they pass around a petition to stop a race track from being constructed in your town

          I have never once been in an Elder's Quorum meeting where they passed around anything like that.

          As they say, you learn more about a man from his enemies than his friends.

          Unfortunately, enemies often are convinced of the truth of half truths, so they are not good sources of information.
          • by NuGeo (824600) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @01:43AM (#12020940)

            'As they say, you learn more about a man from his enemies than his friends.'

            Unfortunately, enemies often are convinced of the truth of half truths, so they are not good sources of information.

            I agree. But I think what he means is that you'll get more of the truth when talking to a former member of the LDS church than an active one. I think there are two reasons for that. Reason number one is that there are no worries. It's like a retired politician saying everything he ever wanted to, but didn't before in fear of not being re-elected. The second reason is that many opposers (certainly not all, however) typically spend a great deal of time forming opinions and even more time doing the research to back it up.

            But it's always good to get as many sides as you can. I'm glad to see Mormons who are supportive of their religion throwing in their two cents.

        • by tehdaemon (753808) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @02:03AM (#12021021)
          "The Mormon church is very much involved in politics. They run the political scene in Utah"

          I wish that I could say that this was total nonsense. It is not true, but there is a reason that a person might think that. The Republican Party Leadership in Utah is mostly Mormon. (no surprise, ~70% of Utah is Mormon) It is in the interests of the Republican Leadership in Utah to give this impression. And they do a good, subtle job of it. (It has to be subtle, if it wasn't, church headquarters would do something about it. - as another reply stated.) The truth is that The Republican Party leadership runs politics in Utah, and one of the tools they use to hold power is to cater to a few of the more visible Mormon beliefs. This assures them of most of the mormon vote. It is sad that in one of, if not the most, Republican states, that the republicans still monkey with voting districts etc. to marginalize the Democrats.

          It is my opinion that if Church leaders came out and said that being a Republican was evil, most of the Republican leadership would leave the church before leaving the Rebuplican Party. They are Mormon in name, and Republican at heart. Unfortunately, most Utahn's don't see this. Nor did you.

          As for the BoM, Most mormons have a simpilistic interpretation of the history in it. (All native Americans decended from BoM people, The Jaredites killed off all Jaredite decendants, Final battle in New York - etc. ) This view is unsupportable from either a logical view or an archaeological one. On the other hand, the BoM does fit several things in history fairly well. It pegs the Olmec civ. timeline within a couple hundred years.[1] In short it is a better guide to Central American history than anything written prior to the early 1900's, and was published 80+ years earlier. It is as good a history book as the Bible is.[2]

          "you learn more about a man from his enemies than his friends." And you can learn a lot about someone from the enemies he makes. Most anti-mormons are liars and frauds. The rest are filled with a mild hate that you showed. As for the analogy: Toyota can make a Toyota, The consumer magazine couldn't make a go-cart. I would only trust the magazine for information that was a comparison to other cars, or information that Toyota would want to hide.

          People you should not trust for information about a religion are A) Active members of another one (especially ministers etc.) or B) Former members, like yourself.

          [1]Both the BoM and archeological evidence have about that margin of error on the subject.

          [2] Yes, this means fairly lousy on most points, with a few exceptions.

      • I'm an "Ex Mormon" [exmormon.org], or more accurately, a former member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was a missionary, on-my-honor Eagle scout and all.

        Absolutely not. The Church stays strictly out of politics, except where a serious moral issue is involved, and then only the moral at issue is taught, but the vote and the law is up to the members individually.

        Explain Ezra Taft Benson's affilation with the Birch sociecty then; not to mention his political appointments. How about the bank that J

    • by Santos L. Halper (591801) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:40PM (#12020227)
      I live in Utah. While it is true the church sometimes makes its position on various issues known, I do not recall them saying anything about this bill at all. I respect your opinions about Utah, as you managed to disagree without being insulting. You mention how you wouldn't want this much homogenity. I think that diversity means that you can find various different things in different places, including having some places that are very diverse at a local level, and other places that are homogenous. In this line of thinking strict diversity *everywhere* is not diverse at all.
  • by the arbiter (696473) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:19PM (#12020020)
    I love how it seems to be OK for legislators to just completely ignore the Constitution these days, just in order to make a point.

    I used to think the judiciary was out of line but apparently they're now the only people willing to stand between us and total madness.

    Can't wait for this to go to court. Shame they can't fine the representatives who waste the people's time and money passing crap legislation like this.
  • by Staplerh (806722) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:19PM (#12020025) Homepage
    Is justified! This is a free speech issue. From the article:

    The controversial bill . . . will require ISPs to block access to websites deemed "harmful to minors" on request. This blacklist will be drawn up by the state's Attorney General.

    Poppycock. Clearly, the first amendment protects free speech - and this is a clear abridgement of this right. Just because perhaps most of the good citizens of Utah don't agree with their children being able to view pornography does not justify this move. Of course, I'm not the only one to think this way and hopefully this law will be struck down as in these other cases:

    Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union go further and warn the bill violates the US Constitution's First Amendment on free speech and the Commerce Clause. Six other states have had similar legislation ruled unconstitutional, resulting in huge legal bills for residents, Media Coalition director David Horowitz told the Salt Lake City Tribune.

    Meh, thank goodness I don't pay taxes in those states. Stupid legislators.
    • by aussie_a (778472) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:31PM (#12020144) Journal
      Poppycock. Clearly, the first amendment protects free speech - and this is a clear abridgement of this right. Just because perhaps most of the good citizens of Utah don't agree with their children being able to view pornography does not justify this move.

      ISPs are forced to provide a filtered internet connection at the request of the customer. Freedom of speech doesn't mean I have to hear what you say. If I (as the person paying for the internet access in the house I own), choose to filter my internet, then I am allowed to do so.

      Whether or not forcing ISPs to offer a filtered internet for those who want it is right is not a First Ammendmant issue.
    • by cmsavage (866449) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:35PM (#12020177)
      Clearly, the first amendment protects free speech - and this is a clear abridgement of this right.

      Let's take a look at the bill:

      22 . requires a service provider to prevent certain access to Internet material harmful to
      23 minors, if requested by the consumer;
      So this bill is creating an OPT-IN list, preventing access to sites only to those customers who ask the ISP to do this. How is this violating free speech? If I don't want spam and decide to use a spam filter, am I violating the free speech rights of the spammers?
  • On Request. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:19PM (#12020032)
    The controversial bill (PDF)will require ISPs to block access to websites deemed "harmful to minors" on request. This blacklist will be drawn up by the state's Attorney General.

    on request.

    ON REQUEST.

    This is not going to block every user from playboy.com. It will give people access to a list of websited to filter ON REQUEST.
    • Re:On Request. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Wordsmith (183749) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:38PM (#12020208) Homepage
      THere's still something dangerous with the state deciding which material is objectionable, and which isn't, even if the blacklist is optional.

      for instance, lets say we have two borderline objectionable sites, both with some potentially redeeming social content on them. one's content has liberal leanings. the other has conservative leanings. do you want the government even making a recomendation as to which one is ok for your children to see? do you want it giving a commercial advantage to one over the other? do you want one to enjoy the validation of the government's implicit endorsement, while the other suffers because of the persecution of the government's placement on the list?
    • Re:On Request. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MrLint (519792) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @12:00AM (#12020364) Journal
      5 mod points says that this list wont be accessible to the public, so the average person wont be able to critique the selctions, and that the ISPs will have to pay for the list for the privilege to comply with the law.
  • by Ars-Fartsica (166957) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:20PM (#12020042)
    ...please turn off the router.

    Seriously, how long until they move three feet over the state border to circumvent this?

  • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:21PM (#12020050) Homepage

    How many here would like to work for the UT AG's office as the official porn site screener? Can you imagine, getting decent pay, good benefits and spending your days surfing porn? I wonder if telecomuting is an option (I need saltwater proximity).
    • by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @12:29AM (#12020560)
      I used to have a job at a company called Rulespace "training" content recognition engines (a cluster of linux machines called the ontobot). Basically (and yes I really got paid for this) all I did was sift through mountains of porn clicking accept/decline all day long. There was other content too, but 90% of it was porn.

      Ultimately what it did was desensitize me to porn :(.
  • by chiapetofborg (726868) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:23PM (#12020070) Homepage
    "requires a service provider to prevent certain access to Internet material harmful to minors, if requested by the consumer;" If requested by the consumer. If you want to surf porn, you still can. What's the problem here? It's just like having people choose whether or not they want to have those kinds of things filtered.
    • the problem is,
      1) ISPs wasting money on useless filters
      2) parents using computers as babysitters since the filters are infallible, right?
      3) said parents randomly suing ISPs because their infallible filters didn't filter out some site
    • And forcing ISPs to pay for a product that the concerned parents could just as easily get for themselves.

      If they hadn't legislated providing the means to filter the content, it would have been fine.

      Actually... they should have just produced the list and then certified whatever software complied with the list. Let parents choose whatever software or filtering set up they want and pay for it themselves but gain the benefit of a standard list that is up for public scrutiny unlike the current offerings.

      You p
    • What's the problem here? It's just like having people choose whether or not they want to have those kinds of things filtered.
      Why does it need to be law? It's already possible for people who want this kind of thing to get it, so what's the point?
    • If requested by the consumer.

      Surely, if the consumers know to ask, they could pick an ISP which did this, or subscribe to a system which does it independent of their ISP. If there is no such ISP, and this bill has any purpose at all, then one will appear to suck up all those customers.

      The issue here isn't that some, dim, people want to pretend the internet can be made a suitable playground for unsupervised children, but rather that the state wants to make the decision of what is suitable.

  • by PxM (855264) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:24PM (#12020088)
    Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union go further and warn the bill violates the US Constitution's First Amendment on free speech and the Commerce Clause. Six other states have had similar legislation ruled unconstitutional, resulting in huge legal bills for residents, Media Coalition director David Horowitz told the Salt Lake City Tribune.

    You would think that they would learn not to mess with the free speech rights of adults and children here. The main objection to these kinds of bills is that the block access to sites giving medical or social information about topics like teen sexuality, pregnancy, and homosexuality. This is due to the fact that the blacklist is drawn up by a bunch of conservative idiots rather than people that know the difference between Debbie Does Dallas and Gray's Anatomy. The laws prevent teens who have a right to know this kind of information without the consent of their parents (the ACLU has defended teen medical rights before) which is stupid since most of the problems with teen sex are due to ignorance on the part of teens about sexuality. Since they are taught nothing but abstinence, those who do have sex don't use protection. And because of the lack of communication between parents and teens in this case, the teens won't tell their parents nor will they get medical help which just makes the situation worse. One of these days they'll figure out that teaching children proper morals and letting them deal with the dangers of the world regarding sex is better than just blindfolding them and threaten them with eternal damnation if they have sex before marriage.

    --
    Want a free iPod? [freeipods.com]
    Or try a free Nintendo DS, GC, PS2, Xbox. [freegamingsystems.com] (you only need 4 referrals)
    Wired article as proof [wired.com]
    • The laws prevent teens who have a right to know this kind of information without the consent of their parents

      Where do you get the idea that kids have rights to do anything without parent consent? Parents can pull thier kid out of public schools, homeschool them, keep them in the house 24 hours a day, and they would not violate one right of the child.

      I don't know where you get your ideas from, but parents have an absolute right to pick what their kids will read, what they will watch on tv, and what webs

      • I know of people with a 12 year old, and they won't let her use the internet for any reason, and when she watches tv, it has to be pre-approved. She is not allowed to date, and she wears clothing her parents buy her. She is also enrolled in a private school, and the parents review the curriculum, to ensure they approve.

        Sooo... she'll be a rebellious stripper in about 6 more years?

  • Not too bad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:27PM (#12020108) Homepage
    From the Bill:
    ...requires Internet content providers that create or host data in Utah to properly rate the data...

    (7) "Properly rated" means content using a labeling system to label material harmful to minors provided by the content provider in a way that...
    (a) accurately apprises a consumer of the presence of material harmful to minors; and
    (b) allows the consumer the ability to control access to material harmful to minors based on the material's rating by use of reasonably priced commercially available software, including software in the public domain.

    So they are essentially requiring something like ICRA [icra.org] self-rating systems. I don't object to that, since these systems are fairly broad and allow people to control for themselves what is filtered. I just wish that more webmasters had used these systems voluntarily. It is always a shame when the government must start passing laws telling people to do things that can only serve to help themselves.
  • by kosanovich (678657) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:31PM (#12020137)
    People seem to be screeming about the first ammendment being raped here by some right wing governor in Utah. Can we be resonable and think clearly for a second (i know this is slashdot but let's try.)

    So this state passes a law that says ISPs have to filter content for people that want it filtered. Person A living in Utah says they like porn so they don't call their ISP and everything continues like normal. Person B thinks this is a great idea because they don't like porn and don't want their 10 year old "accidentally" getting to a porn site so they call their ISP and have it filtered (which by the way, this isn't really stomping the rights of the child since A) they are a minority and have very few rights as it is and B) the parent pays for the service and is there for the one who is able to control it).

    Now this doesn't screem to me that the constitution is being abused. It just tells me that people are silly. The reason i say they are silly is because there are a bunch of ISPs that already filter out porn and those kinds of sites as a service to their (largely christian) customers, so why do we need a bill for this? Just tell everyone that wants the content filtered to switch from their current ISP to one of the christian ISPs.
    • by ThisIsFred (705426) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @12:26AM (#12020534) Journal
      It's not the end of the world, but it's a regular old stupid, inefficient waste of taxpayer dollars. How are they going to maintain individual settings for each user with dynamic IPs? It's going to phenominally expensive for ISPs unless they just block it for everyone. And even then, the more banned content added to the rules, the more rules that need to be checked for every request that goes out. That's not a job that can be handled by a single network appliance.

      The most asinine part of this is that there is a market niche in private industry that is already offering this service, from the power necessary to filter a single PC up to a whole enterprise gateway. The major players have been doing it for a decade, and they're doing a better job than the A.G.'s office could ever hope to do. Why don't these people just avail themselves of this software?

      There's absolutely no reason why the Utah state government needs to be involved here. If someone can afford yearly Internet access, he can afford NetNanny. Excuse me, but I think there's another agenda at work here.
  • by Phantasmagoria (1595) <loban,rahman+slashdot&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:32PM (#12020152)
    People are always complaining about those who don't RTFA. Seems like now people are stopping at the headline, and not even reading the summary. Dudes, the bill requires ISP's to implement a SERVICE to FILTER out particular websites using a standard list, AT THE CUSTOMER'S REQUEST. This is no form of CENSORSHIP because it is AT THE CUSTOMER'S REQUEST. I see this is a GREAT SERVICE.
  • by TheRealStyro (233246) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:34PM (#12020171) Homepage
    This does not bode well for the people and ISPs in Utah. Without the 'common carrier' protection, an ISP is liable for any/all content viewed/received by a subscriber. All you need is one pervert to download illegal pron, or one child to download (without authorization) a piece of media and the lawsuits would be be staggering.

  • by KingSkippus (799657) on Tuesday March 22, 2005 @11:43PM (#12020247) Homepage Journal

    The problem with this is that Utah is redefining what an ISP is. Traditionally, it is exactly what it stands for: a provider of Internet service. Nothing more, nothing less. You want access? We'll give it to you.

    Now some ISPs provide services on top of mere access. For example, my ISP provides some Web hosting space, some e-mail accounts, and so on. However, there is no law forcing them to do so, they do it to get my business.

    Content filtering, which is what this law deals with, is exactly like those other services: something above and beyond what an ISP has to do. Utah has now changed that. No longer is an ISP merely an Internet Service Provider, now they have to muck around with the content they are providing. That's just wrong in my mind.

    I love analogies, so I'll present one here. What they have done is essentially the same thing as if they passed a law saying that upon consumer request, courier and mail delivery services have to inspect all packages for sexually explicit material, and if they don't and something offensive gets delivered to someone, it's a felony. A company can't just deliver the mail any more, they are now held responsible for what gets sent and received.

    ISPs in Utah have the option of blocking sites or providing customers with third-party filtering products unless they want to risk felony charges under the new law.

    My suggestion? If I were an ISP in Utah, I would simply post a link to the Proxomitron [proxomitron.info] on my home page and be done with it. After all, I don't see anything in the article (didn't read the bill) to say that the third-party filtering product that the ISP provides has to cost anything or be easy to use.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @02:14AM (#12021056) Journal
    from getting into Utah?

    Am I missing something or is this Utah law really as idiotic as it seems at face value?

    I'm sure all the Russian and Finnish ISPs are just all shaky in their boots and peeing themselves in terror at the might of the Utah State Gummint.

    FUCK! What a bunch of retards.

    RS

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @02:26AM (#12021106) Homepage
    There was a late amendment:
    • (3) (a) A service provider may comply with Subsection (1) by:
      (i) providing network-level filtering to prevent receipt of material harmful to minors; or
      (ii) providing at the time of a consumer's request under Subsection (1), software for contemporaneous installation on the consumer's computer that blocks, in an easy-to-enable and commercially reasonable manner, receipt of material harmful to minors.
      (b) (i) Except as provided in Subsection (3)(b)(ii), a service provider may not charge a consumer for blocking material or providing software under this section, except that a service provider may increase the cost to all subscribers to the service provider's services to recover the cost of complying with this section.

    So bundling "NetNanny" with ISP service, for those who want it, is sufficient to comply.

    If you're in Utah, expect your ISP bill to go up by something under a dollar per month, based on bulk pricing for NetNanny.

    (Does entering "~frontdoor" as the password still turn off NetNanny?)

  • by Greg W. (15623) on Wednesday March 23, 2005 @08:40AM (#12022595) Homepage
    How do I actually put one of these so-called ratings on my web site? I want everyone to know that my mail tutorial and my picture of myself in my T-shirt (and so on) are not safe for children, old ladies, hamsters, or gastropods. In fact, all multicellular organisms should beware! I'm not currently in Utah, but I don't think that should be an excuse. It's clearly my civic duty to warn everyone, regardless of their geographic location, that my "content" is dangerous. After all, someone might mirror it.

    So how do I do it? Is there a "meta" tag I need to put in? Do I need to have a special file in each directory, like robots.txt?

A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do. -- Dennis M. Ritchie

Working...