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Censorship Caldera Your Rights Online

SCO Chair's Anti-Porn Act Advances In Utah 421

Posted by kdawson
from the set-the-evil-bit dept.
iptables -A FORWARD writes "Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. of Utah reportedly plans to sign a resolution urging Congress to enact the Internet Community Ports Act. The ICPA proposes that online content be divided by port, rather like TVs have channels with adult and family content, so that certain internet ports will be 'clean' — so-called Community Ports — and others will be 'dirty.' Thus, they hope to remove objectionable content from port 80 and require that it be moved elsewhere (port 666 was already taken by Doom, sorry), so that people could more easily block objectionable content, or have their ISPs do the blocking for them. This concept is being pushed by the CP80 group, which is chaired by Ralph Yarro, who also chairs the SCO Group. That probably explains why they didn't choose to adopt RFC 3514, instead."
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SCO Chair's Anti-Porn Act Advances In Utah

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2007 @08:53AM (#18360551)
    .. when I say, You have got to be FREAKING KIDDING ME.
  • dotXXX (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Constantine XVI (880691) <trash.eighty+sla ... om minus math_go> on Thursday March 15, 2007 @08:58AM (#18360597)
    What makes this approach that much different from using the .XXX top-level? That's just as easily blocked, and easily passable (ssh or proxy)
  • by BVis (267028) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:00AM (#18360627)
    I think we can all agree that the only reaction this requires is a hearty "STFU".

    Leaving alone the obvious impracticality of implementation and enforcement (ask Australia about that), this moron thinks that he can legislate morality.

    My morality doesn't agree with his. I resent having moral decisions made for me, and I bet the majority of Americans feel the same way. If I want to look at porn, I should be able to look at porn. If someone else doesn't want to look at porn, they don't have to. What exactly is the problem here that requires legislative intervention?
  • by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:05AM (#18360689) Homepage Journal
    could you name a law that doesn't legislate morality?
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:07AM (#18360697)
    And what's to stop porn site from simply relocating to another country and ignoring this law completely?
  • by Applekid (993327) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:13AM (#18360757)
    The big deal is that it will be a government mandate. Toys 'r' Us is a toy store. It's self-governed business knows that porn doesn't belong there so it's not there. I bet you also won't find bongs, industrial chemicals, fresh fruit, bags of concrete, and document safes in there, either.

    In you installing a filter on your home network, you're taking some pro-active steps. That's good. Companies that make filters are always improving them so your job becomes less difficult. That's good, too. And neither of those things required laws to be written.

    Maybe the real lesson is that people who make content filtering software should lobby the legislature like other companies do.
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:13AM (#18360759) Homepage Journal

    As a parent, I like the idea that I could install a port blocker at home and block the majority of porn content.
    Sure, it's a nice idea to think about, but it's also completely and totally impossible to implement or enforce. Suggesting we put all the adult content on this big unregulated international mishmash of an Internet on a specific port is pretty much like saying "we could stop all hunger in the world just by not letting anyone run out of food anymore, and we could stop all war by making sure nobody has a gun who is a war person." It just doesn't work that way.

    Sure, you could send your kid into Toys backwards-"R" Us alone without him finding porn (although if your kid is very young you should be going into the damn store with him,) but can you say the same of the Library of Congress? They have naughty books there. The Internet is much more an all-encompassing library than it is a kiddie-friendly toy shop, and it is nobody's responsibility but yours to monitor what your kid does with it.
  • by wile_e_wonka (934864) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:14AM (#18360771)

    this moron thinks that he can legislate morality"

    Who's the moron?

    First, I don't see how this is legislating morality. This proposal does not in any way block pornogrophy. It just organizes it better; that way it can be more easily blocked by parents or employers. If you are your own administrator at your house, then I assume you won't have the ports in question blocked.

    Second, believe it or not you will not find a single legislator in any country at any time that does not believe their purpose is to legislate morality. I believe that one of their main purposes is to legislate morality. An believe it or not--you'd be lying if you say you don't either. Allow me to explain: why is murder illegal? Because it's immoral. Why is it illegal for a 25 year old to have sex with a 6 year old? Because it's immoral. The reasons why it is immoral may vary--for example, murder is immoral because it is generally wrong to take another's life. And statutory rape is illegal because a 6 year old can't realistically consent. And there are people that disagree with the reasons why these things are illegal--but they will never be legislators because they are so far from the norm that they could not possibly be elected to public office.

    In conclusion, you are a moron for trying to make use of the "don't legislate morality" line that is so overused (and I don't even understand why it is still around).
  • by saider (177166) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:15AM (#18360795)
    This is not a technology problem. It is a problem of figuring out who gets to set the porn bit. Since the internet is international no one jurisdiction can assert authority. For your meatspace analogy, it would be like you lighting up a joint, and then telling the LA police to piss off because it is legal in Amsterdam.
  • Re:The REAL goal (Score:2, Insightful)

    by d3ac0n (715594) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:17AM (#18360805)

    Of course this would never work since it requires the cooperation of the whole world. As far as I know most online porn sites aren't based in Utah


    Of course it won't work. But that's not the point. SCO is trying to generate good press for itself, and so are the legislators. It's all about PR for the non-IT educated masses. The fact that it will and could never work is irrelevant.

    Like many laws oriented towards social issues, this is about symbolism. Substance be damned.
  • by Ngarrang (1023425) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:21AM (#18360845) Journal
    Um, I believe RFC3514 is probably a joke.

    I had to laugh when I read the part about all packets coming from NATs to be marked evil, and then further when it recommends that all firewalls simply drop evil packets. This action would bring a halt to much of the home use of the internet, I imagine.

    Reading over the RFC made me laugh.
  • Re:dotXXX (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SCHecklerX (229973) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:21AM (#18360853) Homepage
    If they must have something (not that I agree), a .kids would make more sense. Then parents can configure their home proxy to only allow traffic to *that* domain. But, based on crap I see like religious shows on tv having a 'G' rating (WHAT? If anything requires parental guidance...), this would not work either. Maybe require a license to have and keep a .kids TLD or something.
  • by Billosaur (927319) * <wgrother@NosPAm.optonline.net> on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:24AM (#18360881) Journal

    Most of them. Most laws legislate behavior; morality only falls into law where there is no set definition of a concept or the definition is vague and subject to interpretation by a person's moral/ethical self. To take the most heated example, the law states that currently it is legal for a doctor to perform an abortion; the morality of the issue is a matter for the individual. If you believe it morally wrong, you do not have to participate, i.e. have an abortion. I personally think that abortion is morally reprehensible but I also realize that mine is just an opinion, and that I have no right to impose it on others who do not share my belief.

    So in the end, as many have said, while this sounds like a good idea, it's not. Content is what content is -- just as kids have been discovering dirty magazines under their parents' beds, they will discover dirty pictures on-line, and it is up to parents to handle that problem, not the legal system.

  • by petabyte (238821) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:29AM (#18360931)
    Well, firstly, I would have to say I'm not a parent so I've not yet run into the problems you describe. But from my standpoint, I don't believe this will make filtering access any easier and it puts a significant workload on everyone else.

    How do you characterize what is adult material and what isn't? Is that porn or is it art? I personally feel there is a difference - I know porn when I see it and I know art when I see it, but my standards aren't the same as everyone else. Lets assume there aren't going to be the inevitable court battles over "is it or isn't it" and I have complete dictatorial control over "is it or isn't it". Are you as a parent comfortable with me making those decisions for you? I view proposals like this as ways power is being taken out of you (the parents) hands and put in the hands of a less capable bureaucrat.

    At the end of the day, it will still have to be up to you to make the decisions on what is or isn't appropriate for your children. And while I do feel that filtering software is a good tool (I use privoxy/squid to filter out malware on my own network), you will still have to sit and teach good browsing habits.
  • Re:dotXXX (Score:3, Insightful)

    by operagost (62405) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:29AM (#18360937) Homepage Journal

    But, based on crap I see like religious shows on tv having a 'G' rating (WHAT? If anything requires parental guidance
    What about shows with political content? PG for them, too? Need to protect the children from dangerous opinions!
  • by mpe (36238) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:34AM (#18360983)
    In meatspace, we already have constraints on distribution channels for so-called "adult" material. I can send my kid to Toys R Us and know that he won't find porn. (I think that there are lots of problems with the junk sold there, but porn is not one of them.)

    You won't find much porn at www.toysrus.com either. AFAIK they don't sell "adult toys" at all.
  • by FrostyCoolSlug (766239) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:37AM (#18361003)
    I think that's the point, this law can't really be enforced.
  • It's not perfect (Score:3, Insightful)

    by anomaly (15035) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `3repooc.mot'> on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:51AM (#18361167)
    Clearly it's not perfect, but if the majority of that content was segregated, then it would make filtering easier.

    Making alcohol and cigarettes illegal for minors does not keep all kids from drinking and smoking, but it does keep lots of kids from doing things that can be harmful to them.

    Moving most porn content to an easily identifiable place would help simplify filtering for those of us who want to filter. Perfect? No. Better than current state? Yes.

    FWIW, my kids have never been to Toys R Us without me, and I do know exactly what they are doing on line. I love them, and it's my job to look out for them.
  • and In Absurdium (Score:5, Insightful)

    by boyfaceddog (788041) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:52AM (#18361169) Journal
    1) Pass legislation to block evil pr0n from innocent kiddies by assigning it to a special port
    2) Make it acceptable for an ISP to block an entire port,
    3) Pass more legislation forcing some services onto certain ports (and allowing ownership of other ports (just like tv))
    4) Buy up ports and force ISPs to pay to use those.
    5) Both profit AND control of file sharing.

    STOP THIS LAW!!!
  • by LizardKing (5245) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @10:06AM (#18361309)

    this moron thinks that he can legislate morality.

    this mormon thinks that he can legislate morality.

    There, corrected that for you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2007 @10:18AM (#18361457)
    Anyone who uses the "meatspace" unless they're talking about a butcher shop cannot be taken seriously.

    Your difficulty is that you try to equate real life with the internet and they're not the same thing. There's no "main street", there's no "back alley". It's a flat set of addresses that you can go to for pictures, text, and media. Oh, and to "blog" [snicker]. There's nothing magical about it.

    People want to equate the two because they think it's some sort of Gibsonian jump to some future world, and the truth is that while the Internet is important, it's not an evolution for human beings.

    All that said, your concern is misplaced. You can do the children a lot more good by making sure we have better standards for child seats. Make sure kids have the right vaccinations. Make sure we spend more time with them. Instead, we think the Internet is the big problem. It's not. This attack on the Internet porn is only because it scares backwards parents because it represents a loss of control. I get that. But in general, if you don't like something, you stop doing it.

    I personally find skateboarding dangerous, so my reaction to it is to not do it and not buy a board for my kids. Some people's reaction is to try to ban skateboarding.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2007 @10:19AM (#18361477)
    Clearly it's not perfect, but if the majority of that content was segregated, then it would make filtering easier.

    And if the gas station guy would come to my house with some gas cans in the middle of the night while I'm asleep, gassing up my car would be a lot easier. And if the waiter would spoon-feed me my soup, I'd have both hands free to read the paper during lunch.

    Do you really want the entire way the Internet works to be subverted, and the entire world to somehow cooperate on the matter, and every person of every moral stripe everywhere to somehow agree on what is or isn't unsafe for your kids, just so you can put a little less effort into filtering your kids' web use?
  • by erik_norgaard (692400) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @10:35AM (#18361679) Homepage
    it is very unlikely that any site would adopt such ideas as moving to a specific port or top level domain on a global scale, basically saying "Don't enter here".

    Instead, it is more likely that businesses will adopt the reverse: Invent a means for sites to advertise that they are safe. A ".kids" top level domain would be much more effective than ".xxx", toy stores and other businesses targeting children would make sure to get their site up in that domain to reach their audience.

    For the same reason, a technical mean for sites to optionally advertise the content rating should be considered. The current http header lets the client specify a string of preferred languages, this lets servers redirect a request to the best matching language, or accepted formats.

    Similarly, one could add a header in the request accepted content classes. The response header should contain the actual classification returned. Servers not returning a classification should be treated as not-rated and may default to block or pass.

    The neat thing about this is that search engines will also get the classification header and a search query can restrict to matching classification. This way children won't find undesired results. Also, it provides more granularity, individual URL's can be classified differently.

    Of course, there are two problems:

    - It can be spoofed - but question is if there is a business incentive to do so.

    - Standardizing classification is very difficult, but at national level should be possible. The class codes could be prefixed by the national codes.

    Many sites might just remain non-classified, but if schools and institutions say that they only allow classified content, organizations will adopt this to reach their audience. If laws are passed to hold organizations liable for spoofed classification (but not lack of classification) then this might actually work: Those who have a business incentive will get reliable classification and the rest will simply remain unclassified. And no one have to move their domain and reestablish their name.

  • Resolution NOT law (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2007 @10:35AM (#18361689)
    This is not a law that will be set. It's a resolution for congress to do something. What this means is the governor of Utah will have a "feel good" measure if nothing happens. There are resolutions for things all the time (Idaho had one to make a Napoleon Dynamite day). All it does is make someone feel good. Utah's general legislation ended the 28th of February, there shouldn't be any concern of this becoming a law unless someone in Congress (i.e., Orrin Hatch...) proposes a bill.
  • Re:dotXXX (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tsalaroth (798327) <tsal@arikel.net> on Thursday March 15, 2007 @11:21AM (#18362399) Homepage Journal
    It's not so much about protecting kids FROM opinions, but helping them realize that they ARE opinions. I don't care how "smart" some 12 year old is, they're not going to be able to discern a lot of opinions from fact. Hell, most adults have issues with discerning opinion from fact.

    If you sit a kid in front of a particularly single-minded religious TV station for a while, and they believe it's fact and not opinion/faith, you're doing a disservice to them as future, constructive members of society. I don't even believe MY religion is completely infallible; no religion is.

    Kids should be taught how to form their own opinions, and probably when and how to express them properly.
  • Re:2 points (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2007 @11:28AM (#18362515)
    You're totally missing the point of why you are so wrong on this. Who gets to rate the entire Internet for suitability for the entire world's kids? Do you trust me to do it? Because I like some really strange things. Should I trust you to do it? Maybe you like some strange things. Do you plan to lock all the world's presidents, kings, queens, Pornographers, priests, priestesses, rabbis, Nickelodeon Program Directors, rappers, Latter-Day Saints, Calvinists, housewives, truck drivers, homosexuals, heterosexuals, teachers, lawyers, artists, writers, photographers, police, activists, doctors, anthropologists, nihilists, nazis, marketing directors, anarchists, hippies, Sesame Street cast members, dancers, singers, and Slashdotters all in a room together and hope they all agree on what porn is and isn't before the heat death of the universe?
  • Re:Enforceable? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bugnuts (94678) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @11:28AM (#18362535) Journal
    Clearly unenforcable.

    The average Internet surfer is like a dirty sailor, and pr*n is like a prostitute. ... and there's one in every port.
  • by lupis42 (1048492) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @03:06PM (#18366061)
    "Read the solution. You aren't moving your site to a port, you only have to use the adult range of ports for "adult content". You could still have a sanitized port 80 site. And individual could choose to access both the "clean" ports and "adult" ports if he wanted to, or choose to block the "adult" ports.
    Its about choice. "
    I want the choice to censor violence in the internet. Oh, and dishonesty. Any website that presents speculation or opinion as fact should send that data on a separate port, so I can firewall it off easily. I don't my children exposed to lies and brutality on the internet. I also want all advertising to be transmitted on a separate port, to protect my children. Oh, and religious stuff. I don't want any websites forcing their religious views on me, thats harmful and should be filtered out. Particularly that horrid stuff about evolution.
    Now all we need to do is require sites like Slashdot to make sure that comments are properly sorted, so that they get sent on the appropriate ports. Then, when I get mod points, I can mod people adult, and nobody reading from work will have to see them.
    Skipping over the obvious implementation problems, like how much harder it will be when my network game with adult content, pornographic web-browsing, and clearing the porn-spam from my email all can all only be done on port, despite using very different protocols, how will this stop the people who will think it's hilarious to IM, email, or simply post pornographic content, just so you'll be surprised when the firewall doesn't catch it? If you don't think it will happen, go through the slashdot archives for links that point to goatse.
    And if all of that doesn't bother you, than please refer to the various posts on here pointing out that the US doesn't rule the internet, so foreign sites wouldn't oblige, and port 80 still wouldn't be very clean.
    PS: While there are doubtless many unethical pornographers, there at least as many ethical ones. If you think you can say anything half so nice about politicians, you're either ignorant, stupid, or using judging them according to scales so different that double standard seems scarcely adequate.
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @03:13PM (#18366179) Homepage Journal
    Is this all really that big a problem???

    I mean, I'm online constantly...work and home. I cannot remember the last time I came (no pun intended) across porn unless I was specifically looking for it. I haven't evern accidently hit a porn website in I don't know how long, but, the number of times since about '95 or so would be less than 5 or 6.

    I click links from google searches...I hand type URL's....and I never run into porn site. What are people doing that get them to these site without them wanting to be there?

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