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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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  • Re:Enforceable? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Constantine XVI (880691) <trash.eighty+sla ... om minus math_go> on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:03AM (#18360671)
    Then what if some sneaky ISP (*cough*ATT*cough*Verzion*cough*) just "accidentaly" starts putting pr0n bits in the headers of any pro-Republican(or pro-Democrat, pro-free thought, etc.) site?
  • by BGraves (790688) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:06AM (#18360693)
    To all legislators:
            Please leave the internet alone. It works well. People smarter than you created it. It has revolutionized our world. Parents need to take care of their kids, not you. The more changes you make, the more likely you are to break something. Here's a deal. You don't need to get in the news to get my vote. Stay out of the news for a year, and I'll vote for you.
  • by fabs64 (657132) <beaufabry+slashdot,org&gmail,com> on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:08AM (#18360701)
    Mostly because, as a parent or not, you don't understand how the internet works.
    As MANY have pointed out, this gives no more protection than the .xxx domain name, and is only about a billion times harder to implement.
  • Another genius idea from people who know absolutely nothing about how computers or the internet functions. Ports are for protocols, not content. The "content" is just a paticular arrangement of data sent over that protcol.

    What these guys really want is to mandate that all IPv6 packets have a TOTC(Think of the children) bit. Defaulted to 1, for "unsafe content". They then pass legislation banning ISPs from handling anything with a TOTC bit of 1. The only way to get a TOTC bit of zero, without breaking the law, is to apply for an extremely expensive licence and audit, available to only the largest corporations.

    Entirely coincidentally, the Chinese government's UFTP(Unsafe for the People) bit will occupy exactly the same position in their altered version of the IPv6 protocol, ensuring that the new, saer net will be fully interoperable.

    Farfetched? Well, which is more likely? This or competant government that's for the people?
  • by will_die (586523) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:21AM (#18360851) Homepage
    Actually it is a rather smart idea, technology wise. Companies that deal with porn could place it on another port, say 84, and then redirect from a clean page. It is easy to implement with all current web servers and since the port is already a standard part of URL so search engines would beable to find it, along will all current software would not have a problem changing over to it. Since it does not have a domain no need to worry about all of that mess of that. In additional almost all home firewall have the abaility to already block specified port so it is a quick way that it could be put in use by the people who want to block it.
    As for the protocol use of the port that is already not the case, various vendors already use different ports on thier web servers to handle help or admin pages.
    There is one major problem, it assumes that the people who run theses sites want to prevent minors from gaining access. So we are back to the .xxx problem and this bill and the idea is dead.
  • Censorship? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dan East (318230) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:25AM (#18360887) Homepage Journal
    I'd like to know why this is flagged as censorship. Is it considered censorship that adult movies can't be rated G? Is it censorship that pornography is not allowed in the .gov TLD? Just because it has to be segregated does't mean it is censored.

    Regardless of that, I don't see how this can be enforced, since only a fraction of .com domains are owned by entities in the USA.

    Dan East
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:32AM (#18360975)
    Umm...what? Where the hell do "hackers" and "malicious packets" come into this?

    We're talking about content. And, to be honest, a voluntary system for identifying "adult material" would probably be adhered to. Because it's in the porn industry's best interest.

    The porn sites are in business to make money. Period. And they're well aware of negative image that they give the rest of the industry, and that there's a lot of heat on them. Frankly, it helps them a lot to be able to say "look, we provide technical means to allow parents to filter this out for their children." Now they can do business in peace, without the hue and cry of "Think of the Children! We must protect them from teh interwebs!"

    Is it possible to circumvent this system? Absolutely. Will some people fail to adhere to it? Without doubt. But most of the "legit" porn industry would probably be relieved to have a system that lets them say they're acting in good faith as responsible citizens.

    The problem here is the implementation, not the concept. Segregating content by internet port is just silly. And the underlying concept is somewhat disturbing--I think the notion here is like broadcast and basic TV, and FCC decency standards could be enforced on port 80. Frankly, that has a LOT of negative implications that have nothing to do with porn.

    Simpler to implement solutions that would achieve the same effect: Add a new TLD for porn (though IMO the proliferation of TLD's in also flawed, but that's a different rant), adding a specific meta-tag (just as we do today for robots), adding a new attribute to the tag to classify certain images as adult-only, etc. I'm sure there are better ideas than mine out there.

    At some point, people who are ACTUALLY concerned about children are going to stop trying to figure out how to somehow outlaw porn and work with the industry to put voluntary controls in place.
  • by TheCarp (96830) * <sjc@noSPAM.carpanet.net> on Thursday March 15, 2007 @09:44AM (#18361061) Homepage
    OF course you rmorality doesn't agree.... your not a pervert.

    These Utahians are, on the other hand, quite obviously perverts.

    Look at it this way... theres lots of ways to divide up the world. You can say "there are black people and white people"... then you broke up the world on skin color. You can say "there are good days and bad" then you have broken up days based on how you feel about them.

    These people in Utah want to sort the entire content of the internet, based on sex. I say, putting such an incredibly high importance on sexual content vs everything else tells me one thing... they are perverts. Perverts who feel that sex is so highly dangerous and dirty that it needs to be supressed. Probably because feeling nasty and dirty is the only way they can get off.

    Fucking perverts.

    -Steve
  • by mr_mischief (456295) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @10:00AM (#18361251) Journal
    Okay, so HTTP porn on port 40001. Now, FTP porn on 40002? Gopher for porn on 40003? NNTP for porn on 40004? SMTP porn on 40005? SSL HTTP porn on 40006? 8-bit telnet with zmodem porn on 40007?

    See the problem? Ports are for services. Porn is not a service, it's content of a service.

    Maybe we should set hijack the Content-disposition header and set it to "Content-disposition: nasty". Sure, it'll break attachments, at least as far as there's overlap between attachments and porn, but who cares? Your children are safe from your lack of supervision while the rest of us work around your concerns.

    When I was a child, I was told what to do and what not to do. If my parents weren't in the room with me the entire time, they checked in on me often enough that they'd catch me doing things I wasn't supposed to do, or at least make me reasonably afraid they would. When I got caught, I lost access to things like computers. When I was in real trouble, I got the belt.

    Maybe that's what the Internet needs -- it needs parents who discipline their children for doing things children shouldn't do.

    Come on everybody, we've got to stop the proliferation of unsupervised, spoiled, undisciplined children! Think of the Internet!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2007 @10:20AM (#18361481)
    You never get unsolicited emails that have porn photos?

    I do. My kids don't. Their email is white-list only. (And I don't see the photos either - images are disabled in my mail client.)

    I'd love to have a child-safe internet channel where content was intentionally restricted.

    Whitelist the sites you approve of. Block everything else.
  • by fudgefactor7 (581449) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @10:21AM (#18361509)
    "There is this assumption that you can't control it (the Internet)," Yarro said. "It's a toaster, we made it, we can fix it. ... We can solve the Internet pornography problem tomorrow if we decided to."

    What Internet Porn problem? [straightdope.com] Nevermind the silly thought of the 'Net being a toaster.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2007 @10:22AM (#18361515)
    Explain to me why the acronym NSFW was created.

    To allow those who want to avoid such content to do so. Clicking a link marked NSFW is not an "accident"

    You never get unsolicited emails that have porn photos?

    I never get spam period.

    The only locations I ever see any porn on the net are warez/torrent sites and porn sites. Neither of which have I ever visited "accidently."
  • by BVis (267028) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @10:35AM (#18361693)

    I agree the idea of segregating by port is dumb, but even if it was implemented, if you wanted to you would still be able to look at all the porn you wanted.
    I disagree.

    Look at this from a broadband-provider point of view. Let's say that this measure passes, and somehow can be enforced. (That's a whole different impracticality.) The (insanely well funded) powers that be behind the lobbying for this measure will start to demand that their ISPs make use of this restriction to protect their children from the evil boobies. They'll demand that the port be blocked by default for all of the ISP's customers. The ISP, not wanting to look like they're pushing porn on children (whether they actually are or not is irrelevant), will more than likely cave in the face of the political pressure, and start to block the port.

    People who create and like to look at porn are far less politically organized than the self-appointed moral arbiters involved here. (Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler etc notwithstanding.) These protestors are also easily ignored by the big ISPs, since if they do start to make a stink, they're easily discredited as "perverts". In the (extremely unlikely) event that these customers are able to voice their objections in an effective way, the next hurdle is how to restrict the ports by default and handle requests for the restriction to be removed on a case-by-case basis. Do you provide an online form that can easily be accessed by the very children the measure is intended to protect? Do you require verification of age from the requester (and accept all the logistical problems involved with same?) The most practical thing to do is to still block the port by default and ignore the customers that complain. After all, most people don't have a choice in broadband providers, so the loss of revenue would be minimal, and money is really all that matters here, not the morality. The morality dictates the financials, and in this case it's cheaper to block the ports and ignore the "perverts".

    I don't really care if someone calls me a "pervert". If I want to look at two consenting adults covering themselves in maple syrup and inserting things in themselves and each other, I have a right to do so. (That's not just an assertion, it's been debated in the highest court in the land.) This measure would have the indirect effect of restricting that right.

    Your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose. If we're going to define a law as something that protects someone's rights, we could consider this act illegal. (That might be a less common interpretation of the situation, but the ambiguity is exactly the problem here.)
  • by Fastolfe (1470) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @12:12PM (#18363413)
    Porn providers don't have to lie. PICS works without their cooperation.

    If you're going to try to set up a "child-safe" browsing experience, you're probably going to check the box that forbids access to unrated sites. Ratings can act as a whitelist just as easily as they can a blacklist.

    Porn sites that explicitly label their sites as non-porn sites are acting with malicious intent, and this is a different problem that has a different solution. (PICS ratings bureaus can also require that the rating be digitally signed, or require that the browser ask the bureau for guidance rather than trusting what the site provided.)
  • by Sczi (1030288) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @12:31PM (#18363713)
    I thought of a similar way to clean up the internet, if you will, but this guy is coming at it from the wrong direction. Rather than bending everyone else to your will, he needs to just segregate himself. I figured it something like this: 1. establish a new port number, but this will be the clean port rather than the dirty port. 2. the US government mandates that all servers 'broadcasting' on this port must be inside the US, ie, no foreign servers. requires configuration on routers that go overseas 3. optionally have something like an ssl certificate to be required for servers.. new browsers may require it, etc. 4. 'clean' sites may 'broadcast' on both port 80 and the new port. try to get all .gov and .edu sites to broadcast on both. family friendly .com sites would follow. There could be a license of some type required to broadcast on the new port that would pay for enforcement efforts. 5. once there is enough content availabe on the new port that people can realistically go about their business without port 80, ISP's then give customers the option to block port 80. businesses may choose to do the same. people who keep port 80 would have access to both. 6. get the big browsers to put in native support for the new port and maybe the big operating systems too so you can lock down your kids' pc's, etc I like this approach the best for a number of reasons: * sites that don't want to deal with the new port can simply stick with port 80, and nothing changes * users that don't want to deal with the new port can simply stick with port 80, and nothing changes * making the new port US-only would not step on anybody's toes internationally, because they weren't using the port anyway * making the new port US-only would establish a jurisdiction which we could really control * if the new port did not require an ssl certificate or whatever, then 99% of web sites right this very minute could go into their config and start broadcasting on a new port, meaning low burden on admins.. of course over time more options may be developed, etc * spammers and porn sites would be tempted only very briefly before deciding it's just not worth it to mess with trying to make money on it
  • by nilbog (732352) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @01:49PM (#18365097) Homepage Journal
    I saw these guys last year at a technology expo here in Utah. They had these really cool T-Shirts they were giving out to everyone who signed their petition. The shirts had nothing to do with CP80 or pr0n or anything like that. It had some cool nuclear age artwork from the 50's on it.

    I talked with the guy for a bit and found out what they were trying to do. I told him it was a dumb idea and it would never work and it's not enforceable. He didn't have any great answers - just kept saying "we'll make them move to another port" emphasizing "make."

    Figuring that it could never work, I signed their petition in the name of getting a free T-shirt. Looking back, it was a mistake, because apparently this thing is going somewhere despite its complete lack of reason. I sold my soul and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt.

    I haven't ever worn the T-shirt.

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