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Censorship The Internet Government Politics

SCO Chairman Fights to Ban Open Wireless Networks 343

Posted by Zonk
from the but-i-thought-the-internet-was-*for*-porn dept.
cachedout writes "SCO's Ralph Yarro had the floor yesterday at the Utah Technology Commission meeting in front of Utah lawmakers. Yarro proposed that free wireless sites and subscribers should be held responsible should any porn be delivered to minors because hotspots are apparently where kids go to watch porn all day long. Yarro told lawmakers that open wireless access points should be made a crime because we have an Internet out of control."
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SCO Chairman Fights to Ban Open Wireless Networks

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  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:29PM (#18805379) Homepage Journal
    and that's the way I like it.

    Thank you very much.

    He entered a search term that he couldn't recall Wednesday, although he said it "wasn't a real expressive sexual kind of word." And then, he said, he got caught up in a pornado -- sexually explicit pop-up windows took over his computer.

    "I had this instant flash of pornographic trash on my computer that just started popping up," Brown said. "I could not turn it off. As fast as I would turn something off, something would pop on."

    He had to turn off his computer to stop it, he said.

    It could happen to anyone, said Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City.

    "I've never opened a site in my life, but what pops up is unbelievable," he said.
    Jesus, install a popup blocker (or FireFox) you luddite bastard.
  • Hyperbole much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jarjarthejedi (996957) <christianpinch AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:30PM (#18805401) Journal
    I mean really, an Internet out of control? all day long? Do these people see hyperbole as the best way to get people to listen because I know that anyone claiming kids are watching porn all day long is either an idiot or prone to exaggeration so why should I listen to them?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:32PM (#18805449)
    No. It's called FREEDOM and sometimes that means people are able to be free and do things that others don't like.

    Examples:

    kill 32 people with a legally purchased gun. that's the price of freedom.
    insult the president. that's the price of freedom.
    remove a president. that's the price of freedom.
  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:33PM (#18805463)
    I don't think so.

    Just about everyone here knows how those pop-ups happen. You're either at the site or you've been infected by some crap (most likely from going to one of those sites).
  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:34PM (#18805481) Journal
    It would seem to me that placing any bans on the internet by a state would be a form of regulating interstate commerce, which is reserved for the Federal government. Correct me, As I'm sure you will, If I'm wrong.
  • by dorath (939402) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:39PM (#18805541)

    Jesus, install a popup blocker (or FireFox) you luddite bastard.
    Indeed. Anyone unfamiliar with the concept of a pop-up blocker probably shouldn't be involved with interweb related legislation.
  • Re:Ah come on... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wandering Wombat (531833) <mightyjalapeno@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:47PM (#18805673) Homepage Journal
    Of course. The "Average Joe" just knows that a big company (with a logo and EVERYTHING) thinks that WiFi is corrupting our children. That's enough big words to sway anyone!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:51PM (#18805741)
    "He entered a search term that he couldn't recall Wednesday, although he said it "wasn't a real expressive sexual kind of word.""

    Riiiight. Next time don't click on the "I'm feeling lucky!" button so quick.

    Didn't he look at the context for the search results before clicking blindly on the first link that came up? Most adults realize that there are many innocuous words that can have multiple meanings. You can't type in "head", "facial", or "blow" into a search engine without expecting *some* possibility of suprises, and google, for example, will filter results unless you override it in the preferences, and it usually does a pretty good job.

    I wonder what he typed in to magically circumvent the usual filters? And why is he blaming wireless access points for his own click-happy actions?

    "And then, he said, he got caught up in a pornado -- sexually explicit pop-up windows took over his computer."

    Let's look at a few hypothetical options for solving this problem (and there are many more): 1) install a pop-up blocker and/or use a modern web browser, 2) make unprompted pornographic popups illegal, or 3) outlaw unsecured wireless access points.

    When personal or targetted solutions are possible, why do politicians always gravitate towards the most intrusive and broadest legislative solution as the answer? I don't even see the connection between open wireless access points and the problem this guy describes.

    I have to complement him on the term, though. "Pornado". That's a good one.
  • by autophile (640621) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:52PM (#18805767)

    Every week I see a story about how such-and-such a CEO went in front of such-and-such a commission and spewed lies. When do our guys get to in front of commissions?

    --Rob

  • by gravesb (967413) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:53PM (#18805787) Homepage
    I was just reading a law review article on using threats to internet intermediateries to censor speech when the 1st Amendment would prevent direct censorship. Evidently, the Supreme Court ruled on this practice back when McCarthy was trying to use private entities to censor supposed communists. Hopefully, the case law will catch up to the technology, and we can ignore these idiots. See:155 U. Pa. L. Rev. 11 for complete article.
  • by DaMattster (977781) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:55PM (#18805809)
    So, if I correctly interpret the motive, we should widen our already broad criminal laws and punish those who have open wireless networks. Wow, the burden on our Criminal Justice system is heavy enough. Could you imagine the back log of criminal complaints and cases awaiting trial? Not to mention the implications of enforcement. I am sure Homeland Security would love this kind of criminalization because it would give them far reaching search and seizure powers. Our freedoms are already impacted enough by the Patriot Act, should we allow our government to become more gestapo-like?
  • by gorehog (534288) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @07:03PM (#18805895)
    A lot of people don't understand that you cant blame the provider for what is done with the bandwidth. And, more importantly you can't restrain my right to free speech. If I want to put up a free access point to promote a cause then I must be allowed to do that as a matter of free speech. Only under extreme circumstances should that speech be curtailed (yelling fire in a theater, or where there is limited resources that MUST be regulated.) It's the responsibility of the individual to not commit a crime.

    For instance, you don't arrest the CEO of Chevrolet when a drunk driver smacks into you with his Camaro. You don't arrest factory workers from Stanley tools if someone hits you with a hammer. Why would you place the blame for kiddie porn in the hands of the bandwidth provider.

    The only reason SCO comes out against free, open hotspots is because they see the potential for financial benefit from forcing difficult technology on people.
  • by Iron Condor (964856) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @07:16PM (#18806049)

    The net considers censorship as a defect.

    The net was designed to route around defects.

  • Re:Hyperbole much? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kenshin (43036) <kenshinNO@SPAMlunarworks.ca> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @07:19PM (#18806091) Homepage
    I mean really, an Internet out of control?

    Out of financial control.

    Why the hell would they want a bunch of people using a free open connection when they could legislate it so each person would have to PAY for their own connection?
  • by dunng808 (448849) <osp@alo[ ]com ['ha.' in gap]> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @07:22PM (#18806135) Homepage Journal

    I don't even see the connection between open wireless access points and the problem this guy describes.

    Sounds like Yarro is about to flee his sinking ship and swim in the direction of these guys: http://hotspot.t-mobile.com/ [t-mobile.com]

    The business plan:

    1. Outlaw free hotspots ("Save the Children!").
    2. Offer proprietary for-fee coldspots with built-in filtering.
    3. Become a defacto standard and virtual monopoly.
    4. Profit!

  • Re:Oh noes! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by apoc.famine (621563) <apoc.famine@gmaiCOLAl.com minus caffeine> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @07:57PM (#18806459) Homepage Journal

    Actually, "boobies" aren't the problem - we're ok with boobies. Look at any movie, or even TV show or magazine, and you'll see a fair amount of boob. Maybe not a full nipple, but just about all of the rest of it.

    Have you seen a movie which is rated "R" due in part to nudity lately? 90% chance that's because you get a glimpse of a boobie. The other 10% are ass-cheeks.

    It's the stuff below the belly button that's the problem. God forbid that the children find internet porn which shows someone with a body part that they don't have! It will destroy them for LIFE!

  • Re:Ah come on... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rukie (930506) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @08:14PM (#18806593) Homepage Journal
    lol, if so, bravo. but seriously. So if I have a unsecured wireless access point in my home, and some 16 year old drives by with his little pda and it detects it, he comes back with his laptop and starts using it to look at porn, would I be held liable for that? That is complete crap that I could be held liable for SOMEONE ELSE. I think wireless hotspots should put up disclaimers that "the USER" will be held responsible for anything. Internet is not out of control, in fact, I'd say there is too much legislation on the Internet. More rights less government! lol
  • Re:Oh noes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Original Replica (908688) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @09:11PM (#18807067) Journal
    God forbid that the children find internet porn which shows someone with a body part that they don't have! It will destroy them for LIFE!

    I think SCO and the "think of the children" crowd have the same basic fear: people givin' it away for free, without signing a contract.
  • Re:Ah come on... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Redlazer (786403) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @10:46PM (#18807841) Homepage
    More rights less government!

    How eerily republican of you!

    Please note, i mean REAL republican - not hey-lets-raise-taxes-and-increase-government republicans.

    -Red

  • Re:Ah come on... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mapkinase (958129) on Friday April 20, 2007 @05:26AM (#18809633) Homepage Journal
    The problem of parenthood in US is that government keeps parents on a short leash. Parents, of course, bare main responsibility to watch their kids from doing bad stuff. And as "with great power comes great responsibity", in the same way the great responsibility must be supplied with the power.

    Instead, the government is further down the road to remove power from parents and "take care" of the matter itself. Needless to say, as usual, when government tries to do what it is not supposed to do it uses heavy handed indiscriminate approach.

    Bottom line: parents should have more rights on disciplining their kids, they should not be afraid of disciplining it, and government should remove ridiculously frivolous "rights" of the children, like telling the police of child abuse after every spanking.
  • by cHALiTO (101461) <elchalo@@@gmail...com> on Friday April 20, 2007 @08:29AM (#18810371) Homepage
    " we have an Internet out of control "

    Man.. that is scary. The Internet was never under control. It kinda used to be the point of it really. I remember in the early 90s when I tried to explain to my dad that nobody 'owned' the internet, that there was no-one dictating what you could or couldn't do on it, it was just a bunch of computers connected to each other, and yours was one of those, so what you did on the net was just business between you and whoever you were sending packets to/from.
    I remember him doing a 'meh' kind of face and saying something along the lines of "Yeah, sounds, nice. We'll see how long it takes to have some business value, then you can kiss all that freedom goodbye, and say hello to the new 'owners'".

    It's kind of sad, really.
  • Re:Ah come on... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) * on Friday April 20, 2007 @10:10AM (#18811193) Homepage Journal

    In an ideal world, you'd just be held liable for being too stupid to secure your access point.

    In an ideal world, you'd have your stupid ideas on a cardboard sign and be shouting them from a street corner.

    I run an open, free, isolated wireless network specifically for the convenience of others. What the hell business is it of yours if it is open, other than if you want to use it? How about, you look at your instincts to regulate other people's choices of sharing resources and realize they are the cries of our worst enemy, the mommy-government proponent?

    Man I am sick and tired of people who think its OK to force others to do what they think is right in areas where no harm is being done to anyone else.

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