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Utah Wants To Give ISPs That Filter a "G-Rating" 328

Posted by kdawson
from the there-goes-sundance dept.
An anonymous reader writes "HB407 in Utah would create a child-friendly designation for ISPs that block out a range of prohibited materials. Google, Yahoo, and others are fighting the bill, but Rep. Michael Morley says, 'I think it's a positive thing for those who are looking for a site that is dedicated to fighting pornography.'"
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Utah Wants To Give ISPs That Filter a "G-Rating"

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  • Unworkable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by milsoRgen (1016505) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:14PM (#22562134) Homepage
    It will never work, the state and/or companies that would try and implement it would needlessly expose themselves to liability once parents who let the computer screen baby sit their kids realize it's not fool proof.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KublaiKhan (522918)
      So they'll just pull an Australia and make it governmentally mandated or something like that.

      O'course, now, children will grow up unable to see the Venus de Milo or the Vitruvian Man or any of those other naughty art bits, but that's OK, right? Because it's protecting the children?

      And it's not like they'll be able to learn about STDs or how to protect oneself against 'em, but that's OK--without all those nasty naked people, why would they want to have sex?
      • by milsoRgen (1016505) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:23PM (#22562330) Homepage
        It starts with naked people, who are incredibly dangerous and an affront to any morally upstanding U.S. citizen such as myself. Next we ban anything about drugs that isn't inline with our current policy. Then we ban violence. Then we ban info on anything the state deems illegal or subversive. Then we ban known dissidents from speaking in a non approved forum. Then we are safe.
        • by middlemen (765373) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:45PM (#22562742) Homepage
          It starts with naked people, who are incredibly dangerous and an affront to any morally upstanding U.S. citizen such as myself. Next we ban anything about drugs that isn't inline with our current policy. Then we ban violence. Then we ban info on anything the state deems illegal or subversive. Then we ban known dissidents from speaking in a non approved forum. Then we are safe.

          Haha... I am waiting for them to actually ban evolution, not the theory but the phenomenon. That law would have to be intelligently designed.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by baboo_jackal (1021741)
          The whole idea of making laws about porn (outside of preventing abhorrent abuses, like child porn and snuff films, for example) just bothers me.

          I'm a conservative, and a Republican, but I just gotta say this is a perfect example of conservative, Republican hypocrisy. (There, I said it.)

          I understand that parents want to be able to raise their kids however they see fit - if you want your kid to never see a boobie until he's 18, then fine. If you want your kid to start masturbating to hardcore porn at
      • by gnick (1211984)

        And it's not like they'll be able to learn about STDs or how to protect oneself against 'em
        With the internet properly filtered, underage sex will no longer be a concern. Without pornography, kids won't know how to have sex until their parents present them with the "birds and the bees" book on their wedding night.

        Problem solved.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The parent in me understands the concerns at play here; that we want to restrict the nature of the media that our children are exposed to. The geek in me understands why this short-term impossible, medium-to-long-term semi-workable on a small-scale, but undesirable for the ISPs, the search engines, and the like.

      The only way you can pull this off is with a trust-system. The ratings analogy seems to conveniently skip over the existing infrastructure of that trust-system. The content producers are respons

      • Re:Unworkable (Score:4, Interesting)

        by KublaiKhan (522918) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:49PM (#22562808) Homepage Journal
        The weakness in that argument is that it requires that parents take responsibility and make an effort to educate themselves.

        Your typical soccer mom "doesn't know anything about computers" and has no interest in doing so--but wants to make sure the kids are safe, because anything other than total and utter safety Just Won't Do.

        Now, if you decided to build yourself a cheapass firewall/filter/proxy appliance, form factor about the same as your typical cable modem and priced at about the $50 point you mentioned (with, say, $19.95/month updating service) that you could plug inline between the modem and the home LAN, you could conceivably make a profit--but if it required any activation by the parent more complicated than a typical windows "click yes" wizard and selecting a secret code, you can forget about any sort of widespread adoption.
      • by longacre (1090157) *

        Seems to me that if you're worried about this kind of stuff in your home that it should be solvable with a $50 router and an hour reading the manual.

        Plus several million hours visiting every website in existence to determine which IPs to block.
    • Re:Unworkable (Score:5, Informative)

      by BWJones (18351) * on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @04:19PM (#22563276) Homepage Journal
      Beyond unworkable, there are other issues at play including 4th Amendment rights. This is covered in Pete Ashdown's blog [peteashdown.org] (Pete is an ISP owner)

  • Filtering (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:14PM (#22562152)
    This is what a PARENT should be doing. PARENTS should be telling their children what they can and can not see. Not the government, not some company, not anyone else. It's the parents job to raise their children, teach them what's right and wrong, and to allow the to see what they can and can't see. Nobody elses.
    • The PARENTS are busy looking at PORN, though... they need someone to handle the easy job of raising their children right, since, looking at the world around me, they are not qualified to do it.
    • Re:Filtering (Score:5, Insightful)

      by xero314 (722674) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:37PM (#22562592)
      This is only a tool available to parents to do just what you are suggesting. There is nothing saying you have to have a child friendly ISP, but that you can. I agree that parents should probably know what there kids are doing, but I can't see anything wrong with them having an option available that more matches their ideals.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by DrLang21 (900992)
        Then why not make the parents aquire their own software for this if they want it? It's not as though the tools for doing this don't already exist. This is not something that everyone should be burdened with.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          This is not something that everyone should be burdened with.

          And they're not. The state is providing a service that over 50% of its residents desire or at least approve of. If you don't want to get filtered internet access, then use an ISP that isn't on the list. It's that easy.

          why not make the parents aquire their own software for this if they want it?

          Because then all the kid has to do is acquire a livecd and they're on the unfiltered internet. If you really want to filter things, you have to do it upstream where the kid doesn't have access to it. There have been ISPs providing filtered internet in Utah for over a decade, this is just the

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      This is what a PARENT should be doing.
      PARENTS should be telling their children what they can and can not see. Not the government, not some company, not anyone else. It's the parents job to raise their children, teach them what's right and wrong, and to allow the to see what they can and can't see. Nobody elses.

      While I agree with what you're saying, the sentiment misses a really important point. That is, what these folks are proposing will not work as advertised.

      The counter-argument to your point would be that the ISPs are providing a service that parents volunteer to select in the name of raising their children responsibly. The government is simply providing some expertise in flagging what ISPs are providing that service so parents can choose accordingly. But again - the problem is that it won't work as adver

    • Re:Filtering (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jarom (899827) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @04:05PM (#22563046)

      It IS the parents who are doing the job when they chose an ISP that will help them filter the content they don't want from entering their home. I don't see how the company or the government is forcing this on anyone. If you don't want an ISP that filters, choose a different ISP, ie. one that doesn't have a "G" rating per this bill (assuming it passes). If parents want an ISP that filters, let them have one. Just because a company provides a service doesn't mean that everyone needs to use that service. Sure, this could be done by installing a filtering program on the client computer, but that's not foolproof either. Sure, ISP filtering isn't foolproof, but if it isn't working enough to the customer's satisfaction, then they aren't obligated to continue using the service, and they aren't limited to only use the ISP filtering.

      This is what capitalism is all about. The ISP is providing a service that is of value to the customer, who in turn gives them money, which is of value to the ISP. As long as there isn't coercion or deception, it sounds like a win-win to me. If the service is not of value to you, don't buy the service. Just don't complain and say that it isn't of value to anyone.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is that where naked women hit each other with fish and such?

    Yum.
  • This means war! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sakdoctor (1087155) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:15PM (#22562158) Homepage
    Can anyone remind me why pornography needs to be "fought"?
    • by Tmack (593755) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:18PM (#22562236) Homepage Journal

      Can anyone remind me why pornography needs to be "fought"?
      Goatse?

      • Re:This means war! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Tmack (593755) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:33PM (#22562540) Homepage Journal
        To reply to myself... seriously though, "fighting" pr0n is about like the war on drugs. Its a way for politicians to look good in the face of supporters and contributors that dump $$ to their campaigns and give them the votes that keep them in business, while actually doing little towards what it intends to accomplish. Its the "thinkofthechildrens!!!" effect. Because on average most parents these days seem to expect everyone else to protect their kids and make the whole world G rated and safe so they dont have to do anything themselves, and will file lawsuits and cause problems the instant its not. Most people dont have the understanding of how to protect their kids from online pr0n (if they even try), so they expect someone else to do it for them. Its similar reasons that caused such a huge uproar over a nipple being shown on tv, neglecting the fact that most kids suck on one for the first few years of their lives, and for more similar reasons (ultraconservativereligiouscontrolfreaks) that you wont hear swearwords on TV or radio. Its not like parents have a way to filter out such content on there own right??? Ohyeh, V-chip (another government mandated protection bit), and now hardware in dvd players that can actively filter only the "objectionable" content (walk by the dvd players in Target, most have one on a motion activated display setup thing), but we still must prevent obscene material from ever hitting our eternally virgin eyes and ears since the act that makes babies is dirty and should never happen or even be known about!

        </rant>

        tm

    • by Zeinfeld (263942)
      What he said is 'I think it's a positive thing for those who are looking for a site that is dedicated to fighting pornography.'

      I don't see how its going to be any easier to find fighting pornography or sites dedicated to the provision thereof. Thats what Google is for, the world is you oyster with Google, Jello and copious quantities of lube.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      1. 2girls1cup
      2. goatse
      3. tubgirl
    • by sm62704 (957197)
      Can anyone remind me why pornography needs to be "fought"?

      Well gee, you guys jump me for writing journals about drunken whores so I do one about attempted murder and how do you act? Now you're against fighting! Do I have to do one about two naked hookers catfighting? Or would you rather have me write about a couple of old ladies drinking tea? That would be a great read now wouldn't it?

      Well what's on the telly then?
      Looks like a penguin to me.


      Damn, you CAN'T please everybody! Or, it seems, anybody. At least I
    • Can anyone remind me why pornography needs to be "fought"?
      Charity [youtube.com].
    • by Nimey (114278)
      players.on.nimp.org

      Hey everybody, I'm looking at gay porno!
      Hey everybody, I'm looking at gay porno!
    • by netsavior (627338)
      Can anyone remind me why pornography needs to be "fought"?

      because religion is a bigger business, and they are in direct competition.
  • by trolltalk.com (1108067) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:15PM (#22562160) Homepage Journal

    ... so all those politicians, holy rollers, and "protect the children" types can more easily find their daily dose of pr0n ...

  • by Cathoderoytube (1088737) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:15PM (#22562162)
    I for one am quite pleased to see Utah fighting outsourcing like this. We no longer need to go to China to get this sort of thing.
  • by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768 AT comcast DOT net> on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:15PM (#22562170) Journal
    Porn, except for some extreme examples is completely and totally legal in the US. This is just like fighting smoking in adults... you might not like it, but unless you make it illegal you have no fucking argument and need to live with it and STFU.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kellyb9 (954229)
      Actually - I'm not really sure what arguement you are trying to make, but you may have just proven the exact opposite point. Pornography IS illegal for children under 18 and 21 in some states. So - in other words, it's actually MORE like fighting smoking in children. I've never seen anyone cry censorship over that.
    • They only want to certify ISPs that (claim to) block porn. Not force* everyone to use them.

      *Of course, all (both of the) broadband ISPs will either be certified or not. I imagine, in Utah, it will be worth the business to become certified. So I suppose you can always get some awesome dial-up porno.

  • by The Ancients (626689) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:15PM (#22562180) Homepage

    Here in New Zealand, the government provided funds for Watchdog [watchdog.net.nz] to develop a filtering system suitable for schools. Part of the deal was that any other ISP had access to the system and could supply their own customers with internet access filtered by the system.

    Whilst not perfect, it did provide schools etc with a default option and a starting point for internet access.

    • by mpe (36238)
      Here in New Zealand, the government provided funds for Watchdog to develop a filtering system suitable for schools. Part of the deal was that any other ISP had access to the system and could supply their own customers with internet access filtered by the system.

      Thing is that if the resulting filtering system is actually suitable for schools it will not be suitable for anyone else.
  • .. there are several sites dedicated to Fighting Pornography. I guess Senator Morley hasn't been googling very hard.
  • 'I think it's a positive thing for those who are looking for a site that is dedicated to fighting pornography.'

    It's also a positive thing for those of us looking to avoid ass-clowns and the companies that they run.

  • !Censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kellyb9 (954229) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:19PM (#22562266)
    I wouldn't really classify this as censorship personally. I think it's a parents right to filter whatever content they want from their children. You can't really say that it's censorship if you opt-in for it. Under this line of thinking, the do not call list is censorship because you are filtering phone networks for content you don't want. In the end, however, if they were good at parenting they wouldn't really need to do this. It's just another case of children being raised by the next form of entertainment that comes their way - it used to be the tv.
    • Re:!Censorship (Score:5, Interesting)

      by phoenix.bam! (642635) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:28PM (#22562436)
      There is absolutely no need for the government to become involved in this. If a company wants to offer a filtered package, that is something they can advertise. The government has no business rating ISPs based on its arbitrary standards.
      • by BobMcD (601576)
        While that may be true in the strictest sense of what 'government' is, you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that this doesn't provide a desired service to the taxpaying constituents. If you look at what our 'government' actually does provide, this sort of opt-in service falls right in line.

        What's a better use of tax dollars: fighting yet another pointless war overseas or providing something actually of (at least limited) use on the home front?

        It may be a limited example, but I'm certain you have already pu
      • by kellyb9 (954229)
        Agreed. The government has their hands in a lot of things it probably shouldn't. The FCC currently regulates a lot of the content that gets put out on radio or television. Not a very popular idea, but it's probably only a matter of time...

        But don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating that they actually do this - I'm saying it's not censorship either way. As an aside, I think it might actually make good business sense for an ISP to provide this kind of service. They would be much more efficient then any filte
    • by Amouth (879122)
      it is alittle diffrent then the do not call list..

      when someone calls your house it is something that is unexpected to you . they are the same as someone randomly walking up to you and start talking about something.

      when you are on they net and going to websites - even clicking on links you are asking for something - you are the person walking up to another and start the conversation.

      the diffrence is with web sites - as being a public website it is understood the site wants to be talked to so it is ok for yo
      • by kellyb9 (954229)
        You're missing the point. It's not about when YOU click on the link. It's about when children click on the link.
  • tag war (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mapkinase (958129) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:20PM (#22562290) Homepage Journal
    That is not "censorship". I strongly advise all trigger-taggy-happy types to go and check what censorship means.
    • by John3 (85454)

      That is not "censorship". I strongly advise all trigger-taggy-happy types to go and check what censorship means.
      Censorship [wikipedia.org] is the suppression or deletion of material, which may be considered objectionable, harmful or sensitive, as determined by a censor.

  • I mean, nobody can possibly use anonymizing services, proxy servers, filters, or encryption to circumvent such things. And even if they could, such systems are completely unheard of outside of a small club.

    Oh, you want to know the clubs name? Why, it's name is EVERYBODY! We meet at the bar!
  • by fermion (181285) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:24PM (#22562352) Homepage Journal
    This is going to do nothing but cause a false sense of security, will not block the soft stuff that most kids are perfectly happy with anyway, and will block legitimate sites. I often use an ISP connection that is highly filtered to weed out content not appropriate for kids. I sometimes even go further on put on google full safe search. The stuff that is supposed to filtered is still there, and often shows up on otherwise innocuous searches. OTOH, I have been blocked from perfectly reasonable content, for reasons I cannot fantom. I have had similar results on filtered pubic access connections.

    The reality is that not everything can be filtered. Combine that with the fact that nearly every kid over the age of 10 have access to proxy server, and the whole notion of a g-rated filtered pipe becomes quite humorous. The only way to remotely sell a legitimate rated service is to white list acceptable sites. It si time consuming, but effective. There are still tricks to get around it, but the bar is significantly raised.

    • by valintin (30311)
      It will do more that that. It will expose your children to concentrated toxic advertising focused on selling to minors only.

      And by separating the children to a web of their own your are exposing them to everyone as children. On the web you can't tell who's a dog, but on the G-Web you know where you can find the kids.
  • by brennanw (5761) * on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:24PM (#22562364) Homepage Journal

    We can give a bunch of ISP's g-ratings, then we can consolidate all of them and refer to it as the g-spot.

    ...and then wait to see how long it takes for them to notice.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by techpawn (969834)

      then we can consolidate all of them and refer to it as the g-spot....and then wait to see how long it takes for them to notice.
      If you call it the g-spot none of them would find it let alone notice it
  • by skelly33 (891182)
    I never got onto the whole AOL thing when it first came out because it had a lot of proprietary crap that broke from established standards, so I don't have any direct experience with their original interface. But I seem to remember something about a child safe online environment being one of their schticks originally, was it not? If so, does that still hold true today?
  • From the blurb, it is first said that the bill would designate ISPs who block a range of prohibited materials as child friendly. Then the quote specifically says about blocking pornography. So which is it? Is Utah going to be a nanny state and tell its citizens what is and is not prohibited or is it going after just pornography?

    What is considered "a range of prohibited materials"? Pornography in all its forms or just porn between two men (but not two women*)? What about transvestite or shemale sex? Does
    • by drspliff (652992)
      It'd have absolutely nothing to do with the male-majority of law makers being homophobic, while still maintaining fantasies of a ménage à trois with their wife and mistress?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by R2.0 (532027)
      "*Why is it, when talking about gay porn, it is always about two men having sex but no one seems to have a problem with two women having sex? Why is the chant, "It's Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve" rather than, "It's Adam and Eve not Shannon and Eve"?"

      Simple arithmetic, my friend.

      Naked Woman: +1
      Naked Man: -1
      Sex Act: +1

      So...

      Man+woman+sex=+1-1+1=+1

      Man+man+sex=-1-1+1=-1

      Woman+woman+sex=+1+1+1=3

      As is plainly demonstrated, visual representations of lesbians having sex are 3 times as good as those representing he
    • "I guess the good folks of Utah have no problem being considered the same as China, North Korea, Myanmar and a whole host of other countries who prohibit their citizens from seeing certain material because it is deemed offensive or against public morals."

      Keep in mind that no one is discussing prohibiting citizens from doing anything. Many parents in general, and a lot of people in Utah in particular, have a strong interest in regulating the media their own children are exposed to. It's called being a good p
    • by Lendrick (314723)
      *Why is it, when talking about gay porn, it is always about two men having sex but no one seems to have a problem with two women having sex? Why is the chant, "It's Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve" rather than, "It's Adam and Eve not Shannon and Eve"?

      God thinks man-on-man sex is gross, but woman-on-woman sex is hot. This is why God punishes gay men with a much higher HIV rate than heterosexuals, and gay women have a lower HIV rate than heterosexuals. Duh.
  • From reading the bill it doesn't say anywhere that it is a requirement of ISPs to become a Community Conscious Internet Provider so what is the point? The ability to market to the Utah Mormon population or parents who want the facade of protection under the guise of censorship? It will fine those CCIPs that violate their censorship but nothing about those who aren't involved. I don't see this happening, but I'm sure wilder things have happened in Utah that I'm not aware of.
    • There are a lot of adjectives that could be accurately applied to Utah but "wild" isn't one of them.

      "The ability to market to the Utah Mormon population or parents who want the facade of protection under the guise of censorship?"

      Yes, actually, that probably is the point. A lot of the voting population in Utah is parents who would like the ability to tell what web sites they don't want their kids accessing without becoming experts on the internet.

      Technically I don't think the solution would be adequate but I
  • How are you going to ensure that everything on your net is "G" rated? Do these people have any idea how much labor would be involved in the constant policing?
    • by snl2587 (1177409)

      To the first question: you can't.

      To the second question: no.

      But it sure looks great on paper to the general public!

  • Candice Daly, representing the American Electronics Association testified that companies she represents, including Google and Yahoo, were opposed to the legislation. "They're very concerned about this particular piece of legislation," Daly said. "They don't see themselves as signing up for this seal."

    Already typical slashdotters are crying censorship. Basically, Yahoo and Google can't possibly earn this type of seal, so they are opposed to it. But let's face it... it is voluntary for an ISP to sign

    • I guarantee you that this law will lead to more taxes being spent to shore up under-performing ISPs who claim this designation but cannot deliver. Why? Because it's fine to tax people to limit their freedoms because it is for the children. It's fine to throw money at corporations in the name of protection from scary things. Utah is already in the red when it comes to Federal taxes paid vs. Federal funding received...

  • The text of this bill comes almost verbatim from the "1st State Initiative [cp80.com]" documents posted at http://www.cp80.com/resources/listall [cp80.com].
    This is the latest in a series who's last gem was would have essentially shut down free-wifi in Utah.
    Apparently it's easier to get a Utah legislator to rubber-stamp your bill than I'd expect.
  • double plus good! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mbaGeek (1219224) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:32PM (#22562508) Homepage

    porn is never the issue "free speech" is the issue

    and of course there is no "right" to not be offended ;-)

  • What's the big issue? Why is this tagged censorship?

    Not sure why everyone gets up in arms because a state wants to offer services to certify certain processes so that the public can know what they are dealing with. No one is saying an ISP has to be kid friendly, just saying that if they are they you can be well informed of this in a unified fashion.

    Believe it or not it's probably OK to keep your kids away from porn, violence, guns, hot stoves, etc. As an adult you are still free to view all the porn,
    • Why do we need the state to police our kids in our homes? I thought it was a parent's job to raise their children, and a pack of politicians (many of which possess sufficiently questionable morals).
      • by xero314 (722674)
        Until the state starts installing filtered internet access into your home it's still ultimately in the hands of the parents (or the market if it is determined adult content ISPs are not profitable). No one is saying that you have to have a filtered ISP, if they did then we would be talking censorship. In this case people are being given an option with an organization, which happens to be the government, offering a seal of approval that the content meets certain criteria.
  • Parents (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ruinevil (852677)
    I thought Mormons were all about family values. If the parents teach the kids good values, and set the computer in the family room, and watch the kids on the computer, they shouldn't need filter, which is something that doesn't work anyways, as the Australians now realized 47 million aussie dollars later. If you don't teach kids how to filter garbage, they will be doomed believe it once they leave the walls of your home.
    • by Entropius (188861)
      If you don't teach kids how to filter garbage, they will be doomed to believe it once they leave the walls of your home.

      Which, of course, is exactly what keeps Mormonism alive.
  • If some like this where to used and it end blocking windows / Microsoft update and then your systems got hacked who would be at fault?

    I can see it now a daycare, school , camp, and other places has the isp block sites then a false positive or a dumb bot that just auto lists stuff with little to no over site makes windows update / Microsoft get blocked as well as it's ip and then a hacker get in from the out side uses a hole in windows to get info one the kids, staff and others.

    And this may end up costing le
  • Do you think we can get those politicians to advocate their state as "The G-Spot of Online Safety"?

    Perhaps Santorum would make the pitch?
  • Filter this site (Score:5, Informative)

    by morcheeba (260908) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:39PM (#22562632) Journal
    I found a website they need to censor. It has gross pictures [utah.gov], pictures of dead people [utah.gov], and a giant phallus! [utah.gov] There are even naked breasts [utah.gov]. Would someone think of the children?!
  • A site? An ISP is not a site. What a moron.
  • by TheDarkener (198348) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:41PM (#22562660)
    I don't know about you, but it's been a LONG time since I got any porno pop-ups or redirections during regular web usage. Years, in fact. I think the thing is, people who WANT to find porn, WILL find porn. Those who aren't interested in searching for/looking at porn, really won't.

    The only exception I can think of is spam, which is completely different than what they're trying to do here anyway.

    Responsibility lies with YOU, not with those who wish to host a porn site, for legitimate reasons.
  • Let them do it. I don't see why Google and Yahoo care, they're not ISP's. Let the ISP's try to create some system that won't work, then they'll be sued out of existence when they are held liable. I don't see how this is bad for anyone except for the people who choose to pay for this service. People who live in Utah and have a brain will be completely unaffected.
  • by Haeleth (414428) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @03:43PM (#22562700) Journal
    Why the hell does this need legislation? If Utah's parents want to use ISPs that block certain kinds of material, then they can surely just choose to use ISPs that block those kinds of material, regardless of whether there's a law like this in place or not. We live in a capitalist society - if there's demand for that kind of blocking, then the market will provide it, without any need for the government to stick its nose in.

    And of course the market will provide a better solution, because different ISPs can try different kinds of blocking, and give their customers more choice and more control, and see what there's actually a market for, instead of trying to force a single government-mandated standard on everyone.

    This kind of issue is a situation where there is no need, and no place, for a one-size-fits-all government-coercion approach; this is about personal choice and personal morality, not the provision of essential services. On many issues (notably healthcare) I come down on the side of government involvement, but this is just ridiculous.
  • As long as the ISP lets consumers know "we filter out porn" I don't see this as a big issue. The big ISPs aren't going to touch this... so I don't think overall competition will suffer much. What you'll end up getting is a few smaller ISPs working together to make it happen and they'll probably get the contract with the schools.

    Any ISP that does go for the "G-Rating" would probably lose more subscribers than they would gain. Unless the gov't also plans on subsidising it, I don't see it as a good busin
  • F for Freedom!

    Oh and what happened to small goverment? Isn't the goverment giving ratings to ISP another enlargment of the goverment? A rating system for ISP's operated out of taxes? Come on right wing nutcases, don't let us down, STRIKE THIS BIG GOVERMENT PROPOSAL DOWN! Your taxes are at stake!

    I reckon that right wingers may care little about freedom, but we can get them excited at the prospect of having to pay more taxes.

  • Nothing wrong with that. In fact, that sounds like a pretty good use of government: providing independent ratings of things to help consumers make choices that suit them. It's just like the USDA rating meat and eggs. If you know the USDA is full of crap, you can always ignore the rating and buy what you like. You can also pay more for fatty, flavorless USDA "prime" if you like that sort of thing. As long as the Government isn't restricting, taxing, or fining ISP's who don't make the grade, I'm all for it.
  • Legislation such as this just emphasizes the utter weirdness that is Utah.
    Utahans - do something useful with your time.
  • by Didion Sprague (615213) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @04:33PM (#22563508)
    I think Utah folks (and everybody else, for that matter) should consider the up-side to pornography. Most geeks (and non-geeks) have strengthened their dominant arms/fingers/hands considerably since the advent of insta-porn. Increased strength means your base metabolic rate increases -- which points the way to increased weight loss. It's a win-win.

    A couple more:

    - There's a link between visual stimulation and increased brain activity. This is good -- and probably helps prevent dementia and all sorts of crazy brain diseases.

    - There's a link between porn and sex. This is good. Porn improves sex lives -- including residents from Utah. Everyone benefits from healthy sex lives -- even if you're doing it solo. See above.

    - Exposure to porn lowers your surprise threshold. Lower surprise thresholds mean an increased ability to concentrate on the stuff that matters. Porn does not matter on the scale of "stuff that matters." Limiting porn is like limiting gambling: it's all about power and nothing about the "social ills" it purports to assist. Gamblers gamble, pornographers pornograph, and porn viewers view. This stuff is part of what it means to be a human being. Those moralists opposed to gambling could probably learn a thing or two about mathematics, social science, and spiritual balance by taking a look at gambling -- and how to gamble effectively.

    And no -- gambling effectively is not an oxymoron. The best gamble is to realize when you have the best of it -- and then make the bet. Ditto for the best porn. It's understanding what you like, searching it out, finding it, and deriving pleasure. There's nothing wrong with pleasure. Pleasure is good. Winning money is good. As Paul Newmann says in the "Color of Money": "Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."

    No truer words spoken. If the fucking Utahans -- or Mormons or whatever the fuck they call themselves in Utah -- if they'd zero in simply the idea of "pleasure" -- and look for ways to make the pleasure safe and even more effective -- they'd all enjoy their fucking nutty nitty lives a bit more.

  • by maz2331 (1104901) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @04:37PM (#22563562)
    Forgot to use the form....

    The Utah proposal advocates a

    (*) technical (*) legislative (*) market-based ( ) vigilante

    approach to fighting online porn. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

    ( ) Pornographers can easily use it to harvest email addresses
    (*) It will filter out too much legitimate non-porn content
    ( ) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
    (*) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
    ( ) It will stop porn for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
    (*) Users of the web will not put up with it
    (*) Google and other legitimate web operators will not put up with it
    ( ) Microsoft will not put up with it
    ( ) The police will not put up with it
    ( ) Requires too much cooperation from pornographers
    (*) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
    (*) Many web operators cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential viewers
    ( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

    Specifically, your plan fails to account for

    ( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
    (*) Lack of centrally controlling authority for the web
    ( ) Open relays in foreign countries
    ( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
    (*) Asshats
    ( ) Jurisdictional problems
    ( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
    ( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
    (*) Huge existing software investment in the net protocols
    ( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than HTTP to attack
    ( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
    (*) Willingness and ability of users to install software necessary to make it work
    (*) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
    (*) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
    (*) Extreme profitability of porn
    ( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
    (*) Technically illiterate politicians
    (*) Dishonesty on the part of pornographers themselves
    ( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
    (*) Internet Explorer

    and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

    (*) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical
    ( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
    (*) Website content should not be the subject of legislation
    (*) Blacklists suck
    (*) Whitelists suck
    (*) We should be able to talk about sex without being censored
    ( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
    ( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
    (*) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
    (*) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
    ( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
    (*) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
    ( ) I don't want the government reading my email
    ( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough
    (*) It's the parent's job to watch what their kid is doing

    Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

    ( ) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
    (*) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
    ( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your house down!
  • by Dekortage (697532) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @05:37PM (#22564486) Homepage

    Quoting from the actual bill [utah.gov]:

    (2) The attorney general shall award the Community Conscious Internet Provider designation to an Internet service provider that:

    • (a) completes an application created by the attorney general; and
    • (b) agrees to:
      • (i) prohibit its customers by contract from publishing any prohibited communication;
      • (ii) remove or prevent access to any prohibited communication published by or accessed using the Internet service provider's service within a reasonable time after the Internet service provider learns of the prohibited communication;
      • (iii) comply with any court order concerning the removal of a prohibited communication;
      • (iv) maintain a record for two years following its allocation of an IP address of the IP address, the date and time of the allocation, and the customer to whom the IP address is allocated;
      • (v) cooperate with any law enforcement agency by providing records sufficient to identify a customer if the law enforcement agency requests the information and supplies reasonable proof that a crime has been committed using the Internet service provider's service;
      • (vi) respond to the attorney general, other law enforcement agency, or customer who complains of a prohibited communication published by or accessible using the Internet service provider's service; and
      • (vii) provide information concerning the Internet service provider's compliance with this section promptly upon request by the attorney general.

    (3) An Internet service provider that is awarded the Community Conscious Internet Provider designation shall require its customers to enter into an agreement providing that:

    • (a) publishing a prohibited communication is prohibited; and
    • (b) the Internet service provider will:
      • (i) remove or prevent access to a prohibited communication of which it is aware;
      • (ii) comply with a court order ordering the removal of a prohibited communication;
      • (iii) maintain a record for two years following its allocation of an IP address of the IP address, the date and time of the allocation, and the customer to whom the IP address is allocated;
      • (iv) cooperate with any law enforcement agency by providing records sufficient to identify a customer if the law enforcement agency requests the information and supplies reasonable proof that a crime has been committed using the Internet service provider's service; and
      • (v) respond to the attorney general, other law enforcement agency, or customer who complains of a prohibited communication published by or accessible using the Internet service provider's service.

    Emphasis added. This is partially about filtering "objectionable" content (though the ISP can wait until after it's been reported to them), but they also have to track IP numbers for specific customers and store that information for up to two years. This is about law enforcement....

  • by r_jensen11 (598210) on Tuesday February 26, 2008 @06:18PM (#22565206)
    ...G-strings? If there's only one approved website, can we call it the G-spot?

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