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Censorship The Internet Government Politics

SCO Chairman Fights to Ban Open Wireless Networks 343

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 Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:35PM (#18805483)
  • by El Torico ( 732160 ) * on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:52PM (#18805753)
    I did a quick Google search and found that Ralph Yarrow is the CEO of ThinkAtomic, which is described as a "high-tech venture accelerator"; he is also involved in the CP80 Foundation, which is lobbying against Internet pornography. Coincidentally, this CP80 organization is proposing a "technological solution" as well as a "legislative solution". I suspect that the legislative solution they want is to mandate the use of ThinkAtomic's technological solution. It appears that he failed to become richer by using the judicial system, so he's moving to the more easily manipulated legislative system.
  • by Irvu ( 248207 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:56PM (#18805831)
    Act to oppose it.

    If their "brain is frying trying to understand the technology involved" (damn!) then the best thing to do is explain it to them, along with the consequences of a bad decision. One could, for example write to a legislator explaining the concept of a popup blocker and the extremely low likelihood of "just entering a search term" causing a "tornado of popups" unless the search term was "I want a tornado of popups to take down my machine".

    One could also explain, if one lived in Utah, that one would think very very poorly of any elected official who let SCO of all people railroad them into trying to railroad some unworkable and useless ban on a perfectly legitimate activity (open hotspots) based upon no evidence other than frying brains and luddite morons.

    One could also, perhaps best, explain the extremely negative economic impact such legislation would have in the short term (forcing otherwise acceptable mom n' pops to spend money preventing legal activities) and in the long-term by hurting Utah's efforts to modernize its infrastructure, attract new businesses and convince prospective high-tech employers and employees that it isn't a backwards theocratic nuthouse but a modern forward-looking state that values, among other things, freedom of speech and technology at least half as much as it values free guns. (This will work for out-of-staters by the way if phrases along the lines of "I won't bring my money and jobs there...")

    The (incredibly poor) Committee page is here []. The Committee's members are:
    Sen. Scott K. Jenkins, Co Chair
    Rep. Michael E. Noel, Co Chair
    Rep. Roger E. Barrus
    Rep. Ralph Becker
    Rep. Jim Bird
    Rep. Melvin R. Brown
    Sen. Mike Dmitrich
    Rep. Janice M. Fisher
    Rep. Lynn N. Hemingway
    Rep. Steven R. Mascaro
    Rep. Kay L. McIff
    Sen. Darin G. Peterson
    Rep. Aaron Tilton
    Sen. Carlene M. Walker
    Rep. Richard W. Wheeler
    Richard C. North, Policy Analyst
    Christopher R. Parker, Associate General Counsel
    Tracey Fredman, Legislative Secretary

    They can be located here [].

    Start your e-mailing and phone dialing (faxes are fun too!)

    C'mon, all the cool /.'ers are doing it.
  • CP80 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Irvu ( 248207 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @07:14PM (#18806025)
    It is interesting, but not surprising, that the CP80 group [] is involved in this. After all Yarro CEO of SCO is their Chairman.

    For those not familiar with it CP80 is a proposal that calls for segregating internet content into "safe" and "unsafe" by legally declaring some ports to be regulated and some unregulated. The regulation model is the "Community Norms" model that the FCC uses to allow the Parents Television Council to tell us all what we can and cannot watch on TV.

    Leaving aside the fact that this, like all similar proposals, ignores the manifold legal hurdles in defining "adult" and "non-adult" content (just read the book of Revelations in the Bible sometime) it also ignores the fact that the port-based communication is an international standard, and one that would not be workable for the U.S. to mandate alone.

    My favorite part about it really is the fact that even if this act were implemented it would still require some special settings or filtration on the user end (i.e. the home computer) to keep the bad ports off. Thus the problem that it seems even the CEO of SCO has that his kids know more about computers than him, would still remain.

    Incidentally Wal-Mart is listed as a major sponsor of the group.

    To date the act does not appear to have been submitted to Congress.
  • Re:Ah come on... (Score:5, Informative)

    by DownWithTheMan ( 797237 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @07:58PM (#18806465)
    Just a little FYI, I used to live down in Provo Utah and actually went to church every Sunday with Ralph Yarro. Crazy Mormon jokes aside (Ahhhh it's the suites and ties on bikes coming to convert us!!!!), Yarro lives in a complete dream-world. While I was attending BYU *gag*, his new start-up Think Atomic and the lobby group CP80 would constantly put full 2 page spreads in the student papers, asking students to lobby their congressmen to help stop internet pornography (using the technical solutions from Think Atomic of course). After talking with him at church about it all, I got the notion he's basically trying to create a virtual "xxx" domain type of filtering system (put all the porn in one place and we can then filter out that place if we choose).

    Basically it goes something like, someone somewhere decides what sites are and aren't porn. Based on the tags they assign those sites, parents are able to block whatever they choose not to allow their children to view. The thing is, Yarro wants the government (eventually) to mandate that all internet sites use Think Atomic's ratings system and filtering setup.

    How you mandate this kind of ratings system beyond U.S. borders is beyond me. I would assume that the majority of porn on the net comes from (or is at least hosted in) countries other than the U.S. (Russian spammers and their bot-nets?). Anyways, like I said Yarro is in a dream-world, SCO is in the death throws (next quarter expect the NASDAQ to de-list them as they've already filed for a reverse split a year or so ago), and Ralphie needs to realize that *PUBLIC* wi-fi spots are the last place teenagers wanna be looking at porn...
  • Re:Ah come on... (Score:5, Informative)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @09:14PM (#18807091) Journal

    I would assume that the majority of porn on the net comes from (or is at least hosted in) countries other than the U.S. (Russian spammers and their bot-nets?). ternet-pornography-statistics.html []
    The countries with the biggest porn industries are (in order):
    1. China
    2. South Korea
    3. Japan
    4. USA

    The rest aren't worth listing, because even if you added up all their revenues, that number would still be smaller than the USA's.

    So.... I guess you're right that most of the porn on the net comes from non-US countries, but Russia isn't even in the running (at #14).

    P.S. "Adult" web hosting is a big business in the USA, since so many hosters won't touch it with a ten foot pole.
  • by ChePibe ( 882378 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @10:04PM (#18807519)
    Utah Mormons form a tight cliche

    You got the wording wrong, yet quite right.

    Yes, there is a big cliché about Utah Mormons. And it would seem you've fallen into it.

    Perhaps you did serve in Salt Lake, and perhaps you met some people that follow that trend. I can't deny it - I've met a few myself. But the willingness with which you blindly lump hundreds of thousands of people into such a small group is shocking to say the least.

    I'm from Florida myself. Born and bred a southerner with no family ties to Utah and into a quasi-converted family. The first time I came to Utah was for the Missionary Training Center [] experience in Provo. I don't think that really counts, though, as once you're in you barely go outside for anything. I came back to Provo to attend BYU after two years slogging through the shanty towns around Buenos Aires, and in my last 4 years here in Utah I've found people of very diverse opinions, backgrounds, and ideas.

    Then they would be forced to live with people who do not agree with them, and be able to expand there knowledge of the outside world.

    Generally speaking, most times I've heard people say this, what they really mean is "I wish these people would think like I do." Well, I'm sorry you didn't find what you think you would here, but this is not so. It would seem you experienced time as a "minority" yourself, living with people who did not agree with you, and it didn't do you much good.

    I'll agree that rural parts of Utah are fairly close minded. Yet as one who grew up in and around small towns in Florida and Alabama, I can honestly say that the people I've dealt with in small town Utah have been much more traveled and cultured. (I can't remember how many people asked me what language they speak in Argentina or, better yet, where in Africa Argentina was before I left from Florida. I've never heard those questions in Utah.) You can go to the middle of nowhere in Utah - Vernal, for example - walk into a ward meeting, and likely find people who have lived in and speak the language of dozens of foreign countries thanks to mission experience and are generally better educated than most rural populations. Not to say Utah is without its rednecks - it has its fair share - but you're painting the population with an awfully broad brush.

    Utah has a lot of political problems. A lot of this has to do with the fact that there is little competition in Utah - the Democrats have situated themselves too far to the left to be seriously considered by many Utahns, and the simple fact is that a lot of Republican incumbents in office now needed to be ousted long, long ago. Similar patterns can be seen in other areas with little competition - Ted Stevens of Alaska would be a classic example. In cases like this, where little competition exists, you get bad laws from time to time, and more often than you would see otherwise.

    I'd recommend giving Utah another chance. Move to an urban area for a few months and you'll see something different. I'm not going to lie - it's different than the rest of the U.S. But as a southerner, I felt different about the northeast as well during trips there.
  • by chris macura ( 899109 ) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @11:28PM (#18808181)
    What the hell? How is that a troll?

    For the mods:

        SFW = Suitable For Work


        SFW? = Is that link you just posted with no descriptive comment suitable for viewing at work?

    A perfectly valid comment.

    Slashdot. Grr.
  • Re:Hyperbole much? (Score:4, Informative)

    by asninn ( 1071320 ) on Friday April 20, 2007 @04:15AM (#18809423)
    No, he didn't. "misspelt" and "misspelled" are both correct.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, 2007 @08:53AM (#18810507)

    Yes, it is safe for work (ie it's not pornographic, etc.)

    It's a (badly rendered, recorded using a camera pointing at a TV) clip from Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket". I'll not spoil the post by saying which part, but while violent it's one of the more emotionally charged scenes than bloody/etc.

    A useful tip: most YouTube clips that are NSFW end up behind an "Adults-only" banner where you have to be a registered user and click through an agreement before you can view the content. Usually a clip only slips through because it's either new or not popular enough to have been seen by enough people. Likewise, links to NSFW content from Slashdot (that do not tag it appropriately) are usually modded down within a short space of time. If you are at all concerned about a link from a Slashdot comment to YouTube, the easiest solution is to wait a few hours and make sure you're not logged into YouTube, or if you are that you haven't, within the last few hours, agreed to view adult content using that account.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes