A few months back, we noted the proposed legislation in Utah that would require ISPs to block porn sites. Despite several failed attempts to do the same in other states, the bill was signed into law and is now being challenged in court. The ACLU is leading the charge, arguing that the law unlawfully interferes with free speech and interstate commerce. Never mind that the law could raise many of the issues that caused similar laws to get the boot, but the state also wants to force providers hosting material seen as harmful to minors to either rate the offending site or face felony charges. Of course, the definition of providers is so ridiculously loose (anyone who "creates, collects, acquires or organizes electronic data" for profit) that it could require an entity geographically and virtually far removed from the content, like search engines and coffee shops, to rate the sites. Putting any type of provider -- ISP or otherwise -- in the position of blocking or rating someone else's content is just a lazy and counterproductive way for politicians to say they've done their job to protect the children.
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