Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Utah Considers Forcing Content Providers And ISPs To Block Porn

from the good-luck-with-that-plan dept

For a few years, Pennsylvania had in place a law that would require ISPs to block sites Pennsylvania politicians didn't like from being accessed. This was problematic for many, many reasons. First, the list itself was secret -- so there was no way to see, for instance, if Pennsylvania was blocking sites that were really problematic, or just sites they didn't like. Also, since national ISPs had to comply with this law, it ended up impacting many people outside the state, even though they weren't covered by this law. Finally, because so many websites are on shared servers, plenty of legitimate sites that happened to be hosted on the same machines were getting blocked. Eventually, a federal court tossed out the law, mainly because it blocked perfectly legitimate sites. Well, now the whole battle can move to Utah, as the state Senate has sent a similar bill to the governor there, who has not indicated whether or not he'll sign it. Not only does this bill require ISPs to block the content, but it also requires any "for profit" content providers to rate their content in some manner. Again, this whole thing seems backwards. If the sites themselves are violating a law, then why should the ISPs be forced to block them? Why is this law punishing the ISPs?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    VonSkippy, Mar 3rd, 2005 @ 7:26pm

    Utah Censorship

    Utah - the new China

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Utah Resident Number 1, Mar 3rd, 2005 @ 10:08pm

    Think about it for a second

    Ok, before you get all high and mighty, just think about what sites the Utah government is really trying to block:

    KIDDIE PORN, the absolute filth of the earth.

    If you own a webserver that has Kiddie porn images on it, you should go to jail.

    If you say "there is too much stuff out there to monitor everything", then I say get the hell out of the business.

    Browse your customer's websites, and take action!!!


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 3rd, 2005 @ 10:18pm

    Re: Think about it for a second

    Yes, I agree. Kiddie porn is horrible, horrible stuff. That's why they should be going after those who produce the kiddie porn and those who put it online. They should NOT be blaming the ISPs. That's sweeping the real problem under the rug. That's a HUGE problem.

    This isn't about getting the companies that HOST the kiddie porn. It's about having all ISPs block ALL porn -- even if it has nothing to do with them. So, your argument doesn't actually apply to this case.

    Besides, what you're suggesting is that no one be allowed to put anything online without it first getting approved. That sort of kills the point of the internet, doesn't it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    dorpus, Mar 4th, 2005 @ 1:30am

    Re: Think about it for a second

    A lot of the kiddie porn sites are made or hosted in countries like Russia, where the rule of law is poor, and extradition is a joke. It's not enough to only go after the producers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Mattb, Mar 4th, 2005 @ 5:34am

    Re: Think about it for a second

    Besides going after the producers of this filth, they should go after the hosting companies that allow this. If you are on a host that allows this and the host gets blocked, then you should think about moving. If the host is in a foreign country that you can't touch, then go up the line. Somebody has to provide them bandwidth that the US can touch. If they sell bandwidth to a hosting company that allows this, then put the bug on the bandwidth provider.

    I don't believe however that generic ISPs should be resposible for keeping a list of sites and blocking them. You should specifically go after the people that break the law or directly allow people to break the law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    nonuser, Mar 4th, 2005 @ 9:36am

    Re: Think about it for a second

    Well, the story says the law is about material that is "harmful to minors". That's a much broader definition than kiddie porn... it could include all pornography, all nudity even if used in the context of art of news reporting, even foul language.

    Shit, do you realize how...

    Oops, sorry Mike! Didn't mean to cost you Utah.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Tim, Mar 4th, 2005 @ 9:43am

    Re: Think about it for a second

    Kiddie-porn is hyped by the media. Sure it's now seen as socially inacceptable in the West to end a youngster's childhood, but it's not always been that way, nor has the media always had the current attitude/attention to it.

    So a line of responsibility needs to be drawn. I don't believe that your customer getting cracked and a baddie dumping kiddie-porn on their website that you host is any reason to go around waiving one's status as common carrier. In fact, I think the line at which one takes responsibility is the point at which you cease to be any kind of commmon carrier and are the producer or active propagator.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2005 @ 11:32am

    Re: Think about it for a second

    The problem, as always, (besides the morons in Utah going after the wrong people in this case) is the question: Who gets to decide?

    I think Mormons are harmful to children, and any LDS related sights should be blocked… but I bet the politicians from Utah would disagree…

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Jack, Oct 5th, 2005 @ 8:11pm

    Adult Porn or Kiddie Porn, Its all fucked up...

    I find all of this porno to be an insult to injury. You have laws against voyeurism yet you will allow porno to be legal. Parents fuck their kids all time and the kids love it. Then you have nude beaches where you can see little children performing sex acts with adults right there on the beach yet that is legal but kiddie porn is not legal. Which means that you have to pay to watch adults fuck and you can watch kids fuck for free. otherwise you go to jail. Because it is illegal to watch adults fucking for free and it is against the law to pay so you can watch children fucking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    chris, Mar 15th, 2006 @ 4:28pm

    Re: Think about it for a second

    let kids maintain innocence.
    the problem is that while we are free to choose our views,
    there is a problem with the internet that throws that garbage
    at people. those sick fucks are attempting to desensitize
    and reduce shock.
    where is the government now? nevermind those fucking
    freeway cameras, rather help to stop these invasive kiddie porn
    pushing fucks.
    a society devoted to chasing the bigger better faster ism leads way
    to distraction. in distraction enters the pushers.
    so who does run usa now days?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    christmann, Mar 15th, 2006 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: Think about it for a second

    i believe a kid has the right to be a kid
    as an adult i view that which is 18 plus..
    yet the government does not stop fuckers from
    sending that shit under 18.the money hungry fuckers of arizona
    see highway monitoring as a priority with expensive cameras posted
    on the roads. a cash fucking cow. YET THE HUGE PROBLEM
    is the internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Travis, Apr 2nd, 2006 @ 3:10am


    The problem is the same as it always has been around here in Utah; Mormons believe that this state belongs to them and they will do whatever they can to squash the rights of others if they so please. Nevermind the pologamy problem, why bother? There is so much that can still be done make Utah the state in America most like Iran, North Korea, China, or anywhere else that they might not like free thinking. Is porno wrong? Sure. But this is how Utah operates, free of the constitution.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Garry Meyer, Aug 15th, 2008 @ 9:59am

    Prono On Web Site Laws

    Utah will pass the new law, they pass anything. But as much as I hate to say this our "freedom of choice" rights are being denied. Instead lets create a web site that is only for prono, sex things, anything that some of those freaks want to see and regulate the site by government control I guess (Nazi Rule) out lawing prono on all other sites or raise a fee to place XXX Rated sites on the Internet with in the United States. Government Control. This is sick. If you have a better idea let's here it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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