Utah Governor Wants Net Porn To Be Put In Its Own Port

from the censorship-disguised-as-technology dept

The governor of Utah has signed a resolution (via Broadband Reports) urging Congress to pass a law that would separate the internet into an "adult content channel" and a "family content channel. The proposal involves the "Internet Community Ports Act", which was created by anti-porn group CP80 (incidentally headed by the chairman of the SCO Group), and seeks to ensure that port 80, which generally carries HTTP traffic, becomes a "clean" port, with objectionable content moved to another port so people could easily block it with a firewall. There are plenty of reasons this isn't a good idea, apart from how obviously difficult it would be to implement, but the biggest being that it would force the creation of some sort of arbiter of what is and isn't objectionable -- and as the EFF points out, this would be a de facto censor making wholly subjective decisions. This is the same sort of problem with trying to force porn sites to use the proposed .XXX domain. Still, CP80 thinks it's a great idea, and a member of the group says the Utah resolution shows that "people are crying out" for the government to do something about the scourge of internet porn. Of course, he followed that up by likening the internet to a small appliance: "It's a toaster, we made it, we can fix it." This "problem" he cites is one that individuals can seek to solve on their own, should they see fit; lobbying the government for unnecessary, ineffective and impossible to implement laws, let alone laws enabling censorship, won't do anybody any good.

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  1. identicon
    Jon, 15 Mar 2007 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Thats Impossible

    I think yours is a pretty good idea... create a port or something regulated for "safe" content.

    In stead of ports, though, I prefer the idea of REQUIRING some sort of HTML "meta" "rating" tag, or a "rating" HTTP header, even if its value was "unrated" on most sites. Most web sites would rate themselves appropriately. Forcing web sites to at least think about rating themselves would encourage them to do so even if many come back "unrated", and the result would be very helpful to parents and employers that want to block content with certain ratings without any sort of sanctioned censorship.

    Anything that would make parental controls on the web something other than a dirty hack would be wonderful. And, like I said, most content providers would rate themselves appropriately.

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