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
    Casper, 15 Mar 2007 @ 4:10pm

    Re: agree

    It's not so simple.... and quoting Al Gore is a very dangerous proposition. Also, following it up with an example of monopolization is not much better.

    I don't know what your back ground in computer science is, but this idea is flawed. This law is a joke for us IT people. Don't get me wrong, I don't watch porn, and I think it is very detrimental in large doses.

    In order for this to work you would either have to get a federal law (which won't happen), or EVERY state to sign off on it. If not, you are in essence violating interstate trade laws and that would get very murky very quick. You are also coming into dangerous ground with peoples liberties and international regulations. You can't exactly dictate that EVERYONE in the world is going to put their porn on a different port. Most of them would ignore it out of spite. You would then have to figure out who is responsible for regulating it and what you do to punish it. In the end, your just working your way toward a massive filtration of information the likes of China or Iran, with the exception that it makes YOU happy.

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