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. icon
    boomhauer (profile), 15 Mar 2007 @ 6:53pm

    it has to be...

    everything comes back to having a whitelist of safe sites.. the port number/TLD/proto/whatever is just another way of segregating the good from the bad. And since nobody seems to like the idea of government censoring this for us, then the obvious answer is for an independent organization to do so.

    thus: exactly what we have now, babysitter software that can run on either your computer or home router or at the ISP. if you dont like how it filters, you are free to disagree and get a different "brand" of filter.

    anything else (ports/protocols/etc) winds up being filtered by a single (monopoly) body, which will never satisfy everone in deciding what is decent AND in policing the content to keep its lists up to date.

    so we're back to the same, sorta lame, solutions we already have today... until i perfect my skin detection filter ;)

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